Primrose Hill is rightly proud of the Community Association at its very heart. Adam put his questionnaire to Mick Hudspeth, PHCA CEO, and Mick’s answers got right to the very point of why our Community Association is so important.
Q. What are the benefits of the Association to the Primrose Hill Community?
A. Having an active, well supported community association in the area, that run a community centre, a library, events, a self-funded community magazine is hugely beneficial to people living and working in the area. They are places to keep fit, to learn, to socialise, and a means of facilitating debate and discussion regarding issues in the area. Having a thriving community association in the area meant we were able to save the library from closure and had the means to take it over as part of our services. The association also have a food distribution programme for people in food need, whilst also acting as an informal advice service.
Q. What have been the problems of the Association operating in Primrose Hill?
A. As the association has been established since 1978 it has long standing roots in the area, and whilst during that time there has been some turbulence, it has mostly been a force for good. For the past 20 years it has had stable management that has seen growth and harmony within the association. Primrose Hill from outside of the area is always looked on as a predominantly wealthy area, yet alongside the well-off there are large swathes of social housing and deprivation. We always try and provide a variety of events and activities that provide for the diversity within the area.
Q. Which of your regular events are the most popular and why?
A. In the summer we have always held our large summer fairs, which are always very well attended. For the past couple of years, we have scaled these down and put on smaller scale ‘garden party’ type events, and are geared more towards getting locals together, than people from further afield. We now also offer free sandwiches, cakes, teas and coffees as part of the event as well as putting on free entertainment. Our discos now always get fully booked, as I guess people like dancing especially somewhere close to home that is a safe place to visit. Our jumble sale is also very popular, offering people the chance of picking up some nice things at a low cost.
Q. Which of your activities are the most popular and why?
A. Narcotics Anonymous have been meeting at Primrose Hill Community Centre for 33 years (the longest run of meetings at the same venue in the history of the organisation in the UK), and is always very well attended providing essential support for its members.
Our Sunday members bar has been running for a similar amount of time and is very popular as it provides reasonable prices on drinks and members love playing pool and socialising.
Open House was set up to help combat loneliness and isolation in the area and it does that by offering talks, films and outings at no cost and always includes free tea and cake, it’s always popular.
Life drawing always proves very popular, mostly operating at or near capacity.
Many of our other activities including children’s classes are very popular too.
Q. Which of your services have the highest demand and why?
A. Neighbourhood Nosh has the highest demand of all of our services, purely because of the scale of operation. Up to 50 people pick up free food from the market we operate, we have over 30 people attend our free (by donation) Wellbeing Cafe on a Wednesday, up to 50 free three course meals get made and delivered (or picked up) in the area. We have plans to do more things with Nosh too.
Q. What have been the highlights about the association operating in Primrose Hill?
A. The highlights for me is always bringing people together. Whether this is having public meetings when concerns in the area arise, whether socially, whether it is through committees for specific areas of work or through events and activities. We have some extremely talented people in our area who generously give their time and resources to help. Managing to not only save the library in the area, but to take it over and make such a success of it was and is hugely rewarding. Also seeing one of our major projects like Nosh operating so well is a highlight, but like most things we manage to achieve at the association, it is only through the good will, hard work and generosity of local people.
Find out more about the Primrose Hill Community Assocaition, including how you can join, right here: https://phca.cc
© Adam Reeves 2023, all rights reserved.