Home is where the heart is
Ken Lewington is a grass roots kind of guy. He believes in being a good neighbour and finding small ways to make a big difference. For 32 years he was Caretaker at Swinbrook Estate, he retired three years ago and became the Vice Chair of the Swinbrook Residents’ Association. Now he’s moving on.
Ken has spent all 63 years of his life in the Royal Borough and began working as a stonemason before becoming a caretaker for Kensington & Chelsea TMO. Throughout his service Ken assisted residents in solving estate issues, attended meetings, cleaned the clubroom and carried out other duties. But across three decades, there are times that stick out as a little out of the ordinary. He’s supported work to shut down
known drug spots, increased security to improve safety, held events with the Residents’ Association to foster community spirit, supported activities as part of Notting Hill Carnival, and even secured funding to improve the estates.
“Being a caretaker is great; you’re
there to look after people. I feel sorry that I’m moving on, I’m going to miss everyone a lot.” Ken Lewington
Ken looked after nine estate blocks during his service and was recognised with a special Mayor’s Award for his
“The economy is
so bad; we wanted to do something for people that would make a difference. We thought vouchers would go a long way,” he said.
a Residents’ Association means you are responsible for helping residents solve problems, and helping KCTMO to work with them to make things happen. I’ve been a caretaker,
contribution in 2010. The awards are given to those who make an outstanding contribution to their local community. Ken has organised two fun days for
the estate, as well as a residents’ party. But times have changed, he said, and this year his fundraising efforts saw the Residents’ Association deliver shopping vouchers to all residents over 65 rather than hold an event.
CITY LIVING – WHAT’S YOUR BIG IDEA?
Have you ever had an idea to help make your local area an even better place to live or wanted to get to know more people in your neighbourhood? There’s a new initiative called City
Living, Local Life now on that makes available small amounts of money and lots of practical support. The way it works is that Councillors lead activities with people like you and community groups in their ward. To find out what ward you live in, just visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/whatward
. Each ward that takes part has a budget of £20,000 per year to help
make projects a reality. Grants from this money may not meet the full costs of any one project but the funding is there to help get projects going. Lots of people are involved
already, and over the past several months Councillors have talked to many of you about your ideas. You’ve shared an amazing range of creative suggestions that you want to work together to run: projects to turn small urban spaces into community kitchen gardens, more opportunities for young families to meet with others,
We relet 213 empty properties this year and, on average, took 24 days to do this. This means we achieved our target turnaround time for 2011/12.
community choirs, international recipe exchanges and so much more. Together we’re really looking forward to making these ideas happen. 020 7598 4633 citylivinglocallife.org
and on the Residents’ Association, but I just see it as being a concerned citizen.” Ken has now moved to a new home in Bedford to be closer to his son. This year he’ll be celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary, taking a Caribbean cruise – but, of course, he’ll be returning to the Royal Borough for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June. We wish him well!
0800 137 111 • WWW.KCTMO.ORG.UK
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