Update on our Activies

We have been concentrating on helping CREst with the Tuesday Club organised by Jill Preston.. This continues to attract up to 150 every Tuesday between 12.00 and 14.00 from 72 different countries.

On the first Tuesday of each month attendance is 200 to 250 when many other services are provided for a Wellbeing day organised by Dr Kate Kenyon and RBKares. These services include Health Checks, Foot Care, Free Clothing, Toiletries, a Barber, Benefits Advice, SIM cards Fuel Vouchers. In August only there will be Face Painting, Bicycle Repairs Ice Cream and a Childrens Dentist.

(There are 37 organisations providing this extra help including Mind of Kingston,The Samaritans, Hey Girls, KVA, Your Healthcare, Spear, KCAH, Kick it, Full Cycle, NHS SW London, Kingston Cycling Campaign, Cambridge Road Estates Community Group, Kingston Adult Education, Kingston Council , Dentoid the Dental Charity and The Brothers Trust.)

Joint AGM with CREst 2024

On February 19th at 14.15 in Queen Mary’s Hall there will be a joint AGM for One Norbiton and CREst,


         1. Apologies and introductions

2. Chairman’s Report for CREst.  Jill

3 Chairman’s Report for One Norbiton. Mike

4 Treasurers Report for CREst. Geraldine

5 Treasurers Report for One Norbiton Geraldine

6 Election of Officers 

7.  Any other business

8.   Date and Time of next meeting? Joint AGM 

Chairman’s Report for One Norbiton 2024

The major upheavals of the Covid epidemic are still being felt and now the regeneration of the Cambridge Estate is now well underway. Our last meeting was held jointly with CREst on 20/7/2023 all officers in both organisations were elected unopposed. Due personal stresses caused by family ill health Mike has been considerably less active in past year. Jill has also had problems losing her mother and having to cope with her father’s deteriorating mental and physical health. Both CREst and One Norbiton have therefore devoted most of their energy on ensuring the CREst’s Tuesday Club continues to function. (Its routine attendance figures are 100 to 150 while attendance on the first Tuesday of each month is 200 to 250.)  60 different nationalities have attended, and 35 different charities and other local organisations have participated.( Also see our article “What have we learnt from our Tuesday Club?”) Dr Kate Kenyan and her group of Kingston Cares have added many new valuable services on the first Tuesday of every month and we have had excellent support from our team of volunteers.

Our Treasurer Geraldine has continued to give invaluable support to both groups and She has submitted our financial returns to HMRC and will be reporting on our financial status.

The problems with the Tuesday group getting adequate interim Hall space had resulted in both One Norbiton and CREst resigning from the Community Board last year. However RBK has now agreed that in bad weather the Tuesday Club queue can wait in shelter of the upstairs room in Queen Mary’s Hall.   Therefore, Jill and I have told RBK we will be re-joining the Community Board.

My own proposed retirement and the merger of some of the functions of our two organisations has been deferred as has the proposal to create a role of a non-executive President.

ONE NORBITON ACCOUNTS 2023 As submitted to Companies House


Mike D’Souza & Jill Preston


The Tuesday Club has now become established as a weekly Food Bank and social support event for needy Kingstonians. It started over six years ago as a collaboration between CREst and One Norbiton. These are two centrally funded community groups who share a joint aim of improving the quality of life in Norbiton Ward, where social disadvantage has been, for many years, significantly greater than in the rest of Kingston.

On Tuesday 11th of April 2017 CREst Chair, Jill Preston, decided to replace an under-attended CREst mental Health group with a volunteer-run Club for people with a wide range of needs particularly street drinkers, who RBK had recently banned from the centre of Kingston. Jill’s new club provided a range of informal personal services including advice and social support, music, and games such as Scrabble and Pool. Then building on an initiative by NHS Wellbeing and a local resident, Angel Levick, the club also started cooking hot meals for attendees together with distributing clothing and grocery items. The latter were initially donations from the customers of Sainsbury’s Sury Basin. One Norbiton added their free allotment of RBK Hall time to CREst’s which enable the project to go forward without any rental costs. 

By the end of 2017, the Club had attracted 475 attendances and in 2018 attendances rose to 2093. In these early days, we were helping 125 separate individuals of whom 44 (35%) had serious problems such as addictive illness and homelessness. We wrote our first report  on our activities in March 2018.  From the onset we were dependant on voluntary helpers. (See below for the some of the first wave of helpers) 

A group of people on a white paper

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            The total attendance in 2019 rose to 2,112 averaging over 40 per week. On the 17th of March 2020attendance was 44, then in the following week came the Covid lock down

The Covid pandemic was never officially declared over but Homelessness disappeared over night as the Council and Government found bed and breakfast for all who needed it. See our second report. We also worked with Matt Hatton at KCAH at the start of the pandemic to assist with offering refreshments and information to those who were being moved elsewhere.  Some refused to leave so we supplied tents, sleeping bags etc when possible.  We also became a recognised agency to distribute Foodbank Vouchers.

 The total attending in 2020 before lockdown was 488. Data gathering then became difficult. However, with characteristic courage, Jill chose not to close the Club entirely but to switch its activities to providing Food bank handouts within the government’s safety requirements. Also, she opened two extra days on Thursdays and Saturdays and organised regular home delivery of food parcels to those trapped indoors with new volunteers coming to help from Sunflower Street RA led by Suzanne Seyghal Buckingham and her late brother, Jonathan.  January 2021 328 parcels were being delivered weekly and included 87 parcels for children. 

In April 2021 regular fortnightly attendance of 35 restarted, but without the face-to-face social games and other activities. By June 2021 attendance restarted to be weekly and reached 52 on 15th June. Average weekly attendances for the rest of 2021, ranged from 22 to 80. 

In 2022 the weekly attendance began to rise from 70 in February to 130 in December. And in this year, 2023, the average in August reached 146. This year, RBKares, a new Charity started by Dr Kate Kenyon has on the first Tuesday of each month added lots of additional services to benefit our attendees. See below for a list of the services that are now being provided:

Haircutting Hot food Fresh Fruit Groceries Clothing Energy Vouchers First Aid Medical Advice Vaccination Podiatry Benefits advice SIM cards Internet access Mobile phone charging Samaritans Mental Healthcare and limited personal support Addiction services Homelessness services RBK Council Officer services RBK Councillor advice.

All of which is given on a first name basis within a supportive community atmosphere.

Throughout our journey so far well over 1800 people have attended. We have fed locals with no external funding other than a helpful initial donation from Countryside at the start of lockdown.  

We have also arranged for several of our volunteers to be given Food Hygiene training and several of our volunteers have used us as a stepping-stone towards paid employment or training thanks to our references.

The Customers

However, it is now resulting in a considerable increase in attendance. On these First Tuesdays it is already reaching as high as 236. In the last quarter the average attendance on a first Tuesday has been 198 compared with 125 on a routine Tuesday (a 61% increase). This seems partly due to our attracting more and more new customers; however, it is clear we will need to do more analysis of our customers; in case the Club becomes unsustainable. There is limited time and energy to do this and obviously our data must be kept confidential. 

So far, we know that we see all ages from octogenarians to babies. Their vulerability is revealed by the fact that eight have died prematurely since we started (six men and two women) They are now amazingly cosmopolitan with attendees coming from 50 different countries;  Afghanistan Albania Algeria Benin Botswana Bulgaria China Ecuador Eritrea Finland Germany Ghana Holland India IranIraq Italy Japan Kenya Kurd Latvia Liberia Lithuania Malawi Morocco Nepal Nigeria Pakistan Poland Romania Russia S. Africa S. Korea Somalia Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Syria Tanzania Thailand Togo Trinidad/Tobago Turkey Uganda UK Ukraine West Indies Zimbabwe

Past studies showed that the vast majority had KT post codes, but a few do sometimes travel from as far as Croydon to attend. 

Most are appreciative and patient however some have addictions and have behavioural problems. These are often the neediest and most vulnerable, who the service was originally designed to care for. 

Now we are using Jill’s excellent local knowledge to diagnose the severity of customer need. There are undoubtedly some attenders who are not in as much difficulty as they claim but the vast majority are.  The nation-wide growth in food banks is distressing and the fact that in a wealthy area like Kingston services like the Tuesday Club are clearly required is a particular worry.

Managing the food handouts

 Jill has introduced a queuing ticket system on a first come first served basis. The occasional disrupters are given warnings and temporary exclusions.   Fair distribution of food is achieved with cloakroom tickets issued based on the number in any household. People can also “buy” a carrier bag with one of these. Collecting for others is not encouraged except for the housebound.

 Our sources of food are mainly donations from City Harvest and the customers of Sainsbury’s Sury Basin. This food is collected three times a week by Geraldine Burgess who also helps with the weekly shopping and cooking.

We also get direct donations from local citizens and buy items we are short of. Among our cooks Ed Naylor (Former Kingston Mayor) deserves special mention as he has been with us from the start. In addition, Mary Graham is providing a cooked dish every week. We have a series of Freezers and steel cabinets to store food to replace the Hub pantry in the basement of the soon to be demolished Madingley tower.

The Volunteers

            Our volunteers are indispensable. Regularly 25 to 30 help out on Tuesdays Interestingly, occasional customers volunteer and after filling in Jill’s entry form can become regular helpers. They are ably organised by Trudy Barker and become members of our Tuesday group WhatsApp. We hope to institute regular face to face Volunteer meetings in the Hub as the sustainability of the Tuesday Club is a major challenge to CREst and One Norbiton.  

Observers /Volunteers from both Statutory and Charitable Groups

We have begun attracting observers and helpers from many other local groups most are listed here; Angels of the Hood CCG KBI Child Services AfC Countryside Domestic Abuse GP Practice Mobilize Hey Girls Health Watch Kingston adult Ed KCAH Mind Moving-On-Together KVA Super-Highways NHS Vacc NHS recoveryRBK CEO RBK Benefits Spear Staywell The Bridge RBK Cllrs RBKares Refugee Action Shared Enterprise SamaritansSave the World Wellbeing Kingston Cycling Campaign (Dr Bike)  Dentaid New Era Axis Hestia Opticians Podiatry Ideal NHS anti-smoking

A group of people standing in a room with a table full of food

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Some of the Volunteers in Piper Hall on 18/10 2022


We Have had a lot of support from the Royal Borough, both Officers and Councillors. RBK’s CEO, Sarah Ireland, has attended as have all our Councillors. Considering the problems that our most disadvantaged clients must cope with, we have had less difficulties than we expected thanks to Jill’s tireless organization.  

However, we were upset that our transfer from Piper Hall to QMH took place with very little notice or prior consultation about our needs, and we now function with vastly reduced storage. We do worry also that now that there is one less hall there is nowhere for our lengthening queue to have shelter in the winter.

One Cambridge Gardens owner-occupier did complain about our customers sitting and smoking on her doorstep. This seems to have been successfully handled by a simple request to the clients not to do this. 

Lessons learned. 

  1. There is an obvious need for such clubs and this need may be growing.
  2.  A confidential, personal (First name) approach works best.  
  3. WhatsApp groups are useful for organising volunteers but local organisers such as Jill and Kate Kenyon are vital. 
  4. It is crucial that our voluntary groups work together without Kudos-hunting or trying to take over.
  5. The workload of coping with increasing numbers has meant that it has been impossible to analyse every individual but it would be valuable for planning to know more about attendees and volunteers. . 
  6. To avoid risk of embarrassment, is essential that all personal data is kept strictly confidential.It is important that Helpers are non-judgemental.
  7. If Statutory and Voluntary services do work harmoniously, we can effectively ameliorate the needs of the most disadvantaged in our community.This club approach enables those in need to get their statutory dues in a timely way as well as getting friendly and informal community support.

Final Report on One Norbiton’s management of RBK Halls

The One Norbiton-RBK Trial of

Community Halls’ Administration.

1/1/2019 TO 1/1/2021

Jill Preston and Mike D’Souza (One Norbiton)


At the start of 2019 One Norbiton undertook a two-year trial to explore the value of a Community Group looking after the three Norbiton Community Halls on behalf of the Council. 

During 2019 the overall use of the three Halls significantly increased and there were over 15% more bookings by new paying organizations. During this first year there was also an associated rise in income for RBK which came to £ 25,801.99 i.e., (over £5,000 more than the contractual payment of £19K paid to One Norbiton.) There was also a marked rise in ‘free’ use by RBK Officers thanks to the new ease of access. If this had charged for it could have generated a further £800 of income. 

Nearly all Users twice reported high satisfaction levels with the service. Furthermore, One Norbiton met all its social targets and provided new opportunities to the disabled and disadvantaged on the estate to undertake rewarded Volunteering close to their homes. Thus, by all criteria during this first year, this trial was highly successful.

Unfortunately, it was clear that most of this success had been achieved by an unsustainably heavy workload. One Norbiton realized that if it was to continue into 2020, it needed to reduce the specified hours and to pay for extra help. However, the RBK contract that had been constructed by officers previously doing the job, specified that the recompense for 2020 should be reduced to just £9,547.96. Senior Officers and Councilors agreed this was unfair and should be changed.

  In the event, the contract could not be changed but at the start of 2020, the Covid pandemic intervened and prevented any further letting of the halls but One Norbiton continued its supervisory role in these very stressful circumstances on the presumption that a revised contract was in place. The trial then came to an end on 

1st January 2021.

Our conclusions are that to allow not-for-profit Community organizations to manage Community Halls could be very beneficial for residents and users. Furthermore, the Borough budget for this activity could be reduced by as much as 60%. However, to set contracts with unrealistic hours and attempt to use volunteer goodwill to reduce costs as low as 20% of current rates is not viable.

Aims of the Trial 

In January 2019, at the invitation of RBK, One Norbiton began a trial to test the idea that a Community group could successfully run the Council’s Community Halls.  Our aims were to see if we could

a) increase their use and 

b) reduce their chronic cost-deficit to RBK and 

c) extend their role in community support e.g., by affording part-time employment opportunities for volunteers

Progress of the Trial

In 2018, prior to drawing up a Contract, we had regular meetings with Theresa Meyers to set up the trial. Because this involved ensuring the proper use of public money, this needed to avoid any local political objections.  Therefore, One Norbiton took the title of “Administrators” rather than Managers and, as this was to be a short-term trial, we were not obliged to put the contract out to tender. 

Before starting we were required to set up a separate “Hall’s bank account” and a “Stripe” payment system and a new on-line booking system linked to our website. 

Contract Pricing and Hours

RBK officers, previously managing the Halls, decided that the hours to be worked and pricing of the trial contract was not to be based on its previous budget of £50K+ per annum. Instead, the various council employees who had previously doing the job each worked out what proportion of their time and salary the Halls management involved. Apparently, the total amounted to less than £20k p.a. However, they also decided that the contract should require One Norbiton to work many more extra hours than they themselves, had been working.  The final contract was constructed by adding in these extra hours yet leaving its pricing at less at £20k then £10k p.a.*                         

* One Norbiton’s recompense was calculated on a completely new basis: in 2018 Halls management was being done by four different RBK officers working on four different pay grades viz £25,746 p.a., £23,00 p.a. and £47,100 p.a. These officers declared they were covering the whole 365 days of the year by working only 101 days of it.  i.e.  12 days, +73 days, + 8 days + 8 days. Thus, the sum of only £9,887.94 p.a. was offered to One Norbiton to do all their tasks (and more). This represented a huge reduction of 66% from the published previous budget.  However, the contract also provided an additional £10k in 20019 to assist the recruitment of local volunteers. Understandably, One Norbiton assumed that about £20k would be provided for each of the two years representing a big but manageable cut of 60% off previous year’s budget. We later were to learn that we were to be paid only 9,887.94 in 2020 (a cut of 70%.!) As if not bad enough the hours required to be worked by us were increased to 365 day DAILY on-call presence including weekends and evenings and had to respond within 15 minutes, do hazard management, promote Hall use, Monitor User satisfaction, maintain user databases, Liaise with RBK staff, Stock check and order furniture, ensure appropriate use of storage space etc. etc. and these extra tasks were not to be covered by any extra funding

Did we Increase Hall use and User Satisfaction?

The numbers of new organizations booking Halls increased by at least 15%.  We did two formal measurements of user satisfaction with our services and all, but one user scored us as an improvement on previous management.


In 2019 One Norbiton found that its three paid staff “rewarded volunteers”             required 216 Days per year, just to cover the Weekdays and this did not include the weekend requirement even though as word spread about favorable rates for children’s parties,  the Halls were used more and more by residents at weekends. i.e., our work time was 100% more than the predecessor RBK officers.

The Social Impact of the Trial

The bulk of the work of administration of the Halls was done by one resident rewarded volunteer, Jill Preston, who is registered disabled. She was extremely stressed by the volume of work required to do a good job. Two other residents helped by looking after the three Halls also for small rewards that did not interfere with their eligibility for benefits. However, to relieve the burdens of our principal worker, we found two suitable and reliable resident young mothers prepared to work on a rewarded volunteer basis and in February 2020 we met with the acting Head of Housing and Councilor Emily Davey (Portfolio holder for Housing) to discuss recent revelations that our contracted fees would be reduced by 50% and requested them to grant us a reasonable increase in fees and modification of the hours we were required to work.  Both accepted our arguments and agreed to alter the contract for 2020 so that we could engage our young mothers. We agreed to continue working if our contract could be altered on that basis. However, this agreement was completely overruled by Nazeya Hussain (Executive Director of Place) on the grounds that it would be ‘too difficult to change contracts mid-term.’

Since we could no longer afford to engage new support, we would have had to withdraw from the trial in Spring 2020. In the event the Pandemic rendered all this unnecessary because after the Covid lockdown all Hall lettings ceased.  (Piper Hall has since been kept open solely for CREst and One Norbiton to provide hot meals to the local indigent and to act as a Food Bank outlet.) This might have temporarily solved the problem of unreasonable working hours but has prolonged the hall supervision situation.    Of course, given the national crisis, we have continued to look after the Halls’ safety in the knowledge that the contract had been changed.  

Our Financial Performance for RBK

In 2019 the HALLS EARNINGS ROSE BY 48.25% to £24,379.84* compared with £16,445.30 in 2018 i.e.  £7,934.54 extra.

However, there was a BIG rise in non-paid use of the Community Halls throughout 2019 by RBK and Polling staff the Enterprise Club etc.  This “free use “amounted to 684 hours or £13,680 in lost earnings at our standard hourly rate. Allowing for only £6,840 (50%) of this to be included, then a fair estimate of 2019’s earnings would be £30,000. Thus, One Norbiton’s 2019 performance registered an 80% rise: earning the Borough £13,554.7 extra.

One Norbiton’s own Costs in 2019 (NB separate from Halls costs)

Outgoings for ON Office costs: Internet service, Mobile and Land-line Phone service, Insurance, Computers, and other equipment office cleaning etc. As well as Direct Rewards and Pension reserves to Volunteers came to £18,216.  

In 2019 we received payment from RBK of £19,094.96 so we were able to add to our reserves however in 2020 the RBK payment was halved to just £9,547.96.  This projected a deficit of £8,669. In retrospect, we should not have accepted this as it may have set a precedent that might disadvantage other voluntary groups attempting similar work.

Final Comments

This was a successful trial. It is sad that some of the RBK officers who advised on it should have thought that it was in the public interest to frame our original contract so unfairly. The danger now being that the net outcome could be a decrease in community trust at this crucial time when residents are being threatened with the stress of regeneration. The development of effective collaborative relationships between volunteers and RBK officers remains an important challenge that has yet to be adequately met.

Regeneration will require the integration of new owner-occupiers with our existing resident population. If this is to “Level up” and improve community spirit, then maintaining a good Halls Service could become a prerequisite.



This trial was the initiative of Cllr Emily Davey, Liberal Democrat portfolio holder for Housing.) who was very supportive throughout its duration. One Norbiton worked with Senior Officer Theresa Mayers to set it up. We worked well together establishing the on-line booking arrangements and the Skeeda System for handling the fees. Theresa provided day to day RBK management, and she played a considerable part in its success. It should be noted that her time has not been included in these costings


A full report is being prepared on CREst’s Tuesday Club, which One Norbiton continues to support.. There are now 120 to 150 regular attendees each Tuesday for out Food Bank. The first Tuesday this month saw attendances leap to 236(!) so we are proposing doing a more detailed analysis and applying for a grant from the new Community Chest.


Email:  [email protected]       Website:  www.onenorbiton.org.uk

Company registration number: 8275614


MONDAY,March 6th 2023 AT 12.30pm 

Venue: The Community Hub

Joint Chairs Jill Preston & Mike D’Souza


       1.  Apologies and introductions

         2.  Minutes of last joint meeting

         3.  Matters arising:

CREst matters

4. CREst Chair’s Report.  Jill

5.  CREst Accounts submission – Geraldine

6 Election of Officers CREst

One Norbiton matters

7 One Norbiton Chair’s Report

8.  One Norbiton’s Accounts – Geraldine

9. Election of Officers One Norbiton

10 Plans for the future of Two Organisations.  Three Chairs :

11.  Any other business

12.   Date and Time of next AGM 

Piper Hall to close at the end of this month

Phase 1 of CRE regeneration has now started. RBK’s plan is to close Piper Hall before the end of this month and use a refurbished Queen Marys Hall as the only Estate Hall facility until the new hall is opened in a few years time. Both CREst, CRERA and One Norbiton are unhappy with this arrangement as they do not think the space offered is sufficient given that the Tuesday Club is regularly attracting over 150 guests a week. Jill Preston and Mike D’Souza have resigned from the Community Board as a consequence


I have done little to update this site since the COVID pandemic. Things are now improving and I hope to make regular postings about our activities.


Most of our work has been centred around helping the Tuesday Club. This continues to operate out of Piper Hall every Tuesday from 12.00 till 2.00pm under the leadership of Jill.

Average weekly attendances have been rising in 2022. See below:

Jan: 71.8 Feb: 70.0 Mar:74.8 Apr:85.3 May: 92.0 Jun:84.0 Jul:80.5 Aug:84.2 Sep93.8. Oct:108.0

The attendances this month were 129,119 and 103.

Our principal anxieties are that if this winter is harsh we may really pushed to cope. Already we are getting refugees attending for help. Some from Somalia ad Eritrea and we have helped Kurds from Northern Iraq and Iran three of whom have volunteered to help and been very useful. Our other worry is where we might go when Piper hall is knocked down for regeneration. The much smaller Queen Mary’s Hall is being refurbished as an interim replacement until the new Hall is built. We have all told RBK that we do not think this will work.

Jill and I continue to attend the Community Board, the most recent meeting of which was today.


There will be a JOINT Zoom AGM OF CREst and One Norbiton

FRIDAY @11.00 a.m. 25/02/2022

To join online by Zoom

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Topic: CREst & One Norbiton Zoom Meeting
Time: Jan 21, 2022 10:30 AM London

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Meeting ID: 843 5006 2192
Passcode: 879006

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Quiz Night


Charity Quiz Night

  • Date: 4th Mar 2014
  • Location: Guildhall
  • Time: 19:00 - 22:30
  • Cost: £6
Charity Quiz Night in aid of Mayor's Charity Appeal 2013/14 Join us on Tuesday 4 March for a fantastic quiz night in aid of the Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2013/2014 (supporting the Alzheimer’s Society and Princes Alice Hospice). The event will be held in the Guildhall, Kingston. Doors open 7pm, quiz starts 7.30pm. A cash bar will be available on site for drinks. Please feel free to bring your own nibbles. Event closes at approximately 10.30pm. Latest deadline for entries is Monday 24 February. To book please contact the Mayor’s Office, on 020 8547 5027/5030 or email [email protected]