Latest news from WCARA

The great outdoors and the natural world have long been associated with good mental health and wellbeing. For those living in urban areas, gardens and open spaces can be a refuge to help people maintain good emotional wellbeing.

This was what many people in Alperton expressed at the Alperton Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Forum in May 2021. The event – part of the Brent Health Matters programme to address health inequality issues in the borough – brought together council and health services with community organisations and residents.

Together the group formed ideas on how to create greater emotional resilience, expand knowledge of local services and support those with mental health difficulties within Alperton.

One of the key issues raised was a lack of safe spaces where the community could gather to interact with one another and feel comfortable talking about mental health. Coupled with the benefits of nature, the idea for a community garden was formed and we now have a small pilot for our residents of Alperton & Wembley Central. We look forward to growing vegetables for our community members.

We were joined by Council officials and residents to promote this much needed initiative:

Start typing Blossom 2021 Best Garden Competition Winners

WCARA Is pleased to announce Blossom 2021 Best Garden Competition Winners awarded by @ITVChase star Shaun Wallace. Congratulations.
So many green fingers in the area.

Best Front Garden - Mai Yang of CrabTree Avenue, Alperton
Best Back Garden - Neera Lakhmana of Bassingham Road, Wembley

Highly commended awards for:

Kantilal Shah of Eagle Road
Sandhya Patel of Stapleford Road
Yogini Patel of Queen Victoria Avenue
Naresh Kumar Mulgi of Lancelot Road.

Thank you to all the entrants, we will be dropping flower seeds for your garden in the coming days
Dear Neighbours,

As many of you know WCARA’s 'Blossom' initiative began during the first Covid19 lockdown in April 2020 when we were able to gift bedding plants to elderly and isolating residents in Wembley Central and Alperton. More than 6,800 plants were distributed, the idea supported by residents, the Alperton Community Group and a number of local businesses in Wembley.

In 2021, we increased our efforts, securing more donations from even more local businesses, organisations and residents.

Over 12,000 plants were ordered which WCARA members and volunteers sorted, packed into bags and delivered to homes in Wembley Central and Alperton. The aim of 'Blossom' is purely to bring a smile and happiness to residents in the local area, especially as the past year been so hard for many in the Wembley Central and Alperton communities.

WCARA hope this gift of plants will bring solace and help neighbours as life gets back to normal - whether you have a tiny balcony, small garden or even a larger plot it's great to green up your environment and encourage nature, as we all know gardens have been so important for our health in recent times.

WCARA would like to thank all the supporters and sponsors who have helped to make 'Blossom' possible so far - Our Sponsors this year include:

Big Fish Tutors
Daniels Estate Agents
Grey & Co
Mi Amor Hub (Online Dating & Matrimony)
Property Hub
Sonali Occassions
St George Plc - Beresford Road Development, Alperton
Wembley Central Big Local

And last but not least, many of you, our neighbours who not only made monetary contributions, but also volunteered your time to make Blossom successful. It's great to see such support for our local community.

Blossom’s legacy continues with our wonderful WhatsApp Gardening Groups where residents share hints and tips on gardening, swap plants and pictures of their green fingers. No experience needed, we have novices like me, experienced gardeners including growing exotic veg and a cottage garden too (yes you read that correctly, a cottage garden in Wembley. If you wish to join, please drop your phone number and I will get you added to the group.

This year’s garden competition will focus on front gardens, driveways and use of small space including windowsills and balconies. I will be in touch with further details, including dates, how to enter and rules.

Thank you once again. Do take care, look after yourself and your loved ones.

Best Regards

This week we had to sort out some problems with prescriptions and once again Jade Pharmacy in Ealing Road were incredibly helpful, as they have been all this year, working right through the lockdowns to serve the local community.

Just one example where businesses and the residents in the area have gone out of their way to help elderly, vulnerable and those who need to isolate. There are so many other examples which has demonstrated what a great community we have in Wembley & Alperton.

This year sponsored by (another local business), WCARA would like to thank everyone who volunteered and supported the community in this extraordinary year. Here are the heroes you nominated for this special recognition:

Amisha - A Local GP and resident of Wembley Central who not helped me personally to attend to a friend who was unwell during the pandemic, but also assisted many other neighbours in the area risking her and family's own health.

Ena, - Local resident of Wembley who has been at the heart for the Wembley Central Mutual Aid Group, supporting young and old during the pandemic. More recently she organised Christmas hampers for children in the area.

Chetan, a community volunteer supporting a local covid kitchen and more recently helping Brent Council promote safe distancing guidelines amongst businesses and residents on Ealing Road.

Manna who helped make 100s of beautiful masks at the height of the first lockdown, when supplies were limited. We don't know what we would have done without your help Manna.

Nusrat also helped make 100s of beautiful masks for local community and also school teachers. Thank you so much Nusrat.

Sushil, local community volunteer who helped elderly and vulnerable neighbours during this extra ordinary year.

Staff at Jade Pharmacy, on Ealing Road. Helpful as always, never saying no to any demands or problems. Delivering essential medication to local neighbours. "No problem" is what you hear when you ask them for help.

Chintan Pandya & Mona Pandya, from Desi Dhaba on Ealing Road. A new business opened in February this year, but very quickly cooking and delivering healthy meals to elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating neighbours since the first lock-down. This service is still being offered by them. Over 200,000 meals have been cooked in their kitchen this year.

Daxesh Patel, Jalaram Sweet Mart on Ealing Road also opened his door in supporting the local community delivering fresh wholesome meals to the local community
Iceland delivery drivers from Wembley Branch - immense support and help from all of the drivers with many residents nominating them for the extra help whilst delivering their shopping.

Staff @ Herrick Ward at Northwick Park Hospital - the ward dealing with COVID-19 patients deserve an extra special mention who cared for many of our neighbours and still do during this difficult time for all.

Our postal delivery workers - they continued to deliver during lockdown with no masks or gloves issued them.
Since lockdown began, gardens have taken on a whole new purpose - as a space for physical activity and mindfulness. One of the largest studies to date on gardens and gardening, by National Institute for Health Research, found that people who spent time in the garden report better physical and mental health levels than those who do not. The study showed the benefits of gardening were similar to the difference in health between the wealthiest and the poorest people in the country.

Back in April, WCARA Committee Member @Niketa came with an idea to give bedding plants to the old and vulnerable in the area. Blossom 2020 brought many smiles across what was an extremely difficult time for us. Fast forward couple of months, we held our first ever best garden completion and then @Kay also WCARA Committe member founded a local gardening club where we could share ideas, plants and get together at the right time. WCARA proudly held its first get together, thanks to Friends of Barham Library who hosted us today.

To join WCARA Informal gardening club use this link —>
No experience needed, not even a garden! Come and join the fun.

During the lockdown many of us took the opportunity to clear our wardrobes. WCARA has teamed up with Brent Council and Veolia to collect your unwanted clothes and donate them to TRAID to be substantially reused and recycled which stops them from getting wasted.

If you live one of the following roads In Wembley Central Ward:

Thurlow Gardens
St Anne Road
Turton Road
King George Crescent
Lancelot Road
Lancelot Avenue
Lancelot Crescent

Please leave your bags of unwanted clothes in your front garden/drivewat this Thursday (10sep) by 7am and your bags will be collected by Veolia.

Dear Neighbours, some important advise from Safer Neighbourhood Teams:

Always be on your guard when anyone you’re not expecting turns up at your door. An honest face or good story can hide a trick to get into your home.

Although the vast majority of people who call at your door will be legitimate, there have been incidents where bogus callers have successfully entered people’s homes under false pretences and stolen from them.
When someone knocks at the door, stop and think:-

•Are you expecting anyone?

•Ensure that your back door is always closed when answering the front door. Caller’s intent on gaining access to your property may be working in pairs – whilst one distracts you at your front door the other may be trying to enter your property via the back.
•If someone is claiming to be from a company remember to ask what it is they are there for.
•Always ask for an ID or any associated paperwork – get them to pass these through the letterbox as at this point you should still have your door closed.
•If you have any doubt you should ring the company they say they are from independently. Never ring the number given by the caller but instead locate it from another source, e.g. phonebook or directory enquiries.
•Anyone claiming to work for the Metropolitan Police Service will have a warrant card and can be confirmed by calling 101.
If you have a vulnerable member of your family, friend or neighbour you can help prevent this happening to them by not only sharing this information with them, but by also keeping in regular contact with them checking in on them to see how they are doing.

Help maintain their house so it does not attract attention. Check they have good quality locks on their doors and windows, and make sure that their money is in the bank - not in the house.

Don’t let your relative or friend fall victim of the conmen! Help them protect themselves!


Highly commended #Blossom2020 - Best Garden Competition

Neera Lakhmana - Best Back Garden Category - Wembley Central Resident

Jyoti Desai - Best Back Garden Category - Alperton Resident

Kit Friend - Best Front Garden Category - Alperton Resident

Siobhan Cafferkey - Best Front Garden Category

Manisha Patel - Best use of small space