Happy Christmas 2018

         One Norbiton would like to wish our 10,000 members a very happy Christmas. 

         Despite the divisions and uncertainties in the National arena, locally, we have had a very good year. We are now working in harmony with our new Council and their Officers. Our 2011 mission to promote Localism is now not only surviving, but at last  prospering. 

          Kingston has always been a very liberal and generous place and as Kingstonians, we continue to show willingness to care for our neighbours, irrespective of political, cultural, religious and other differences.

One Norbiton has reflected this and worked constructively with the two other local representative groups CREst and CRERA. Our joint aim to ensure that all of our members who may be affected by Regeneration will be properly informed in time for next year’s ballot.

           Our 2018 priority has been to help the most disadvantaged in our Ward. To this end, we have supported CREst’s Tuesday Group in providing hot meals and Community Support for over 50 of our Homeless and needy every week. 

         Now, with the support of the Council,  we are in the process of setting up a Community Pantry next door to our Hub on Madingley Green, where we distribute Food Bank vouchers and run our branch of the Boom Credit Union.

From the beginning of January we will be piloting the Community management of Queen Mary’s and Piper Halls. During 2019 we hope to see Boxing and other youth clubs set up and hope to foster more Localism via organising Post Code (Street) Parties. Any reader interested in helping, particularly with the latter, should contact us.

Best wishes for 2019

One Norbiton bids for an Aviva Community award


“One Norbiton hopes you’ll be kind enough to give us your ten votes to win an Aviva Community Grant. These funds will be used to hold localised events to promote the idea of ‘Community’.

As you will have heard, our Cambridge Road Estate is among the 10% most disadvantaged in the UK and may shortly be facing Regeneration. We are anxious to increase neighbourliness to help reduce loneliness and isolation during these uncertain times.

NB: For One Norbiton to be in with a chance of winning all votes have to be in within the next few weeks and so it would be great if you could forward this to any family and friends who may be willing to help as well.

To vote click this link


Thanks a lot

Dr Mike D’Souza
Chair of One Norbiton


On Wednesday the 4th of October the three Chairs of CRERA, CREst and One Norbiton individually invited all CRE residents to a meeting in Piper Hall to discuss the new Council’s decision to hold a Ballot on regenerating their Estate.
Holding a ballot is apparently not compulsory because Kingston has already received its donation towards Social Housing from former Mayor,Boris Johnston. However the fact that they are going to do so is very welcome because this Regeneration Project is likely to cost over a billion pounds and take ten to fifteen years to complete. it Therefore it would be foolhardy to proceed if it does not have the backing of the residents as well as the support of all political parties who could possibly be in power in the next decade or so.
The ballot itself, will not be taking place until the Autumn of 2019 when a Masterplan worked out with RBK’s (still to be chosen) development partner is ready to be shown to the Residents for their acceptance or rejection. The purpose of this meeting was to explain the Mayor’s current guidance on how such ballots should be held and to find out how much our residents agreed with his suggested process.
There were over seventy attendees including Cllr Emily Davey (Portfolio holder for Housing) Cllr Olly Wehring Council officers and the Three Chairs. The proceedings were very ably led by Tom Brennan who gave a Presentation Interesting the current estimate of the numbers that may be balloted is 705.
Following Tom’s formal presentation, all participated in a workshop to raise questions and issues that the residents had with these arrangements. These will be further discussed at a follow-up meeting on the 17th of October.


Last Saturday’s Fun Day organised by Jill Preston, Chair of CREst, was a great success. More people attended than last year and for a change the weather was kind. The Barbecue was well cooked by our new Councillor David Ryder-Mills and our MP Sir Edward Davey attended. The Donkeys and the funfair rides made a lot small children happy as did the excellent face painting by Hayley.
One Norbiton is continuing to support these Fun Days and we hope to start promoting other social events in the Ward such as Post Code Parties. Any one interested in helping with these activities can contact Jill Preston.

News Update

One Norbiton News Update

So much has been happening that we have not had time to update this website till now.
The fiercely hot weather and recent tragic murder have caused general stress but our optimism about developing a useful collaborative relationship with RBK remains undimmed.
We are now in active discussions on how we might pilot the Community management of the Halls on CRE and Cambridge Gardens.
Our joint working with CRERA and CRESt under the “Three Chairs” banner continues to enable us to represent the interests of all our members both on and off the Estates, particularly in respect of Regeneration.
Our work with CREst to assist those who are homeless and have mental health problems in Norbiton continues and we are are providing meals and support to about fifty every Tuesday from 12.00 to 15.00 in Piper Hall.
Out of this has come the initiative to set up a Community Pantry and RBK has generously just opened up the unused room next to our Madingley Hub for this purpose.
The next major event on the horizon is CREst’s Fun Day on September 8th

Congratulations to our new Councillors!

One Norbiton would like to congratulate our three new Councillors on their recent election. One of our own Directors, David Ryder-Mills was elected as was Emily Davey, our MP’s wife and Olly Wehring. They have all helped us with our mission to improve quality of life in Norbiton. As many of you know it has always been our hope to be able to collaborate with our Council in addressing the many problems experienced by our members who number all those who live, work and study in Norbiton.

We wish the new Council, now led by Cllr Liz Green, all the very best in coping with the many difficult tasks they have ahead of them.

News and Views

The last month has been eventful. Our AGM on the 19th February renewed the tenure of two of our longest serving directors Directors, Clive Clarke and Rashid Laher. It also re-appointed the officers: Mike D’Souza as Chair, Jill Preston as Vice-Chair and Secretary and Geraldine Burgess as Treasurer.
Last year’s Draft Community Plan was approved q.v. as was the decision to go ahead and sign the one year lease on the Community Hub and we became RBK leaseholders on the the 1st of March.
Our collaboration with CREst to provide conviviality and hot meals on Tuesdays for Norbiton’s homeless (alongside the pre-existing Mental Health drop-in service) is now going from strength to strength and attracting over 40 regular attendees.
Clearly we now need to try to raise funding to continue these meals and for refurbishing the Hub. Fortunately the residuum (after lawyers fees) of the £5k originally promised us 4 years ago by RBK Housing will now be available. However any members with good ideas for raising money should contact Jill.

One Norbiton Neighbourhood Plan 2018

One Norbiton Neighbourhood Plan 2018

Vision for Norbiton
“To improve the democratic involvement, health and quality of life of those who live, work and study in Norbiton ward and surrounding areas”

This is a revised version of our 2013 Aims
Overall Aims – To unite our community so that the North and South work together.
To help all Residents, Students and Workers engage with supporting their neighbours and have a proper democratic say in the future of their environment and life opportunities.”
1. Housing
 To support an appropriate mix of Social, Affordable and Owner-occupied housing, in particular press for an increase in the amount of necessary Social housing, particularly for singletons, older persons and disabled and that any future regeneration plans command both community and cross-party support.

2. Green Spaces and Hogs mill river
 to enhance the appearance of Norbiton and preserve our existing green spaces and to develop a Hogs Mill riverside walk.
3. Transport
 To create better transport links e.g. to enlarge the K bus route to include the CRE to help our elderly get easier access to Kingston Hospital. Also to promote health by encourage safe walking, cycling and use of public transport and seek ways to avoid traffic congestion e.g. explore the feasibility of developing a car free estate.

4. Wellbeing
 To promote the Health, Education and Physical, and Mental development of all residents (including the young and the elderly). To run regular Post Code parties to improve mutual community contact and engagement. To manage the nuisance caused by local street drinkers and focus on the Homeless. To set up and support a local youth club. To develop a Community hub that facilitates joint work between public services such as Housing, Social Services and the NHS. And to run an Internet café to support the Community needs for using the Internet and provide a common meeting ground where Charities and others can collaborate.
5. Local Centres 
To enhance the character, quality and distinctiveness of key 
local centres including supporting viable local shopping for residents and visitors to enjoy and so that our local businesses benefit. To continue to run our local Credit Union loan facility and be a Food Bank
6.Public Finance
 To scrutinise local public money spend and ensure it is used in the most effective and economic way and in the best interests of those who live, work and study in Norbiton. Specifically, to develop ways in which Health, Social Care and Housing Budgets can be employed to work together rather than be rigidly hypothecated.
• To hold at least four meetings a year
One Norbiton Company and Forum
Chair: Dr Mike D’Souza
 Vice Chair and Company Secretary: Jill Preston 
Treasurer: Geraldine Burgess 
Directors: Clive Clarke, Rashid Laher, Phil Hutchison, David Ryder-Mills
(+ Up to five more Directors )
Invitees to the Forum Committee
Suggested Membership
Voluntary & Community Representation
• 1 Faith groups
• 1 Amenity Groups:
• 3 ‘area’ reps from local residents: CRE; Cambridge Gardens;
• Private Householders
• 1 Youth organisations:
• 1 Community Groups 
7 representatives 
Service Providers & Businesses
• 1 Education)
• 1 Health:
• 1 Police:
• 1 Youth:
• 1 Social services:
• 2 business Reps –Norbiton Traders 
7 representatives 
Three Ward Councillors

2018 AGM 6.30 Monday 19th Feb

The AGM will be held in the Smaller Piper Hall. Hopefully it will not be too long a meeting. I attach the paperwork below.
1. Apologies and introductions
2. To receive minutes from 17TH February 2017 meeting
3. Matters arising:
a) Community Hub
b) Regeneration
4. Chairman’s Review and future Funding
5. Open discussion about “One Norbiton Community Plan”
6. To receive and agree Annual Report and Accounts for 2016/17 year
7. To elect One Norbiton Officers:
Chair: Dr M. D’Souza
Nominated by Seconded by:
Vice Chair
& Secretary Jill Preston
Nominated by Seconded by:
Treasurer: Gez Burgess
Nominated by Seconded by:
8. To Elect RETIRING MEMBERS of ‘One Norbiton’ Board
Proposed Seconded
Director: Clive Clarke
Director : Rashid Laher
9. Date and Time of next AGM
10. Any other business.

Minutes of 2017 AGM
ONE NORBITON AGM 17 Draft minutes

Chair’s Report
Chairs Report revised

2017 Accounts for Approval
AGM Accounts

Report on Norbiton’s Homeless (Revised)

Homelessness in Norbiton 2017
Angel Levick, Jill Preston (CREst) and Mike D’Souza (One Norbiton)

Preliminary 2017 true story
Mike, 37, is a softly-spoken, very likeable man who is now one of the many homeless living on the streets of Kingston. He has lost contact with his family and and feels understandably bitter that his two young daughters have started calling another man “Daddy.” He suffers from periodic bouts of emotional instability and personality change all complicated by controlled alcoholism.
Just before Christmas, as the temperature fell below zero, Mike, together with the other homeless, became eligible for statutory night shelter from KCAH. However, in the morning after this, when it was still zero degrees, he and his friends had to be turned out onto the streets again.
Perhaps, due to this stress, Mike became acutely anxious and this triggered his irritable personality disorder and he started falling out with his friends. It was while Cambridge Estate’s local community charity, CREst, was giving him a hot meal that this got worse and he eventually collapsed in despair in the Loo. Phone calls were made to all available local homeless services but none of them could provide him with any Day care. So he had to leave with his equally stressed friends back onto the freezing streets.
Then, while looking for warm shelter he fell over and broke his arm thus adding severe physical pain to all his other problems. At last the local services came to his aid and an ambulance took him to our massively overburdened A&E. where X-rays confirmed he had a fractured humerus. But out of necessity he was just given a sling and and a few painkillers and had to be discharged back into the cold to recover under the bridge where he had been living. See below

By now, not surprisingly, he had become so deeply depressed that he was actively suicidal and shortly after had to be admitted urgently to the, equally overcrowded, Springfield Hospital under section.


Our two local community groups, One Norbiton and CREst, were powerless observers of the unhappy saga above and only able to provide Mike with emotional support, warm clothing and groundsheets. What happened to him is unfortunately the norm and clearly could prove fatal. Therefore, we are presenting the following a survey of all the homeless encountered by us in Norbiton during 2017 in the hope that sharing this information may improve things for Mike and his friends before next winter.

The Background to this study

In 2015, we, our Ward Councilors and other voluntary and statutory agencies began meeting under the Chairmanship of RBK’s Neville Rainford to try to evolve a better way of helping a small group of homeless Street Drinkers who had been moved out of the centre of Kingston by the police and were causing a nuisance in Norbiton. Rather than just trying to move them on again, we wanted to explore alternatives to look after them in Norbiton. Finance was obtained by our Ward Councilors with all-party support in the Council and an interesting survey was done on classifying them as well providing supervised work for them to construct a memorial garden for children in the Cemetery.
Then in Spring 2016 a small addiction recovery group called BOB (Build on Belief) was failing to attract much support and one of us (Angel Levick), who had been homeless herself, tried inviting her friends to come for a regular hot meal each Thursday lunchtime. The word got out and quite quickly this event expanded. Knowing our local Community group CREst was already running a Mental Health Drop-in Group on Tuesdays Angel approached us for support.
Her group, became known as “Angel’s Group”, before being renamed and receiving regular funding from the WDP addiction service. Our two community groups were invited to sit on the steering committee for a number of months until it achieved its present independence.
Unexpectedly, RBK Housing changed their policy over the free use of community halls and they issued Angel with an invoice for advanced quarterly charge of £450. Fortunately, One Norbiton was in a position to donate their own free hours for six months to enable them to keep going until this problem was resolved. The idea of community groups collaborating with support Groups and RBK to improve the lives of the homeless seemed wholly appropriate. The maintenance of recovery from addiction and assisting the homeless to reintegrate with their community is proving an interesting model, and one especially suited to One Norbiton’s localism mission of improving the quality of life throughout Norbiton.

What happened next?

This luncheon service for the street homeless then prospered and by Spring 2017 CREst’s Tuesday Mental Health drop-in service was expanded to include a similar service for the street homeless. This provided another day in the week when a hot meal was available. Throughout 2017, data on all those attending has been collected and this account has been prepared by MD’S by analyzing the signing-in books together with detailed questionnaires completed by a random 24% of the attendees who agreed to assist in upgrading a free self-help iPhone App for Addiction called I-bet-me.com. q.v.
However, before this model can be viewed as wholly successful, we should await to see if it can genuinely help the reintegration of the homeless with our local community. After this it will be important to see if similar models can operate elsewhere.


What is being provided?

Free Food: Sandwiches etc. to take away and/or Hot food to eat in. Some food is purchased and cooked by the local support group funded by WDP the rest is purchased by CREst (our local community group with Charity status). Sainsbury’s Suri Basin and Prêt a Manger (transported by Des Kay of Save the World) provide free donations to CREst and we have had some private donations. We also are able to issue Food Bank vouchers. The donated food is distributed to the most needy and the rest is shared with the other group and the Everyday Church.

Music. On request courtesy of Spotify

Haircutting. Thanks to Jules Doig

Games: Scrabble, jigsaws and Pool.

Warm Weather equipment: Clothing; Tents, ground sheets etc. Thanks to Genuine Solutions

Advice: Informal first aid, Foot care. Finance and Benefits

Limited Work: e.g. as Researchers

Mobile Phone: charging and internet connection

Where and when are services currently being offered?

Locally; In RBK’s Piper and Queen Mary’s Community Halls on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.


Attendance rates in 2017
The signing-in books showed that weekly attendance has generally been about 70. (monthly figures vary between 120 and 321). In all, 2463 hot meals were provided in the halls (and recently one of us (Angel) has been going out to serve some people hot food on the street at night).

How many individuals attended during 2017 and who were they?
A total of 345 attended on at least one occasion during this calendar year. There were 243 men and 102 women. Ages ranged between 25 and 62yrs They were multinational but mainly British. There was a large group of Poles but we also had Irish, Italian, Latvian, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian, North African, West African, Iranian and Spanish visitors.

18 of the attendees were helpers coming from WDP, Wellbeing, One Norbiton, CREst, The Joel Project, Local Councilors Speer KCAH Everyday Church.

Detailed Analysis of the random quarter of our attendees who helped with research

A random 82 (24%) of these individual attenders completed one or more research forms permitting much more detailed analysis. This revealed that 48 (59%) stated they were NFA/ homeless 5 (11.6% were female)
Using this figure, the current best estimate of the numbers currently street homeless i.e. sofa-surfing or sleeping rough in Norbiton
is about 200 (59% of 327)
N.B. This differed considerably from the 16 suggested as the official figure, however, Homelessness is a complex and dynamic problem and we asked people to classify themselves as either “always,” “often”,” sometimes” or “never” homeless. Of those who attended saying they were Not now homeless 24 had a KT post code and 3 a TW post code.

Quality of life of the homeless compared with the other Kingston citizens

Surprisingly 13 (27%) of our 48 stated clearly that they were “Content” to remain Homeless.
However, the overall Quality of life of the Homeless was as bad as could be expected. Of those who ticked our Smiley faces scale when first seen 83% 60/72 scored 5 or less with 36% 26/72 scoring 1 = as unhappy as possible. This contrasted sharply with the rest of Kingston where 83% had happiness scores of 60% or more on the same smiley scale and none recorded themselves as feeling as unhappy as possible

Addiction and Homelessness
Because Addiction is known to be a major contributor to Homelessness, we offered attendees the opportunity to do research work to assist us in developing “i-bet-me.com” our new mobile phone App that offers support to addicts to stabilize or quit by awarding credit (CareCreds) for any actions they take to help themselves, their families, their friends and/or their community.

Not unexpectedly our analysis revealed that 44/48 91.6 % had some form of addiction
Alcoholism was the commonest problem and 32/48 66.5% had this
Opiate addiction was next in 21/48 43.8%
Then Cocaine addiction in 17/48 35.6%
Soft drugs/ Benzo habits affected 7/48 16.5%
However, behavior problems like gambling only affected 4/48 8.3%
13/48 27% suffered from Multidrug abuse and Chaotic lifestyles

Of interest, analysis of the data of those who completed our CareCreds forms on more than one occasion (i.e. Repeat attenders), did show some benefit simply from attending and doing this;

52.3% recorded becoming happier after attending (Face scores up by two intervals)
Biggest improver rose 40%

61 % were Healthier (CareCreds score up) Biggest improver rose 36%

46% Reduced their spending on their bad habits. On average daily spending on addiction was £46.70 on entry but subsequently dropped to £29.30 a day.

What other problems did the Homeless have?

A wide range of physical and mental Health problems were encountered: including:
Pregnancy, Deep vein thromboses, Infected groins, Depression, Anxiety, Hypomanic attacks, Asperger’s syndrome, Dental abscesses, Abrasions, fractures and Sprains etc.
There were real advantages in those at risk of relapse being monitored by people they knew so that i addiction services could be involved early whenever necessary.

The Costs of this Model
The use of volunteers makes this approach very attractive from a cost point of view. The importance of the local Authority providing a free venue cannot be overemphasized. The amount of money currently being spent on providing 70 meals a week is £55 (£ 2750 p.a.) a fraction of what is being spent on employee-based services.

Homelessness is frequently making National news and here in Kingston, the Council is getting involved with two new initiatives; the first to support a team trying to prevent homelessness occurring and the second to set up a CBS or Community Benefit Society to create more access to housing for the 576 applicants on their Registers. Whatever actions ensue it is essential that they have all-party and community support.
However, the model that is being constructed is focused on the better care of those currently coping with street homelessness in Norbiton. Our database has been obtained because of the collaboration of many volunteers. The active involvement of people who themselves have experienced addiction and homelessness has been the key to both the initiation and continuance of this service. Initial fears were that such an initiative might fail because some of our attendees might be so drunk or high that they would make the meetings unsustainable. However, as the months passed by we were struck by how much personal warmth and camaraderie exists on the street. Sadly, and unexpectedly, it has been the nervousness of the different bureaucracies and middle managers that has proved the biggest threat to the survival of this model. This was first seen in 2016, when they instituted unaffordable charges for using the Halls. And now in 2018 they have made another proposal that threatens the free use of the Halls by our two Community groups.
Our interim analyses have confirmed that Homelessness is a complex, dynamic problem and consequent upon a series of individual, often tragic, life events. We have got to know over one in three of the attendees personally, and some have gone in and out of homelessness during the last 21 months. Over 90% of those we saw were suffering from addiction a condition that is still quite resistant to treatment with many relapsing after expensive detoxes.
Our current purely clinical understanding is that addiction is most likely due to an epigenetic disorder of the regulation of the brain hormones that control pleasure and motivation, such as Dopamine. (If interested in more detailed science about how epigenetic mechanisms may affect mental health click here)”
However, although it is clearly unfair to blame people for having acquired an affliction that damages their desire to change, it is possible for sufferers to exercise some responsibility for improving their health and some of our homeless increased their happiness and reduced their spend on addiction simply by filling in questionnaires making them reflect on how well they are caring for themselves and others. This has encouraged us to continue this research and to take it to the next stage of incentivizing addicts to earn CareCreds. We believe that this whole approach has shown great promise on many different levels and should be continued and tried elsewhere. However, Society is learning that criminalizing addiction is not only ignorant but expensive and counterproductive. Unfortunately medicalizing the problem is often not much better particularly now our NHS is overburdened. The community approach that this model is piloting seems a useful addition or alternative and using it we might be at least able to bring some relief to sufferers like Mike.


• The model of getting those in Recovery from addiction to work with local community Groups to assist the Homeless and seems to work.
• The biggest barrier we encountered was in persuading middle managers to be courageous enough not to block things.
• Our best estimate is that there are currently about 200 homeless living in or visiting Norbiton. Over 90% have serious addictions. 10% are female and their ages range from 24 to 64. They are Multicultural but mainly British. Although 27% claimed that they were content to remain homeless, the remaining 73% are much unhappier that other Kingstonians. They had a lot of physical and mental problems that make street dwelling especially difficult.
• Indeed 27% have life-threatening chaotic lifestyles and need more help.


• Our luncheons should be continued and the threat to remove our free hall facilities be removed
• The complex problem of providing some winter day shelter should be explored by a consortium of our statutory and voluntary agencies.
• A Community Pantry should be set up run by volunteers to share food donations with the homeless and needy on the CRE in association with the Food Bank
• More initiatives are taken to find work for the homeless and a football team for them is started.
• The value of Incentivizing changed behavior should be explored.
• We hope to do future analyses of the effect of this model on the cost of local Health and Crime services.