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£30k Community Support Award

22 March 2023

Kisharon has been awarded £30k by Barnet for a winter warmers project at Childs Hill Library to address the cost of living crisis and help refugee families living in a local hotel.

This was part of a £240,000 Community Innovation Fund (CIF), to help support and fund projects that tackle the rising cost of bills and the impact on residents’ health.

The Barnet Community Innovation Fund monies will pay for specialist English sessions for 18 refugee children, dedicated coffee mornings for anyone struggling to keep warm or feeling isolated and soup and other hot drinks and biscuits for all visitors to the library in Cricklewood Lane, which Kisharon runs.

Operating over set periods until January 2024, the project will also provide important volunteering opportunities for people with learning disabilities who Kisharon supports.

Kisharon people will assemble ‘warm packs’ – socks, hats, gloves and blankets – for those attending coffee mornings, serve refreshments and greet library visitors, supported by Kisharon staff. To do this, they will be trained in food safety and customer service.

“We are delighted that the innovation fund has recognised the unique position Childs Hill Library holds in the community and has enabled us to demonstrate how people with a diverse range of abilities from all backgrounds can work together for a safer, friendlier and warmer community,” said Sarah Sharlott, Kisharon’s Head of Community Engagement and Social Enterprise.

Cllr Alison Moore, Chair of Barnet Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The Community Innovation Fund was set up to help make a real difference to those living in Barnet. It is really positive to see so many local community groups looking to fund projects that will improve the health and well-being of people across the borough and support our most vulnerable residents during these challenging times.I very much look forward to hearing about the success of these projects over the coming months.”

Library staff and volunteers already run ‘Conversation corner’ an English conversation group for adults to improve their language skills.  The new twice-weekly sessions will support children recovering from trauma and needing help to learn English. All the children have become members of the library.

Childs Hill Library is situated in one of the most diverse wards in Barnet with high levels of deprivation. Already a hive of community activities, the library project will reach out to local people who currently access Childs Hill Food Bank and other local charities and to those in need of a warm and welcoming space in the winter months until January 2024.




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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.