November 2019


Lofty praise

3e1406fa-a28b-47ec-83eb-b6e215ae3136Paul (left) and Dennis Weeks with their sister Laura

Wanstead residents Dennis and Paul Weeks of North London Loft Rooms were delighted to receive an invitation for inclusion in The Parliamentary Review. Michelle Harris reports

Being featured in the government’s Parliamentary Review is an accolade reserved for companies at the pinnacle of their industry. The purpose of the publication is to support the sharing of experience within various sectors and the subsequent raising of industry standards.

Companies featured also have the facility to raise their profile as a respected company within their industry. A company’s presence serves on multiple levels, whether to share a ‘best practice’ or to even criticise the government (from their professional perspective) if deemed relevant and in the national interest.

Dennis and Paul Weeks of North London Loft Rooms were keen to participate and humbled by the invitation for inclusion. Despite being a relatively new company (founded in 2015), they have quickly gained a reputation for high-quality building services that are helping local residents (as they are based in Wanstead) to boost their property values by approximately 20%, whilst adding almost 50% in size. Most important are the benefits enjoyed by homeowners for an improved lifestyle quality.

For those looking to enhance their home within their currently available space, a loft room’s potential is only limited by imagination and creative enterprise; den, home office, cinema room, private and luxurious bedroom with en suite or even a gymnasium, all are exciting options. A private space within a family home can be a special and very attractive proposition, whilst also saving on exorbitant moving fees and the stress of trying to find a larger property. If living with young children, they can remain at their schools and close to friends, and also extended family if all are located nearby. Lives are enriched and the whole family work as a unit, despite increasing requirements and unforeseen additional practicalities.

Construction has been a prominent profession within Dennis and Paul’s family, so despite other careers before their joint venture, they decided to develop a strategic forecast and business development plan. They quickly gained a good reputation, with a turnover of over £1m within the first year of trading, which doubled by 2018. Their unique code of practice and mission statement ensured a successful business trajectory and role model for other construction companies.

As a result of their positioning and article, both Dennis and Paul, together with their families, feel a sense of absolute pride. Thrilled by the invitation, and alongside other respected professionals, they are keen to participate and showcase their success to help support others.

To view The Parliamentary Review, visit For more information, call 0800 690 6122 or visit

Caring every day

DSC_0459Clients and staff at Woodbine Day Centre who supported the councillor’s visit

Councillor Jo Blackman explains why Wanstead’s Woodbine Day Centre is so important, and encourages anyone interested in volunteering at this adult social care venue to pop in.

Bins and roads – that’s often what springs to mind when people think about how their council tax is spent. However, the biggest proportion of the council’s budget actually goes on children’s services and social care. In 2019/2020, the council will spend more on adult social care than roads and the environment combined.

With an ageing population, the demand for adult social care continues to increase, and this is sadly not being met by central government funding, with cuts of £166m to the council’s overall budget since 2010 and continued uncertainty about future funding. Faced with these pressures, the council was forced to implement the social care charge levy introduced by the government to support and protect vulnerable residents.

Adult social care work often goes unseen by residents unless they or their family or friends find themselves needing support. In Wanstead Village, we are lucky to have a vibrant adult social care day centre. At the front line, Woodbine Centre staff have had to adapt to the continued pressures from a squeeze on budgets. This has seen them take in more adults with more complex needs and disabilities from across the borough, whilst also exploring ways to generate revenue.

I visited the centre recently with the council’s People Scrutiny Committee. We were all moved by stories of how adults we met had been supported through difficult times, including through activities and, most importantly, friendship. It was humbling to meet the staff who run the centre with such commitment and enthusiasm.

The centre has an impressive range of facilities, including an IT suite, kitchens, music area and outdoor space too. They have good links with the local community, with a number of shops and cafes hosting users of the centre to develop their skills and experience. They have a varied programme of activities, including musical memories for those with dementia, gardening, drama and art, and they always welcome visitors. Woodbine Centre has exciting plans for the future, including a Christmas market on 30 November and, potentially, the addition of a garden centre.

The on-site Cherry Tree Cafe is open from 12 noon to 2pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and provides opportunities for students with special educational needs to gain experience in catering, building their knowledge through practical experience in a functioning cafe.

If you know of someone who could benefit from the services at Woodbine Centre, please get in touch. They also welcome volunteering offers and encourage people to pop in to speak to them.

The Woodbine Centre is located at 25 Woodbine Place, Wanstead, E11 2RH (the entrance is accessed through Wanstead Library car park). For more information, call 020 8708 7402

Breastfeeding support group to launch in Wanstead


A new breastfeeding support group will meet in Wanstead for the first time this month.

“As the UK has the lowest breastfeeding rates in the developed world and only 1% of women are exclusively breastfeeding at six months, this initiative is crucial and timely.  Breastfeeding support is critical in improving this rate,” said Karen Shah, a La Leche League Leader who will be hosting the free support group on the first Monday of every month at The Cuckfield from 12 noon to 2pm (babies in arms welcome).



Anti-Bullying Week 2019: make new friends at a Wanstead Library


Children aged nine and over are invited to make new friends at a Wanstead Library event this month.

“As part of Anti-Bullying Week, this is an opportunity to make new friends, enjoy some fun activities and discuss how to spread kindness in our community,” said a library spokesperson. The free anti-bullying workshop will take place on 13 November from 4pm to 5.15pm.

Run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, this year’s Anti-Bullying Week theme is ‘Change Starts With Us’.