Welcome to our Zebra news. Here you can find out what social events we’re organising and what’s happening in your neighbourhood as well as our news. Contact Zebra firstname.lastname@example.org on any issues and to express your views on anything that we do. We want to find out how we can make Zebra better.
The Zebra office closed on 18 March with ‘phones diverted to Steve and Heidi’s home and other staff working from home. So, we are still providing a basic service to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents) with the assistance of our wardens and deputy wardens – and a big thank you to them.
But inevitably we’ve been forced to scale back our maintenance service so that we are now only doing urgent and emergency repairs, and health & safety work and inspections.
Our cleaning contractor of many years, Happy Hands, has proved invaluable continuing to operate an enhanced regime, which includes daily cleaning and disinfecting of all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard services) and regular steam cleaning.
It is really important that all residents maintain good health and safety practice, and continue to follow the advice that we have been sending out to you all. This will ensure that we are all do everything we can to keep our residents, staff, and cleaning and maintenance contractors safe.
The Urgency Committee (a Committee of the Board) consisting of the Chair, Vice-chair and Treasurer has been meeting with the Chief Executive and Finance Director regularly
We’ve obviously put a number of schemes on hold whilst others have had to be mothballed until we get through this crisis. This includes the work at 34 Chalcot involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering and redecoration and the bathroom refitting programme at Jerome. As soon as we are able, we’ll resume work and we are very sorry for the inconvenience.
We’ve cancelled or postponed all the events. If you’ve booked any tickets which you can’t now use, you should contact Steve for a refund. However, there are still things you can do, and a number of Theatres are offering free streaming of their productions.
The National Theatre is streaming different shows every week starting with the feel-good hit One Man, Two Guvnors, featuring James Corden’s hilarious Tony Award-winning performance as the goodhearted, chronically hungry servant Francis Henshall. Go to National Theatre nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced Culture in Quarantine with the BBC broadcasting some of its best shows of the last few years including
Macbeth (2018), directed by Polly Findlay with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack
Hamlet (2016), directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu
Romeo and Juliet (2018), directed by our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman
Much Ado About Nothing (2014), directed by Christopher Luscombe
Othello (2015), directed by Iqbal Khan with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati
The Merchant of Venice (2015), directed by Polly Findlay
And for Children..
There are a huge number of online resources to keep your children busy at home. Here are a few we recommend:
The Dyson Foundation
A series of challenge cards, that are fun and testing.
An incredible amount of Key Stage focussed content for all subject areas. A fave is a really challenging maths game called Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica. Amazing to see how quickly the kids can add and subtract four-digit numbers if there’s a new shield at the end of it.
This ‘picture a day’ website has been great for creative writing each day offering different challenges from diary entries to sentence challenges. The kids also love sneaking a look at the next day’s picture.
Nat Geo Kids
A mix of games, quizzes, videos and free downloadable resources which is perfect for keeping active minds busy.
We are still active and continuing to offer accommodation but following government guidelines we have asked staff to work from home.
Please email email@example.com for any enquiries
We are available during normal office hours Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm on 0207 584 2906.
Please be aware that the office in South Kensington is not accepting visitors
The blue plaque to commemorate the fact that 73 Carleton Road was the home of the famous late 19th century/early 20th music hall star, Marie Lloyd, has been installed. There will be ceremony later in the year to formally unveil it.
Dr. Samia Towfeek Al-Shouli is a Zebra resident. Not only is she a physician (clinical immunology and allergy) and author of 5 books but she is also an artist in the abstract world through the medium of sculpture as well as painting in oil and acrylic on canvas and fabric.
An exhibition of her work - Arwah Aberah – can be viewed at Old Brompton Gallery 238 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW5 0DE between 15 and 17 February.
The installation of the new fire detection system at Jerome has been complete. We are still looking at ways to reduce false alarms, but residents can help by opening windows if there’s a lot steam/smoke from cooking. Of course - for families with children please be vigilant when opening any windows.
We’ve completed the repairs to the flank wall at Carleton Road.
We plan to start work on the stairwell at 34 Chalcot on Monday 17th February. This is a big job involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering, redecoration, re-carpeting and fitting a new door entry panel. It’s likely to run into the summer.
And we hope to start work on limited redecoration of the front of Jerome House in April/May 2020.
Obviously, we are concerned and the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff, and stakeholders is of paramount concern to us. However, we need to keep a sense of perspective and to respond in a proportionate and balance manner.
We have so far passed on UK Government advice to residents and will continue to take actions as recommended by the Government and Health Agencies.
The Board and its committees are responsible for the oversight of Zebra and setting out its strategic direction. The Board met on 6 February approving the annual budget, an annual plan and a number of other measures and policies The major highlights of this are
- The approval of a rent policy – broadly to retain the current policy of maintain rents at approximately 80% of their local, low market equivalent
- The approval of an anti- slavery policy
- Various major works as reported in the last Zebra news including an ambitious programme of refurbishment
- Improvements to our IT
- The approval of the annual rent increase of 2.7%
We’ve started the New Year with a spring in our step. We have an ambitious programme of work this year and we are looking forward to it.
Gordon Stevens and Peter Comyns
Over the Christmas holiday period we were informed of the deaths of two old Zebra hands - Gordon Stevens and Peter Comyns. Both Gordon and Peter were in their 90s and had been associated with Zebra, which is now 60 years old, in the early days.
Gordon was a Board member and the Zebra Chair for a number of years. He only retired from the Board about 6 years ago but prior to that he had had a very distinguished business career as the boss of Unilever. He was an unceasing supporter of Zebra, he always made time to talk to staff and he brought humour, a steely compassion and wisdom to the Board. He actually passed away in September but we were not informed until late December so we were not able to attend his memorial service. There were obituaries in the Times and Telegraph which attest to his qualities and describe a really stellar career. He is remembered with immense affection by staff and Board members who knew him
Peter Comyns was an early member of Zebra (supporting and actually managing the Marloes Road scheme), a Board member for a number of years and more recently was involved with the Zebra Trust, our sister organisation, which assists with education in Africa.
The Board and it’s committees is responsible for the oversight of Zebra and setting out its strategic direction. The Audit and Risk Committee and Board will meet in late January and early February 2020 to approve the budget and major plans for 2020/21. The major highlights of this are
to refit 10 flats in the course of the year to include kitchens, bathrooms and furniture
to redecorate the front of Jerome House
to refurbish the staircase at 34 Impala
to improve our IT, to provide a portal to enable residents to pay rent, see your account, and book repairs and for Zebra to reduce its use of paper
to consider a sustainability strategy
to appoint a Treasurer (a formal Board position)
The replacement boiler scheme at Jerome House has been completed and we believe all the snagging issues have been resolved. However if any resident still has a problem they should let us know. We’ve be redecorated the basement corridor area, which was much affected by the works and next year we’ll be repainting the external front of the building at ground and first floors levels.
The installation of the new fire detection system at Jerome has also now largely been completed. We’ve replaced heat detectors with smoke detectors in kitchens because that’s what the regulations require but that is causing the alarm to be activated more regularly when there is excessive smoke from cooking. We are still looking at ways to alleviate this but residents can help by opening windows if there’s a lot steam/smoke from cooking.
We’ve started the repairs to the flank wall at Carleton Road and they will be completed by the end of January. The wall was damaged by tree roots from a very large leylandii. This has now been removed and we’ll be doing some replanting in January/February.
We hope to start work on the stairwell at 34 Chalcot Crescent in March. This is a big job involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering, redecoration and recarpeting.
A blue plaque at Carleton Road
The blue plaque to commemorate the fact that 73 Carleton Road was the home of the famous late 19th century/early 20th music hall star, Marie Lloyd, is due to be unveiled in mid-February. We’ll invite residents when we have further information.