Last Friday (16th June), Millman Street Community Centre held its annual Open Day. Your HCA hack arrived at the Centre to a hubbub of preparations, as garments both vintage and new were put on clothes rails, the buffet was being stocked with delicious grub, weary hands awaited pampering, flowers were arranged, and prizes for the raffle were sourced. Leaflets were also being displayed, arts were being crafted and volunteers arrived to give a hand as our members awaited the official opening at 11am. This reporter could see that all was going well, and that his offer to help would only ensure a fiasco, so he sipped tea and took photos in his usual cack-handed manner, and in no way sunned himself in the Millman Street garden as others toiled inside the centre…
There were a number of people from the Get Into Learning community initiative from the Working Men’s College (WMC), which, via Camden Council, has offered HCA members various workshops since March. Marcia from WMC explained that the community projects are free for any Camden resident over 19. These include sewing, knitting, arts and crafts and Maths and English courses. Co-ordinator Marcia’s team also included Stacey, Viola, Jean, Anastasia, Patricia, Hasina and Tracey. They were busy all day massaging, nail-painting, and arts and crafting our members.
There were beauty treatments from Jan. Lene – who leads arts and crafts at the Centre of a Monday – was also doing so at the Open Day. Victoria, who usually hosts Friday Drama workshops at Millman Street, turned up with her dog, Whitman, a well-behaved, loveable hound who collected pats on the head and appreciative comments from members, staff and volunteers. Befriending Manager Kate also had a stall.
HCA’s CEO Lucas came along, as did Saira and even Charles was let out of Bedford House briefly to sample the buffet and soak up the party atmosphere.
Millman Street Centre member Gloria spent a tidy sum on clothes from the Vintage Sales rail, before manning (or should that be wommanning?) the bric-a-brac table. Said table was stocked with plants in hand-painted pots, a bit of bling, goblets, handmade birthday cards and other bargains. Even this notoriously stingey reporter’s dusty wallet was crowbarred open in order that he could shell out on a bargain, and the escaping moths also forced him to buy a raffle ticket (fear not, he didn’t win anything).
The grand prize Raffle saw prizes going to a variety of members, and volunteer Gloria won three prizes. Magnificently, she let others have the second and third wins. What a star! Others who hauled away prizes included Joyce (who won twice), Thelma, Tony, Margaret, Fred, Queenie, Frank and member Gloria K. The slideshow below chronicles the event:
The Open Day was designed to bring people together, have a good laugh, enjoy tasters of workshops they perhaps haven’t yet experienced, eat, drink and be merry on a lovely summer’s day.
The sales from the clothes rail, bric-a-brac, raffle and donations raised funds for Holborn Community Association. Our Activities Co-ordinator, Carmen, estimated that the grand total would pay for a day out for Millman Street Community Centre members.
HCA would like to thank everyone who took part in Millman Street Community Centre’s 2017 Open Day – the staff, volunteers and members; the WMC contingent, and the quartet of gents (Age Concern UK members) who turned up having seen a flyer for the event.
Special thanks to our catering staff: Rose, Ruma and Hanna:
A Selection of other pix from the Open Day:
Poorly-taken pix and ropey reportage: Notes Smudger