The “Men’s Shed” is a great idea

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

I love this idea of the “Men’s Shed”. Particularly if it allows older men to transfer traditional skills that they may have to a younger generation.  As well as talk, bond, and chat.  The creation of additional “shared space” that people can go to is so important in this crowded-but-can-be-lonely city.    This is from Fulham Good Neighbours:

You are cordially invited to join us at an organisational meeting for Fulham Men’s Shed on Tuesday, 7thNovember 2017 at 6PM at Rosaline Hall, 70 Rosaline Road, London, SW6 7QT

We want to help create a meeting place for local men (and women), where ‘Shedders’ can engage in wood work or other activity, or simply in putting the world to rights over a cup of tea.

The Men’s Shed movement originates in Australia and there are quite a few already established in the UK.  In the words of one ‘Shedder’: ‘From a young age, boys are taught to ignore their feelings, that emotions are a sign of weakness, and, in short, to ‘man up’. In later life, when confronted with life changes like retirement or divorce, it’s no wonder that many struggle to cope, and are faced with isolation and a loss of self-worth. This is why Men’s Sheds are absolutely vital; providing men with a sense of purpose, new friendships and encouraging talents like carpentry and metal work, skills perhaps unused for a number of years. Having an outlet like Men’s Sheds to combat negative feelings can be a life saver.’

So why not come along and bring all your mates who might be interested in taking part together with your ideas on getting the group going to:

Fulham Good Neighbours

Rosaline Hall

70 Rosaline Road

London, SW6 7QT

Tel. 020 7385 8850


If you cannot make that date or this information reached you too late, please email or call Fulham Good Neighbours and they will bring you up to speed.’

Foxes: friend or foe?

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

A number of residents from around the Brook Green area have told me they are suffering from increasing nuisance from foxes.  I’ve asked the Council if it is within its remit to provide assistance and / or for other advice.  Did you know that foxes are not pests but wild animals?  Here is the Council response below.

Legally, foxes are classified as wild animals and not pests and therefore is not an issue that is dealt with by the Council’s Pest Control Service. The Council has no statutory powers or legal rights to eradicate foxes on private or other land. Any landlord of a housing block also does not have a responsibility to control foxes.

The most practical advice we offer to concerned residents involves fencing their own gardens to a standard that physically excludes foxes. It is also possible to discourage foxes by removing the various attractions that draw the foxes to some areas e.g poorly managed domestic refuse and neglected and overgrown gardens.  Residents should ensure refuse is stored in suitable containers so that it cannot provide food for any fox in the neighbourhood and should also make sure that gardens are not so overgrown that it could provide harbourage for foxes.

 If refuse and waste seems to be a problem please report this to our call centre and they can pass this on to the relevant council department to investigate. Their telephone number is 0208 753 1081.

The Fox Project has been assisting local authorities with humane, non-lethal solutions to fox nuisance and is willing to talk to local residents about fox deterrence and about simple steps that can be taken to resolve specific issues. You can contact the FOX DETERRENCE HELPLINE on 01892 826222.

Also, our website contains additional info on foxes:

Labour MP for Hammersmith backed Venezuelan regime

Andrew Slaughter, the Labour MP for Hammersmith, was among those who backed the regime in Venezuela.

The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign patrons include the Labour MP Diane Abbott. It boasts it has 18 national trade unions affiliated to it (as well, naturally, as those champions of free elections the Communist Party of Britain.)

Their magazine in 2012 included a statement from Andrew Slaughter, then Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister, that a Chavez victory was:

“A great result for the people of Venezuela, progressive politics and the democratic process.”

The independence of the judiciary under the “progressive” arrangement commended by Mr Slaughter is indicated by this report from Amnesty International:

“Judge María Lourdes Afiuni remained under house arrest throughout 2012. In September, unidentified gunmen drove past the building where she lives and opened fire, aiming towards her apartment. In November, she disclosed publicly that she had been raped while in jail. Judge Afiuni was detained in December 2009 and remained imprisoned for over a year. She was charged with offences including corruption, abuse of authority and association to commit a crime. She had ordered the conditional release of a banker who had been held in custody awaiting trial for more than two years, a decision within her remit and in line with Venezuelan law.”

Will Slaughter now renounce his backing for this regime?

Community gardeners are at it again

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

Earlier in the summer W6 Garden Centre kindly donated more plants for community gardening.  This time plants went out to community gardeners on the Cheesemans Estate, the Lytton Estate, and to St Andrews Church in Barons Court.

The plants, of course, make these areas more beautiful.  But they also help create communities as people come together over a pleasurable activity.

Thanks, as ever, are due to W6 who not only donated the plants, but delivered them free of charge to a central pick-up place.  W6 are located close to Ravenscourt Park and if you have not tried out their lovely cafe – you must.  A perfect place to escape the heat of a hot summer’s day.

Here are some of the plants dropped off to their new homes or on their way.

As Rudyard kipling wrote:

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.





Hammersmith Academy named as RHS School Gardening Team of the Year

A 31-strong group of secondary school pupils from Hammersmith Academy has been named RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2017. An award designed to identify an outstanding school team that has shown excellent teamwork and made a difference to their school environment.

The Hammersmith Academy team was commended for not just establishing a garden from scratch in a previously grey area of the school grounds, but their work in the local community. They have greened areas outside the school and have made the garden of a local care home more wildlife friendly. This year, they have started to run workshops to share their gardening skills with local primary schools.

Patrick Kirwan, the KS5 Science Coordinator at the school said:

“In just two years our students have made an outstanding horticultural contribution to our school and local community. Our inner city school lacked a much needed area for nature and wildlife and our students have created a tranquil setting where people gather to unwind and relax.”

Zephaniah Lindo, competition judge and a lecturer in horticulture at Capel Manor College, London said:

“It’s wonderful to see a group of secondary school pupils so enthusiastic about gardening. They are always encouraging other students to join the gardening club and embrace opportunities to get involved in the wider community.”

Hammersmith Academy’s winning team will be presented with their prize of a Classic ‘Eight’ cedar greenhouse, donated by Gabriel Ash at an event later in the year. They will also receive £500 worth of National Garden Gift Vouchers and a celebrity gardener will spend a day at the school to work with the gardening team.

Will Marshall: Reactions to Terror

A guest post from Will Marshall.

Last night’s terrorist attack in Manchester has horrified our nation.  It has once more reminded us both of the challenges that the world presents us, and of our greatest strengths.

First reactions to tragedy are always telling.  From the hate-mongering columnists demanding a ‘final solution’ to acts of terror, to the tin foil-hated tweeters retweeting what should be untweetable, tragedy lays bare the person within, artifice and second thoughts stripped away.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in the actions and reactions of the people of Manchester last night.  From those who opened their homes and their hearts to strangers, to those who offered transport, safety and a chance to call their families, the people of Manchester have shown us everything that is great about Britain.

I was reminded this morning of the lessons so many politicians swore to learn after the death of Jo Cox.  To demonise less, to end the mongering of fear and hatred, and to celebrate our common passions as people and as a nation.  #moreincommon and now #standtogether  are ideals – ideals so many of us cling to in these uncertain times, and ideals that we can be proud of. They are the aspiration for a better public discourse, an aspiration that acknowledges viciousness to be the problem in our country, and not the solution.

There will be many stories yet to tell of last night’s attacks – of the heroism and sacrifices of our emergency services, of the many kindnesses shown, and of the grief of so very many yet to mourn.  But let us also not forget that we are not just observers.  In our recounting of the tales that tell our country at its best, and in our mourning of the memories of those taken before their time, we speak to our highest ideals, and we point the path to the country we long to continue.