Charity sends elderly residents to coast in bid to escape huge party

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Locals from North Kensington are being whisked away to the seaside for a three-day break as the Notting Hill Carnival returns for the first time since 2019. The event takes place in London, across Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road.

Thousands of revellers are set to return to attend the carnival to celebrate Caribbean culture from Saturday August 27 to Monday 29, MyLondon reports. 

However, around 40 elderly residents who live on the carnival route are being whisked away to the south east coast for the chance to get some peace and quiet over the weekend. The getaway has been organised by charity Age UK and is being funded by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

The council’s lead member for culture Emma Will said: “Carnival is a wonderful celebration and we’re so excited to welcome it back to our streets, but we equally respect that the sound systems and crowds are not for everyone.

“We’re proud to support Age UK in funding this seaside break and I hope our residents enjoy the sea air, some fish and chips and an ice cream or two over the bank holiday weekend.”

This is the sixth year Kensington and Chelsea has worked with Age UK to give older residents the chance to get away during carnival. Mental health charity Hestia is also working with the council to arrange alternative events for elderly and vulnerable residents during the bank holiday weekend.

The council plays a key role in organising the iconic event, which first came to London in 1966. In a statement, the authority said: “The Kensington and Chelsea team is comprised of officers, wardens and cleaners who ensure it all comes together safely and efficiently.

“What started out as a small parade to fight racial injustice has grown into a wonderfully diverse and electrifying street festival which has contributed greatly to tourism in the area.”

Kensington and Chelsea has granted licences for 300 food stalls and 38 live sound systems that will accompany 100 live stage acts this year. Revellers will also have access to 1,000 compostable toilets and a major street cleaning operation has been set up to collect 300 tonnes of waste.

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