Renovation of Shaftesbury Hall

Shaftesbury Hall with new NLS facility
Shaftesbury Hall with new NLS facility

I have been invited to be part of the design team  renovating  Shaftesbury Hall, a 19th century building in Haringey, north London. The design proposal includes a mural to visually enhance the exterior of the building which is an asset to the local community.

North London Samaritans (NLS) own the ‘Tin Tabermacle’ and intend to use part of the facility to support local community members, particularly those who find themselves in a state of distress, despair or even suicidal. North London Samaritans also intend to renovate the hall for community use.

The concept proposals show how the hall can be retained and rejuvenated to modern standards of building performance, whilst retaining the qualities that have made the hall a cherished local building.

The methods and construction materials originally used were not intended to either be robust or to offer much in the way of insulation. Asbestos, now known to be very deleterious to health, is used on the roof. The walls, profiled ‘tin’ sheet externally, timber board cladding on the internal is uninsulated, no longer weather tight and beyond practical maintenance. Initial surveys indicate that the core structure is intact and could be refurbished. It is therefore proposed that the retained structure be clad with modern insulated profiled metal sheeting on both the walls and the roof.

The colour and profile will evoke the spirit of the original. Internally the structure would remain exposed as it is currently, walls will be painted boards and the floor a suspended real timber floor. Providing very much the feel and ambience of the original 19th century hall but in an envelope that has 21st century performance.

The defensive scale fencing is to be replaced with walling that suits the residential setting, with landscaping that is domestic in scale and easy to maintain.

At the rear of the hall the NLS will build a purpose facility, physically connected to the hall but distinctly separate visually and in operation, allowing the hall to function as a community facility without interference with the work of the NLS volunteers.The purpose built facility provides opportunity for a further community benefit in the form of a community mural/ art installation. This I very much support as it provides an opportunity for wider engagement and local ownership, particularly amongst local youth and school children who can be  given the opportunity to participate in the making of a community landmark.

Shaftesbury Hall footpath with proposed mural wall
Shaftesbury Hall footpath with proposed mural wall

NLS want to work with everyone who is interested from the local community to create a Tin Tabernacle for the 21st century.  I will  join the NLS and Paul Fletcher of Through Architecture in presenting the proposal at a community consultation at 19.30 on 10th July at Bounds Green School (Lower Junior Hall) For further information please visit


In Conversation with Lifford Shillingford

Lifford Shillingford
Lifford Shillingford

You may have seen my video entitled ‘The Conversation” featuring the talented singer songwriter Lifford David Shillingford. Lifford  is one of the UK’s most talented singer songwriters and I’m excited to see him on the verge of releasing a new EP and album later this year. ‘Sinking Swimming’ is the first release from Lifford’s down tempo solo project called Blue Dye – Soul Sessions.

His first release ,aged just 17, was a collaboration with MC Mushtaq on a track called ‘Take You Home’ which fuelled his new passion leading him to become the front man in a group called Public Demand.  Public Demand was signed to ZTT through a development deal. During a writing trip in America the group penned a song that captured the interest of Trevor Horn who duly took the track into the studio. ‘Invisible’ was critically acclaimed as a breakthrough single and considered brave, mature and ahead of its time.

Lifford’s success continued with his collaboration with the Artful Dodger, most notably on the track ‘Please don’t turn me on!” He recently took time out of his busy schedule to have a chat about life and his chosen art form.

DEN: Congratulations on your track and forthcoming album. Tell me about your promotional schedule for the coming months?

LS: Thank you David, we have a busy few months in store with the release of an EP in the summer and an album later on in the year. My priority this year is to get some Soul music out for people to get into. Plans are taking place for a promotional tour in the summer to work along side the release of the EP with a launch party in July. Dates and times will be confirmed very soon. We’re just testing the water with this material to see how it’s received.

DEN: You gained success as the front man for Public Demand but you’re synonymous with the Artful Dodger and the tune “ Please Don’t Turn me on.’ What impact has it had on your career to date and has it been easy to follow on with equally successful songs?

LS: Yes Public Demand was a great time for me as was the Artful Dodger song. It gave me huge exposure and a great platform to work from which is still working for me today. It’s always hard to follow a massive tune with something equally as good. The group Artful Dodger was of its time and was the most successful Garage act with a platinum selling album. I’m happy with my writing now and have some gems to drop this year that I’m really looking forward to.

DEN: It’s been a few years now but are you in touch with the Artful D?

LS: Yes I’m touch with them all; they’re all doing different things but everyone’s well.

DEN: You’re a talented singer and songwriter. For me, your work reflects a truly sincere expression of feelings and emotions. Where do you gain your inspiration to produce material?

LS: Thanks David, I write about my life and the people around me, conversations I have and thoughts I process. I try to be as honest as possible about music and words. I find this so much easier than trying to create something I can’t relate to. I have to create honest music.

DEN: You’re open to discuss your experiences in dealing with depression. Would you mind talking about this and some of the charities you’re working with to help raise awareness of depression and mental illnesses?

LS: I’ve been suffering from depression since I was a child and its something that I’ve finally learned to deal with over the last few years. It’s a part of my life, sometimes more prominent than others. Depression has taken me to some dark places, questioning my self worth and my existence as seen on my blog but it has also helped to make me stronger, realizing and appreciating all that is good about my life too. I make a conscious effort to count my blessings and be around people who I feel good around. I have to keep an eye out for my triggers, the things which could make me take a fall or throw me off track but generally I’m managing it. Time to change have posted my blog up and have been really supportive as have been mental health charity ‘Mind.’ I’m also doing some speaking for some non-profit organisations for the youth, singing and sharing my experiences with mental health.

DEN: What have been the biggest obstacles if any in your career as an artist?

LS: The biggest obstacles for me as an artist would be funding without a doubt. Just getting someone to inject some cash into my projects is a lot harder than it was when I first started in this game.

DEN: You’ve collaborated with a number of recognised artists including Chaka Khan, Jocelyn Brown, Bluey (Incognito) Charlene Anderson and Omar. Are there any artists in particular who inspire you?

LS: I’m inspired by Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Miguel, Antony Hamilton. Anyone who gives their all on and off stage.

DEN: Who ideally would you like to collaborate with?

LS: I’d love to work with Miguel, Antony Hamilton, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Al green, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley… anyone I could learn from .. Ooo could go on for days ..

I wish Lifford the greatest success and good fortune!

Support A Charity Through Buying Art

David Emmanuel Noel - Final-1Over the last few weeks I’ve been making a few revisions to my website. A selection of limited edition prints and cards are now available to purchase online through PayPal. 10% of any purchase price will be donated to the following UK or US registered charities. Keep an eye out as there may be one or two added shortly.

Charities in the United Kingdom

The ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust)

The ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) was founded in 1996 by Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE, parents of former leukaemia sufferer Daniel De-Gale. The charity raises awareness about leukaemia and related blood cancers/disorders and promotes bone marrow, blood and organ donation; especially among minority ethnic groups in the UK. ACLT offers practical and emotional support to patients and their families while recruiting potential lifesaving donors.

Kids Company

Kids Company was founded in 1996 providing practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children.

Services reach 36,000 and intensively support 18,000 children across London, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges. For many, the roles of adult and child are reversed and, despite profound love, both struggle to survive.

These exceptionally vulnerable children not only negotiate significant challenges in their family homes, they also face immense threat within their neighbourhoods. Often they are exposed to relentless violence, some are forced into working as drug couriers or prostitutes, and many experience chronic abuse.

Kids Company provides a safe, caring, family environment where support is tailored to the needs of each individual. The charities services and support empower children who have experienced enormous challenges to lead positive and fulfilling lives. Despite great difficulties, the children we work with are hugely courageous and embrace the support we offer.

In 2007 Kids Company was awarded the Liberty and JUSTICE Human Rights Award. In 2010 we were selected as a ‘Child Poverty Champion’ by the End Child Poverty project for our success in enabling children to achieve their full potential.

Stroke Association

The Stroke Association provides high quality, up-to-date stroke information for stroke patients, their families and carers. Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That’s one person every five minutes. One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Most people affected are over 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies. It is the country’s third biggest killer, kills more women than breast cancer and remains the single biggest cause for adult disability. Stroke changes lives. It can have a huge effect on you and your family. You will most likely want to know as much as you can about what practical, emotional and financial support is available.

Charities in the United States


Camba is a nonprofit organization that provides services that connect people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life. CAMBA has responded to the needs of communities by creating individualized service-oriented programming since 1977. Today their programmes annually serve over 45,000 individuals and families—including 8,000 youth—in the following areas: Economic Development, Education and Youth Development, Family Support Services, HIV/AIDS Services, Housing Services and Development and Legal Services.

For further information please visit my online shop. Wishing you all well.

Supporting Comic Relief for Red Nose Day 2013

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front whilst back in the studio. However, I will be sharing what I’ve been making with you shortly.
This week sees the 25th anniversary of Comic Relief’s ‘Red Nose Day’
Comic Relief is an operating British charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. The highlight of Comic Relief’s appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with sister project Sport Relief. Comic Relief is one of the two high profile telethon events held in the United Kingdom, the other being Children in Need, held annually in November. This weekend, I will be donating 20% of online sales from original artwork and limited edition prints to the cause. Please visit my online shop  for artwork and the official Comic Relief website for further info on the work of  the charity. Have a great weekend all!

What Can We Do To Prevent Stroke?

World Stroke Day

A number of charity events and fundraising initiatives gain profile at this time of the year. One date to remember is World Stroke Day this October 29th. The World Stroke Campaign aims to disseminate essential life-saving information and share knowledge about actions and lifestyle behaviours that can reduce the likelihood of stroke. The campaign aims to improve and educate the public on the fundamental need for appropriate and quality long-term care for stroke survivors. It also underlines the need to support and empower stroke care-providers. I’ve been recently working with the UK’s Stroke Association and have decided to support the charity and its US counterpart, the American Stroke Association, through donating a percentage of sales from paintings sold at  future exhibitions and events. A selection of prints and cards will also be made available for purchase on my new look website shortly.

Here are the facts:
o Stroke can be prevented.
o Stroke can be treated.
o Stroke can be managed in the long-term.
o 1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime.
o Every 6 seconds stroke kills someone.
o Every other second stroke attacks a person, regardless of age or gender.
o 15 million people experience a stroke each year, 6 million of them do not survive.
o About 30 million people have had a stroke – most have residual disabilities

On World Stroke Day, October 29, 2010, the WSO and its members worldwide launched the “1 in 6” campaign. The theme was identified to mirror today’s reality that one in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. With the fight against stroke at a crossroads, WSO members and partners around the world joined in solidarity to put forth a simple life-saving message on World Stroke Day: Do not take chances. One in six people are at risk of having  a stroke. It could be someone you know. It could be you!
For further information on stroke please visit the following links
World Stroke Organisation –
The Stroke Association
American Stroke Association