News & Views

News and views from around Primrose Hill this February.

Marathon des Sables – Fundraising for St Mary’s

Jonathan Brandling-Harris runs the Neighbourhood Watch in Primrose Hill, and the question he gets asked most by residents is “What more can we be doing?” So now Jonathan has decided to raise the benchmark himself. In April he will take on the Marathon des Sables – known as ‘the toughest footrace on earth’ to raise awareness for St Mary’s Centre (SMCCT). He’ll run this ultramarathon in 120˚F heat and with everything he needs to survive on his back.

SMCCT works with young people aged 12–25 at risk of exclusion, violence, kidnap and death. They are on call 24/7/365. No other local youth project offers this level of support. They mentor in housing estates, schools, pupil referral units and prisons. Their mission is to reduce violence and save lives. Jonathan points out that this work benefits us all in the local community, and it is down to us, as local residents, to support the organisations who strive to make our home a safer place to live.

Please support Jonathan’s cause and see how much we can raise. Every penny will go directly towards tackling knife crime. With over 100 knife-related deaths in our capital this year, it’s up to us to support these charities.

Music to Flow through the Trees in Regent’s Park

A new app called Music for Trees has been developed especially for Regent’s Park. A collaboration between The Royal Parks and the Royal Academy of Music, it will enable people to listen to music while learning about the many different species in the area.

The initiative was the idea of the Royal Parks Arboricultural Officer, Matt Steinmann, who wanted visitors to notice the trees that surround them in a new and interactive way. He invited students from the nearby Royal Academy of Music to compose music inspired by different species of tree, to create an immersive audio experience.

Each tree has been given a musical signature, created using acoustic instruments such as percussion, strings and woodwind, as well as electronically created sounds. Where canopies of trees overlap, multiple playbacks will create a layering effect. 

The geo-location app will come to life in Gloucester Gate. This area of parkland is home to over 30 species of trees, including walnut, hornbeam, ash and London plane. As people stroll through the park, the music will change depending on the variety, age and other characteristics of the trees. The app will also provide users with information about the different types of tree, the composers and the compositions. 

Matt said, “I came up with the idea for Music for Trees while I was surveying trees. I tend to listen to music while I work, and sometimes the music seems a perfect accompaniment. I took the next step and imagined whether music could be composed for trees. 

“If this app can make just a few people more aware of how important trees are and the benefits they bring, then I’ll be very happy. Spending time outdoors in nature can really make you feel good, so I hope visitors take the opportunity to step out of their daily lives for a little while.” 

The Music for Trees app is available from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Anyone for Tennis?

The Asssociation of Tennis Professionals has appointed Primrose Hill resident Andrea Gaudenzi as Chair for a four-year term. Andrea is a former Italian tennis professional and now has a successful career in business, including sports marketing, entertainment, data, technology and media. Most recently, he was instrumental in his role on the Board of ATP Media, leading the successful restructuring of the business, which serves as the broadcast arm of the ATP Tour.

“The ATP has played a central part in my life in so many ways, and to be given this opportunity to serve as ATP Chairman is a true honour,” said Andrea Gaudenzi.

Novak Djokovic, President of the ATP Player Council, said: “On behalf of the players, I’d like to welcome Andrea as the next Chairman of the ATP. As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career. He has all the qualities to lead the tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally.”

Pavement Art

Isabelle Gaetani, a Primrose Hill resident, scientist and researcher, shared something poetic that she encountered in Princess Road: “Sometimes chance is the best artist of all. Look at this puddle that took the shape of a Little Red Riding Hood running away from the wolf!”

Home Care Coordinator of the Year for PillarCare Team

It was a night of celebration at the Great London Care Awards in November, when local company PillarCare’s Matt Ford was presented with the regional award for the Best Home Care Coordinator 2019 category.

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout the UK. They look to celebrate and honour those who demonstrate excellence in the social and care sector, and in their particular specialised field.

Matt has worked in social care for six years, previously working with adults with a variety of learning disabilities and complex health needs. In 2018 Matt joined PillarCare, which is based at the Business Centre on Gloucester Avenue, and has since become a key team member, assisting with strategy, and is responsible for ensuring that the care delivered is safe, responsive and effective.

When asked about what the award would mean to him, Matt said, “The recognition from my peers, my staff and my service users would be very flattering. Working in care, my goal has never been any sort of personal accolades, but I am very grateful for them. I will say that I would definitely use this in the future to help push for better practice and better care for as many people as I can reach in the future!”

Matt will now go on the Nationals competition, with the winners being announced in March 2020.

Everyone at PillarCare would like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to Matt for all his hard work.

You can nominate someone for the 2020 Great British Care Awards at

You May Also Like