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The Highgate Newtown Mission Hall Group (trading as Save the Mission Hall Group) has now been granted Charitable registration (No. 1184443) and has opened a temporary bank account in Michael Ellman’s name (re HNMHG) with Royal Bank of Scotland (in which we now have £2126.96). We are endeavouring to open an account in the Group’s name at the Co-op bank or Natwest.

Appeals have been sent to a number of local people, and we have had a positive response from the famous guitarist Paco Pena, who will do a concert in the Hall. We have written to a number of local groups, and are following these up, also the Victorian Society, and Architectural Heritage Fund. We are continuing our applications to the Lottery Heritage Fund and other funders.

We had a meeting with L.B.Camden, who have agreed to keep the Hall for us until at least 30 November, and we must show them by then that we have a substantial part of the money collected or promised.

Report by Michael Ellman,
on behalf of theHighgate Newtown Mission Hall Group

Antonio Vocale

This is the name we heard for the wheelchair group, some of whom we used to see coming in and out of the cafe, especially Brian, always cheerful. So what happened to them? I discovered the answer when I met Brian in his wheelchair, half way down Dartmouth Park Hill and he told me that they are now at the Hilldrop Centre - where Antony Vocale still manages the group - there's a lovely report about their current activities, see: Kingsley Organisation

Hilldrop Community Centre Summer Fair & Open Day
• Food • Music • Art • Books • Performance • Face Painting • Henna Artist
• Jewellery making • Kids activities • Soft play • Lucky dip • Raffle
With stalls from our community partners including Octopus, Help on
Your Doorstep, NHS Islington & more!
Join us for the grand opening of our PLUS: Peace Garden with the
Worshipful Mayor of Islington Cllr Rakhia Ismail
Hilldrop Community Centre, Community Lane, Hilldrop Road, N7 0JE • 0207 607 9453 •
HilldropCommunityCentre @hilldropcc 
Get involved! Run a stall or donate to our Prize Raffle.
Email: - view/download POSTER

Dear Highgate Newtown Folk
As you may know, a group of HNCC students have been campaigning to save the People's Gospel Mission Hall, which as part of the redevelopment process of the centre, is destined to be converted into two town houses and sold off, to make money for Camden Council.  We attended meetings of the Camden Council's Planning Committee to state our objections, and although it was designated an "Asset of Community Value" that didn't stop them giving planning permission for the conversion. 

The only thing that will stop them is if we put some money together to buy it.  Several of the group have become Trustees of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which aims to gain charitable status to buy and run the hall, and have set up a Crowd Funding Account:  Another proposal - which I have already received an offer of £10k for -  is to set up a co-ownership project, and if you think this is of interest to you, please contact me.

Either way, an Open Day with musical performances has been organised to attract people to the Hall to view it, and experience its renowned acoustics and you are warmly invited to participate  A FLYER and PROGRAMME for the Event are attached.  Please forward this message and invitation to others who may be interested.

Looking forward to meeting you on the day

Yours sincerely
Mary Fee

Crunch time for the hall. CAN YOU HELP?!
These are the facts so far (you probably know them):

Camden council is planning to turn a beautiful and historic hall into two private houses to sell. However, they have said that they will cancel this plan if we can raise ONE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS – by 31st July 2019 -in order to buy the hall from them. 

 ‘The People’s Gospel Mission Hall’ (lately home of the ’Fresh Youth Academy’, in Winscombe Street, London N19 5DG) dates from 1892 and for over a hundred years has been a treasured community hub providing a huge variety of activities for people of all ages and abilities.

• The hall is the only theatre space for miles around.
• It has a stage, a large screen for showing films, and its exceptionally fine acoustics have been lauded by internationally renowned musicians.
• The hall was refurbished in 2015 for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
• We think it would be an appalling act of vandalism to destroy it and a deplorable waste of taxpayers' money, particularly in these times of funding cuts and rising violent crime.
• We wish to retain the hall for community use as a thriving community arts centre.

To raise the one and a half million needs a mighty concerted effort! Can you help? Here are suggestions of how you can help if you’d like to:

* We now have a Facebook Page: and a Gofundme account, the link for which is:

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR US TO DO IS TO GIVE EVERYONE WE’VE EVER KNOWN OR HEARD OF the GOFUNDME link in every way we can – social media - it's on our Facebook Page - or word of mouth - and ask them to give everyone THEY know the Gofundme link, so that as many people as possible who want to help the fundraising effort can do so. It doesn’t matter how little (or much) we give – everything will help. If we fail to raise the necessary amount all donors will have their money returned.

* If you, or anyone you know, is a generous private or corporate benefactor who will buy the hall for the community, or who will contribute to the one and a half million we need, that would be truly wonderful! Or perhaps you are an arts organisation or a charitable foundation who will do the same.

* Do you regularly shop at a particular supermarket / other outlet which you could ask to contribute funds?

* Would you like to be a cheery, enthusiastic PUB co-ordinator-person? So far two pubs - the Star pub (c/o Bertram Street and Chester Road) and Southampton Arms (c/o Wesleyan Place and Kentish Town Road) - are up for having a competition between pubs in the area to see who can raise most money for the hall. Would you like to co-ordinate this and stoke up enthusiasm in local pubs (between pints if needed)?

* Do you know, or know of, any local celebrities – philanthropists, media people, musicians, etc... who you would be prepared to ask either to be a sponsor/patron, or to contribute funds? You could speak or write to them on behalf of the ‘Save the People’s Hall Group’ using the information above and just tweaking it a bit to fit whoever you’re writing to. It might take a bit of research to find out where they live.

Apparently the following famous people live in the area. Maybe you know others: Naomi Daley; Akala; Miss Dynamite; Trevor Bannister; Alison Steadman; Benedict Cumberbatch; Ed Milliband; Sue Perkins (Boscastle Road); Steven Severin; Madness; Cara Theobald; Emma Thompson; Pierce Morgan; Tracey Chevalier; does Paco Pena live in the area? .....

Or can you:
* help in other ways with fundraising?
* or with admin jobs?
* Can you contribute computer skills – maybe you’re a young computer whizz with people skills and a reasonable command of English who can get your head round facebook/ twitter/ instagram... and perhaps would like helping a charity on your CV?
* Have you successfully applied to the lottery for funding and can you help us with that?

We are having an EVENT in the hall on Sunday 16th June,  partly so that people can enjoy the space and partly so that potential donors can see the hall if they would like to. See FLYER for this Event.

We need lots of help with this too. For example:
* We would like to have live music playing throughout the event. Are you a musician and member of a chamber music group, choir, early music group, folk group, jazz group, pop group, etc., who will donate your musical abilities to the event?
* Would you donate legwork and distribute flyers?
* Will you, and/or a bakery/foodshop you know, donate sweet or savoury things to eat?
Angela Burdett-Coutts donated The People’s Gospel Mission/ Fresh Youth Academy Hall to the ‘people’. Are you an actor who would like to mingle among visitors to the event in the role of Angela Burdett-Coutts?
*  Can you bring as many people as possible to the event?
* Can you help on the day? There’ll be a lot that needs doing (holding donation buckets, moving chairs, being there chatting, eating, etc).

If you can help in any of the above ways please email Tamar Swade <> so that we can all see who’s doing what and don’t duplicate unnecessarily. Thanks everyone !!!
from Tamar, on behalf of ‘Save the People’s Hall’ group. 

Further to the initial (general) meeting of the Campaign Group on 14th February 2019, the trustees appointed at that meeting have met four times, on 25th February, 15th March, 25th March and 28th March 2019. For better communication with outside parties, we decided to call ourselves the Highgate Newtown Mission Hall Group, and have discussed the steps needed to preserve The People's Gospel Mission Hall in Winscombe Street, now designated an Asset of Community Value, rather than see it turned into two terraced houses to make money for Camden Council.
Because this would involve raising money to purchase the Hall, we have adopted a more formal CIO Constitution with the same trustees, rather than having an open membership. Two further meetings have been held, one with a consultant who is helping us develop a business plan, on Wednesday 3rd April, and another with members of the Project Team at Camden Council, on on Thursday 4th April 2019.
Our next meeting was after an official viewing of the Mission Hall, in the Fresh Youth Academy foyer/cafe on Wednesday 10th April 2019.