World Vegan Month and Veganuary Month

Want to know more about what a vegan diet is, or what it involves? 

In celebration for World Vegan Month in November and to prepare for Veganuary in January 2021, we want to help you to find out more.

Vegan diets are based on plant based foods, vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, and non-dairy products, such as soya and nuts. We eat all the foods that vegans eat regularly.

Eating plant based foods can be healthy, and sometimes a change to regular vegetarian or meat based diets. Veganism goes back to ancient Greek and Indian times, and people have lived well on these diets.

The NHS has very useful information regarding vegan diets. The NHS vegan diet information on their website, list all the important vitamins, minerals and fats which are found in plant based foods. The Vegan Society also has very useful nutritional  information for anyone interested in vegan foods and diets.

If you wanted to borrow any of these books from our libraries, you can search for them on our catalogue:

RBKC Libraries Catalogue . All you need is an RBKC  or Westminster Library Card.  Here is an example of the books that you can  borrow from our libraries: Vegan books from the library catalogue




There are also monthly food e-magazines that you can access from RBDigital. All you need is an RBKC Library Card, and a pin number and login to RBDigital e-Magazines. To find out more click on the support link here RBDigital Help.

Once you are logged in you can borrow any magazine and save it for as long as you want. There are also health magazines that you can borrow with information on vegan diets.

Check out two blog posts from our sister council-Westminster Libraries and Archives- they are Vegetable Masala and Rainbow Stir-fry.



November is Movember month.

Movember (an annual event) involves the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, i.e. prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.  It’s serious business!

Globally, men are dying six years earlier than women and from largely preventable causes. To all the men out there concerned about their health, a friend’s or loved one, take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

Guys-Some tips for Life

  1. Stay Connected– Talk to the people you care about and make you feel good. Check up and make time for them.
  2.  Talk More– Listening sharing and being there for someone can help be life-saving.
  3.  Know Your Numbers– They say at 50, you should talk to a doctor about prostate cancer but seeking advice earlier on in your late 40s never hurts. For a good overview on prostate cancer see:
  4. As November says “Know Thy Nuts” Simple! -Do regular checks and if something isn’t right, see your doctor.
  5.  Move More– add more activity to your daily routine e.g. cycle to work or go for walks in the park.

Helpful NHS Information

For more information on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of testicular cancer and prostrate cancer, see the NHS website:

Testicular cancer

Prostate cancer

For useful contact numbers if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts again see the NHS website

We need to Talk. We need to listen.

Recommended Video to watch

Lloyd Pinder gives his honest story discovering and living with prostate cancer. It encourages all men to get checked.

So, what can you do to raise money?

  • Grow a moustache for the month of November and raise money for charity
  • Run or walk 60km over the month. That’s 60km for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world.
  • Host a Moment (virtually or in person) host an event to raise money
  • Mo your own way (do your own thing to raise money)
  • Movember in the workplace (get your building/ team involved in raising money)

World Heart Day

Know your numbers/World Heart Day

World Heart Day this year is on 29th September 2020. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death and has many causes, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and air pollution.

Know Your Numbers

Looking after you heart starts with understanding your risk, so make sure you know all your health numbers.  Click here to find out more.

NHS Health Check

An NHS Health Check is a free health check aimed at adults aged 40 to 74. It involves measuring your blood pressure, pulse, height and weight and asking you some lifestyle questions to see whether there’s more you can do to look after your health. It involves a few simple tests to check your risk of

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • stroke

Heart Age Test

Take this quiz to find out your heart age compared to your real age.


Blood Pressure Test

It’s recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every 5 years so any potential problems can be detected early.  Find more information here .

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:


World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is observed in September every year and was launched in September 2012. The decision to introduce the full month, to contain the existing World Alzheimer’s Day, was made to enable national and local Alzheimer associations worldwide to extend the reach of their awareness programmes over a longer period of time.  Below, we have put together some great resources to help increase awareness.

Continue reading “World Alzheimer’s Month”

Jewellery, Handa and Fruit kebabs!

On Monday 21 December Kensal Library hosted Go Golborne’s Fruity Jewellery making session.  The children were delighted by the beautiful beads and some truly stunning creations were made.

Choosing Beads
Choosing Beads

Selecting beads to create bracelets
Selecting beads to create bracelets

Showing off a Sweet Bracelet
Showing off a Sweet Bracelet

My Ladybird Bracelet
My Ladybird Bracelet

Showing off our Finished Bracelets
Showing off our Finished Bracelets

Also a wonderful performance of Handa’s Surprise complete with animal masks was acted out the by the children and narrated by Kate Gielgud, Health Information Officer for Libraries who guided and encouraged the children during the play.

Zebra Mask
Zebra Mask

Making Masks
Making Masks

Showing our masks
Showing our masks

Go Golborne is a local campaign led by the council which is all about supporting children and families to eat well, keep active and feel good.

Go Golborne banner
Go Golborne banner

We made delicious colourful fruit kebabs which are always very popular at Go Golborne’s events!

Making Fruit Kebabs
Making Fruit Kebabs

If you missed this event don’t worry, come along to the next one on Monday 1 February at 4.15 to 5.30pm.

Hello 2016!

We had a fantastic year in 2015 and I have no doubt that 2016 will be just as great. We wish all our customers health, happiness and success in 2016.

Stay Well This Winter!

Winter Wellness
Winter Wellness

We have blogged in the past about the ways that libraries are good for your health and wellbeing: increasing social and community cohesion with events and book groups, improving literacy and life skills, providing information about CV sessions, interview skills, job opportunities, housing issues and helping with digital inclusion with free online access through PCs and wifi, adult learning, children’s book sharing and of course a wide range of regular health sessions, talks and stalls for all ages – all these aspects of library life are good for our health.

We rely on close partnership work with the NHS to guide us so that we can keep you informed as to priorities in healthy lifestyle behaviours. At the moment Public Health England and more specifically our CCG, West London Clinical Commissioning Group, are urging us to ‘Stay Well This Winter’.

Here are the answers to some questions you may have about one aspect of ‘Stay Well this Winter’ – the flu vaccine:

Stay Well This Winter  – the Flu Vaccine

The NHS has been encouraging everyone to Stay Well This Winter by taking a number of steps to minimise the risk of falling unwell during the colder months – you might have seen posters and information displayed in libraries throughout Kensington and Chelsea. There are also videos to raise awareness:

Importantly, free flu vaccines are available to a number of groups of people including older people aged over 65, children aged 2-4 and in school years one and two, pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions and carers. Most GPs and pharmacies will be providing free flu vaccines until the end of January or February so it is still not too late if you, a friend or a family member has not yet had yours. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine your GP will be able to organise one for you, so it’s worth asking about.

To help understand why getting the flu vaccine is important we spoke to Dr Sarah Wallace, Public Health Registrar:

Why do we worry so much about preventing flu?

Flu is a strange illness.  People so often confuse it with a cold, but in reality they are very different.  Most of those who have had flu need no convincing to have the flu jab. You can be ill for up to a week, and it isn’t just the sniffles, shivering and sore throat that you have with your average cold. People will generally be in bed with high fevers, muscle aches, profound tiredness and other symptoms and will be completely unable to complete their normal daily activities.  This means time off work or school – it may be up to seven days before you feel better.

We particularly worry about certain groups of people getting the flu, who for various reasons have an immune system which can’t fight the flu as well as others can. These people include those aged 65 and over, people with other long-term medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease and many others), pregnant women and young babies. Because these people may have a weaker immune system they are more likely to end up in hospital as a result of the flu, with complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis or rarely meningitis.  Sometimes flu can have incredibly severe consequences and Public Health England estimates that around 8,000 people die of flu every year in England and Wales.

Will having the vaccine guarantee that you won’t get flu?

The flu is a virus which is constantly changing and there are many strains; however each year the most common flu strains are different, and so the vaccine changes yearly.  Although the vaccination can’t stop all flu viruses, and it is not a 100% guarantee that you’ll be flu-free,if you do get flu after having the vaccination it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.  There is also evidence to suggest that the flu jab can reduce your risk of having a stroke.

Can you get flu by having the flu vaccine?

There are lots of myths about the flu vaccine.  Contrary to many people’s belief the flu vaccination will not give you the flu.  Some people feel a bit tired and achy, but this is simply your immune system working.

How can you get a free flu vaccine if you think we might be eligible?

Free flu vaccines are for these eligible groups are available until the end of January; not only from GPs but in London many pharmacies are also providing the flu vaccination for adults, which may be more convenient for some.

What if a child doesn’t like injections – can they still be protected against the flu?

The flu vaccine for children is particularly easy – it is just a simple and painless nasal spray.  There have been many people asking why they should vaccinate their healthy child against the flu.  It not only helps to reduce the likelihood of them getting sick, but also helps to stop them spreading the flu to others in the community particularly people who are vulnerable.  Flu is generally spread in the community by children.  They might be visiting elderly or sick relatives over the holidays, or those with young brothers or sisters. 2015 is the first year that children in school years one and two across the country are included in the programme.

Why is it important people in Kensington and Chelsea receive the flu vaccine?

Unfortunately we know that historically in Kensington and Chelsea flu vaccination uptake has been low, below the London average.  I urge those who are eligible for a flu vaccination to make an appointment with your GP today, or if you are over 18 visit your local pharmacy.  More information on how to Stay Well This Winter can be found at  The flu vaccination will be available at most GPs and pharmacies until the end of January or February, please don’t put it off.

Your local library and children’s libraries will have hard copy Stay Well this Winter and Flu Vaccination leaflets.

[Dr Sarah Wallace, Public Health Registrar;
Kate Gielgud, Health Information Coordinator]

African Dance session at Brompton library

Stephanie Webb, Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:

We were very happy to host Faith and Mary from Healthier Life 4 You last week for a feelgood session of African Dance. We knew we were in for a good time as feedback from other sessions at North Kensington and Kensington Central libraries had been very positive.

Faith and Mary from Healthier Life 4 You at Brompton Library, April 2015
Faith and Mary from Healthier Life 4 You at Brompton Library, April 2015

Faith and Mary deliver a gentle workout – you’d hardly know you’re exercising as you can’t help moving to the rhythm of the African music. The audience was on the young side and were a bit unsure to start with, but by the end – and with the help of their parents and carers – they were showing me their moves on the way out!

Highly recommended and we hope to see them again soon.

Kensington Central Library – May 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Welcome to our May 2013 blog post. We’ve lots of events happening at Kensington Central Library in next few months for adults and children – check out our events page for full details.

Adult Learners' Week 2013
Adult Learners’ Week 2013

This week is Adult Learners’ Week so if you fancy trying a new skill such as creative writing or hand sewing – take a look at our taster sessions happening in Kensington Central Library. And there’s more information about this festival of learning on the Adult Learners’ Week website.

Fit to Rule – How Royal Illness Changed History

Fit to Rule book display
Fit to Rule book display

This month we have a special display of books to support the recent BBC TV series, ‘Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History’. This series was by Dr Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces.

Fit to Rule book display
Fit to Rule book display

In the series, Lucy Worsley argued that the success of kings and queens was dictated less by their strengths, than by their weaknesses.

Fit to Rule book display
Fit to Rule book display

You can use this collection to make up your own minds, not only by reading the biographies of a range of monarchs, but also by comparing how they handled their illnesses with contemporary books on the same topics.

Did you know?
William III suffered from asthma – he bought Nottingham House in the village of Kensington so that he had a residence close to London which was surrounded by fields and so had clean, fresh air – this house would eventually become Kensington Palace.
George II suffered a heart attack  – whilst having a hot chocolate as he sat on the toilet in Kensington Palace!

For more facts like this – come and see our special display.

There’s a more information about the series on the BBC website.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Pirates story and craft session

Pirate time!
Pirate time!

Ahoy, me hearties! This month’s story and crafts session was all about pirates! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

My Gran is a Pirate by Val McDermid
My Gran is a Pirate by Val McDermid

We started off a lot fuller then before, with growing levels of kids and parents, after a lovely read by Gemma of “My Gran is a Pirate” by Val McDermid, we continued by making pirate hats.

Pirate hats!
Pirate hats!

Was all the mess at the end worth it? Yes! Both the kids and parents as well as myself and Gemma had a great laugh with the whole crafts section. An all round great session, with lots of smiling faces, laughter and pirate lingo!! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh me matey.

Haider Ali
Haider Ali

Haider Ali

Customer Services Assistant