Star of stage and screen Dame Diana Rigg, along with Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Levi Roots, gave festive readings at St Mary Abbots Church last night at our special carol service hosted by CW+ and The Worshipful The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Will Pascall.
Members of the community enjoyed an evening of readings, carols, hymns and a variety of performances, reflecting the rich diversity of the local community and CW+’s Arts for All programme, which the Mayor is raising funds to support as his Charity of the Year.
Mezzo Soprano Friederike Krum gave a spine-tingling rendition of ‘Silent Night’ and 15-year-old local student and resident Kevin Hincapie performed a piano recital of which he is self-taught. A community poem was written and read by the Latimer Community Art Therapy (LCAT) – a group formed as a response to the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. LCAT provide a clinical Art Psychotherapy service for children, adolescents and adults in the community where art is used as the primary form of communication and expression to improve well-being.
There was also a performance by The Bowfins, who regularly perform for patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as part of our award-winning Arts for All programme which brings creative disciplines such as music, dance, arts and crafts, art therapy, and music therapy to the wards and patients’ bedsides.
With support from the Mayor, we are aiming to expand this programme with the ‘Community Bridge’, reaching beyond the hospital walls to support people in the community to stay well, connect with others and live independently.
In order to achieve this, the charity is creating the CW+ Studio, a bespoke space within Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which will be open to the community and become a hub of cultural activity. CW+ is developing partnerships across the Borough which will enable them to signpost people to further activities, so that they may continue to access to the arts, helping to improve their health and wellbeing, connect with community and charitable services, promote healthy ageing and to live independently.
Cllr Will Pascall commented “I was delighted to host such a wonderful, festive evening for our community and my sincere thanks to all those who gave up their time to read and perform at such a special service. I am incredibly proud to be supporting CW+ as my Charity of the Year. I have witnessed their Arts for All programme in action with patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital several times, and it really is transformative to patient care. I am so pleased that we will be expanding this programme wider into the Borough to improve the health and wellbeing of our community.”
See more photos from this special evening below: