Welcome Laura to the HVCC team

If you’ve been in the Centre recently you’ll have seen a new face about. Meet Laura McCarthy, part-time Centre Assistant, who joined the Hornsey Vale team in April 2024. You may meet Laura at our Monday Community Soup Cafe and monthly Lunch Club, or otherwise see her co-ordinating bookings, helping …

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Later-life laughs and exercise

Diabetes and osteoporosis prompted Lesley Chrysanthou and Ann Anderson, two retired teachers, to start exercising regularly several years ago. Their resolve to get fitter has since evolved into a regular gathering for senior exercise now in its 12th year.  West Haringey Seniors Exercise takes place in the gym at Hornsey Vale Community Centre each Tuesday at …

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Centre Administrator, Emma Watson

This month, we’d like to introduce you to our member of staff, Centre Administrator Emma Watson. Following a sterling effort working from home during lockdown, you’ll now see Emma around the Centre keeping everyone organised, ensuring upcoming activities are on track, and casting an expert eye on health and safety. We’ve asked Emma some questions to get to know her a little better; do get in touch if you have a query.

Where are you from and what brought you to Haringey?  

I’m from Australia; I moved from Melbourne to London in 2005.

Give us one thing most people don’t know about you?  

I love kayaking.  

What one word would you use to describe yourself?  


Tell us a little about your career so far.

I studied Architecture and after an initial period working as a heritage consultant, I moved onto working on major retail development in Australia (my first task was documenting toilets in a new Ikea!) In 2005, I relocated to London as part of the Executive Architect consultant team on the Westfield London development in White City, and then moved to Westfield, Stratford City. I moved client-side for Westfield, working in a senior management position within the Design and Construction team on its London retail and residential projects, including the 2018 expansion of Westfield London.  

Away from work, I am involved in the Women’s Institute locally and am a Trustee of the Middlesex Federation of WIs; I enjoy managing its newsletter and website. 

What attracted you to the Administrator role at Hornsey Vale?  

I’m passionate about North London, and Crouch End in particular, and wanted to put my professional and voluntary sector skills to use closer to home, where I could make a more tangible impact. 

What do you like most about your role and what do you like the least?  

Best? Working in a hyper-local environment and making a very real contribution to my neighbourhood. I also love that Hornsey Vale is an inclusive and welcoming place to work: meeting the fabulous people who make Crouch End tick has easily been the most rewarding part of this role. And of course, the super-short commute is also, understandably, appealing.

There’s not much I dislike, but starting at HVCA a week before lockdown in March 2020 was interesting timing: it’s been a challenging year. It will be great to see people enjoying the Community Centre in a way I’ve not yet experienced. 

What are you most looking forward to as we start to emerge from lockdown?  

The thing I’ve missed more than anything is cooking for friends: I cannot wait to eat and drink inside, with people I care about. 

When you stop by the Centre, pop your head round the door to meet Emma. If you have any questions, you can contact her at