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Community Bytes

A newsletter from your local charity focusing on community spaces across Merton, and how we use these to connect people, places and passions.
A Note From The Wimbledon Community Association (WCA)

Welcome to Community Bytes, a quarterly e-newsletter that brings you Merton related community news, alongside a range of other topics and events happening across our borough. Earlier this year, our change from monthly to quarterly newsletters has meant an increase in articles on our Wimblecomm blog, and more time spent developing Wimblecomm into the best Merton Community Hub for you.

Ahead of the upcoming changes to the Wimblecomm website this Summer, this e-newsletter now brings you more event reviews and blogs, as well as our new Wimblecomm spotlight features. Each of these features aim to celebrate a community group, venue or individual who has a positive impact on Merton, and champions the great work that happens in Merton 365 days a year. In this edition, we focus on Merton's very own dementia-friendly Colliers Wood Library, the Worple Art Group, and the brand new Merton Giving Fund. If you would like to recommend a community group, venue or individual to be featured in a future #WimblecommSpotlight, do get in touch today.

On a final note, we hope you enjoy reading this edition of Community Bytes, and encourage you to connect with us on social media to stay updated on all Wimblecomm matters. If you would like to receive future editions straight to your inbox, make sure you visit us at Wimblecomm and subscribe.

The Team at WCA & Wimblecomm

Key Dates for Your Diary

We regularly update our Events Calendar with activities and events taking place at community spaces across Merton, and sometimes further afield. In this section, we highlight a few key dates and events for your diary, but direct you to our Events Calendar for a more comprehensive schedule of events to look out for in the coming months. If there is an event that you think we should feature, simply get in touch or submit your event today.

Our listed events cater to people of all ages and backgrounds so do browse through and feel free to share amongst your friends, family, and anyone else in the community who may be interested. 

Wimblecomm Spotlight - Colliers Wood Library

Written by Merton Libraries
Following on from Dementia Action Week, we celebrate a Merton Library that supports the cause all-year-round. A dementia friendly library for all.

Colliers Wood Library which opened in February 2018, has been created with accessibility at the heart of its design and is Merton’s first dementia friendly library, following discussions with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Hub. Staff have also been trained as Dementia Friends.

The state-of-the-art library is organised over 3 floors and includes a coffee shop, newly designed rooms for meeting and learning activities along with improved facilities for all ages. It also has strong environmental credentials including solar panels and a green sedum roof.

Located just a minute’s walk from Colliers Wood underground station, it has disabled access with a lift and toilet facilities. 

The library offers a variety of free events each week. From storytimes and code clubs for children, to IT support, English conversation sessions, and knitting for adults.

For more information about Merton libraries events and activities, visit our Events Calendar and the Merton Libraries website. Remember that you can also enquire about hiring out spaces at Colliers Wood Library here.


Recent Events in Our Community

World Premiere of Cecilia McDowall's Da Vinci Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall
Written by Kathie Arundell

It was a sell-out audience at the Royal Festival Hall that awaited the world-premiere of Cecilia McDowall’s Da Vinci Requiem. They would not be disappointed.

Having been commissioned by the Wimbledon Choral Society (WCS) to mark their 100th birthday in their 2014/15 season, Cecilia McDowall’s well researched and majestic composition used insight from family-owned editions of Da Vinci’s Notebooks on the nature of mortality and all that it encompasses. Coincidentally, the evening’s performance was just a few days after the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci’s death. A timely premiere!

Click here to continue reading this review on the Wimblecomm blog.

Getting Tuned In at Wimbledon Library
Written by Jackie Chapman

Merton Arts Space at Wimbledon Library is once again proving itself to be a real gem at the heart of our community.

Since January it has been holding free weekly music workshops accessible to all in an event called Tuned In. Every Monday between 7pm and 9pm, people have been gathering there to share their love of music. Funding has been raised from the Better Care Fund and the Royal Society of the Arts to deliver the project until at least December 2019. Additionally, support from library staff and volunteers has meant that drums, lead and bass guitars, keyboards and a wide range of percussion instruments have been made available for anybody to pick up and play.  Jah Wobble from the band Public Image Limited is on hand to provide professional input.

Click here to continue reading this review on the Wimblecomm blog.

Community Updates

Welcoming the New with Wimblecomm

Written by David Hall

All organisations go through periods where they are in need of refreshing and reinvigoration. This applies to charities as much as the commercial sector.  

Back in 2012, Jackie Chapman (WCA Secretary) and I got involved in the Wimbledon Community Association (via Carlton Theatre Group) when the old community centre had to be closed. Together with Roger Drage, we set about saving the charity – and eventually reconfiguring it into its new virtual capacity with the Wimblecomm community hub.

After 7 years assisting the WCA, Roger recently stepped down. We are indebted to him for his hard work and support as a trustee during this period, particularly with his work on the Marketing Committee and leading the recent Wimblecomm review.

The current team have recently set about revamping the site (with Tim, our developer) and the new improved Wimblecomm is almost here for all to see, providing an increasing number of local venues, events, articles and reviews about what’s happening across Merton.  We hope you like it.

However as with so many small charities, we do need to bring in new blood to help us with our mission. We are interested in talking to anyone, who wishes to contribute to our expanding service in whatever capacity and for as many hours as they can commit.

As we have reported on our website on various occasions in the past, volunteering brings its own rewards and sense of achievement.  It helps connect people and gives you the opportunity to put something back into your local community.  This can bring immense satisfaction and enhancement to your own personal well-being.

There was a timely reminder of the importance of volunteering at the recent National Volunteers Week from the 1st June. Wimblecomm had a stall at Mitcham and Wimbledon Library events that week and were pleased to talk to several people who expressed an in interest in our work.

For further details, please have a look at our Trustee/Co-optee specification, and find further information on general volunteering opportunities here, or feel free to give me (David Hall) a call on 07974 371812. Please don’t be shy in coming forward.  The WCA is your local community charity!  To find out more about the current team and read this article in full, click hereWe look forward to hearing from you.

Merton Giving Fund Investing
£20,000 in Local Charities

Written by Jenny O'Neill

Merton Giving, a charitable partnership initiative from MVSC, Merton Chamber of Commerce and Merton Council, has entered the next stage of its development and is offering funding of £20,000 to support local charities to help overcome inequality in the borough.

The Merton Giving Fund, launched in May 2019, is offering grants of up to £1,500 to not-for-profit, voluntary, community and faith organisations delivering services in Merton.  In this first round of grants, applications will be prioritised to small organisations with an income of under £75,000 per annum.  Applications should focus on addressing priority needs under one of the following three themes;

  • Developing Our Future Generation
  • Building Healthier Communities
  • Connecting our Communities

This first round of funding will have a total value of £20,000. Applications must be submitted by 12 noon on 1st July, 2019.  For further information including full criteria, timings and how to apply, please click here. To find out more about Merton Giving and how you can get involved, head over to the Wimblecomm blog to continue reading this piece, and click on the images below to see some of their most recent Giving Stories.

Wimblecomm Spotlight - Worple Art Group

Written by Genevieve Etienne-Farrell

The weather outside was rather unsettled, but it certainly felt like Spring as I entered the Worple Art Group Spring Exhibition on Saturday 11th May. By mid-morning, families, children and friends alike were gathered inside St Marks Church to admire and celebrate local art.

As I sat down to speak with Moira, daughter of the Founder of the Worple Art Group, and John Field, the Art Group’s long-standing Chairman from 1995 to 2015, we were surrounded by laughter, conversations and great creativity.

The main objective of the art group has always been for local painters to be able to exhibit their paintings, and from the very early days this has been accomplished with bi-annual exhibitions. These always took place at local community spaces, starting with Wimbledon Library, and the local Red Cross building, before moving to their current residence St Mark’s Church in 1993.

The Worple Art Group exhibitions are now very much settled at St Mark’s in Wimbledon which provides ample space thanks to its chapel and various side rooms which allow large amounts of people to attend the exhibition at the same time.

Although the venue has not changed for over 20 years and the event seems to remain on the Wimbledon Social Calendar, I was keen to find out whether an increase in the online market has affected this local community event. John pointed out that there were indeed a few changes such as the types of visitors that attend, a decrease in the number of attendees for the Friday-night rush, and eventually the introduction of a 2-day exhibition rather than 3. But despite these changes, people still come out in their numbers to attend the Worple Art Group Exhibitions. On average, they welcome over 500 visitors to their exhibitions which spread over one Saturday and Sunday in Spring and Autumn.

To read more on the day's occurrences, and find out how you can become more involved in this fantastic local art group, click here to visit the Wimblecomm blog.

We Want to Hear From You!
Thanks again to everyone who completed our 2018/19 Community Survey. We are continuing to use your feedback to make improvements to the Wimblecomm website, and have shared the results and key findings here. In the coming weeks, do keep an eye on Wimblecomm to see if you can spot any of the changes.

On our
blog, we often feature articles such as event reviews or ideas of things that you can do in your local community. As this is a growing feature on Wimblecomm, we would like to remind you that our featured blogs are not limited to the above and can cover anything that you feel contributes to the greater good of communities with Merton and beyond.

So if you have any ideas or articles that you would like to see featured on our blog or in the next edition of our Community Bytes newsletter, please do not hesitate to get in touch. As always, we are happy to explore any ideas with you, and can assist at any point within the writing process. We all have a voice so why not let yours be heard?

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Copyright © 2018 Wimbledon Community Association, All rights reserved.
We are creating this local newsletter as a part of our community service to keep members of the local community up-to-date with all things happening in Merton. Alongside our website 'Wimblecomm'; we actively support not-for-profit venues in the local area who hire out space and help to connect people with places, and their passions.

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Our mailing address is:
Wimbledon Community Association Limited
c/o 66 Kings Road
London SW19 8QW


Registered Charity No 1097305
Company Number 03825493

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Wimbledon Community Association · 66 Kings Road · Wimbledon, London SW19 8QW · United Kingdom

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