Monthly Archives: September 2016

What happened to me when I invested in social business Birdsong

Like most of us I am a regular charitable donor. Whether supporting your charity run or texting cash for a DEC appeal. I am there. To me it does not matter if you finish the marathon in super speedy time. I have donated because you asked me to support a cause that you care about.

I have even pre-bought product through crowdfunding. It was great knowing the I had helped get something out into the market by buying to before it was made. I got my purchase. 

But I have never before invested until now, until Birdsong, the ethical online clothes store did their first ever raise. I am now an investor – get me!

I know the team – they are awesome. I trust their values and that they can deliver it. But most of all the business they have built is about solving a real problem.No sweatshop. No Photoshop. So my contribution is 99% motivated by the same drivers as i would make a charitable donation.

So when I hit the button to make my small £25 contribution I expected it to feel like making a charitable donation. After all I was claiming a stake it because I care about what they doing and if I never got the money back I won’t really miss it.  

What actual happened was something very different. I had invested! I don’t just mean cash wise. I became personally invested in making what they do successful because I am bound to them now in some small way as they continue their business journey. 

When they hit their target I didn’t just say well done. I told my mates that this was something they should invest in too. I wanted them to raise more because I have skin in the game. 

I didn’t just ‘donate’ and forget. I found myself relishing every update on their progress and will continue to do so, because nestling in amongst the big investors is my £25. I am now in a relationship with an ethical company that has a future stretching before it!

Just wait till Christmas, my Facebook will be full of the great ways you can gift from ‘my’ company Birdsong.

By investing £25 they also got a bit of me, an ambassador, a customer and a loyal good word for the long-term. This blog 😉

If you have never invested before then I encourage you to try it. Dip your toe in the water with as little as £10 and see how it feels.  Birdsong’s equity crowdfunding is still open (for one more day). It’s where all the ‘best’ investor are putting their money right now!

(please excuse my bad spelling and typo’s – my autocorrect is on a meditation retreat!)

212 Plaistow Road Development – Sunday working

This is the apology I received from the developers about Sunday working- please note their address if you have any issues or concerns 🙂

I apologise for the inconvenience caused on Sunday when the subcontractors were working when they should not have worked. I have visited site this morning and have advise the subcontractors on site that under no circumstances should they be working outside the permitted hours. The reason for the works being carried out were due to heavy rain on Friday the digger was stuck on site and could not load the materials that were delivered. The mesh was delivered in big sections where the machine would have been able to lift them and load onto site, due to the machine breakdown this was not possible and unfortunately the operatives decided to cut the mesh to a manageable size and load the into the site. This should have not been carried out and they should have waited till this morning. I again apologise for the disturbance caused.
Please find my contact details below. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,
Suresh Kerai
Project Manager

Unit 5 Hurricane Trading Estate | Avion Crescent | Colindale, London | NW9 5QW
Office 0208 358 8383 | DDI 0208 358 8391 |
Email |


I shall make sure that there are no further incidents on this project. We do not want to create any bad feelings with the neighbours and are extremely sorry that this has caused issues to the neighbours. I am available to meet with yourself. Please advise a convenient time you are available. I am busy this Tuesday and Wednesday. The artist studios are not let at present. We shall decide on the Studios nearer to completion dates
The refuse will be collected from the refuse store are that is located on Lower Ground Floor
We shall of course organise to have the windows cleaned. Is there a company that carries out the works at present, if so can you kindly forward their details.

Kind Regards,
Suresh Kerai
Project Manager

Unit 5 Hurricane Trading Estate | Avion Crescent | Colindale, London | NW9 5QW
Office 0208 358 8383 | DDI 0208 358 8391 |
Email |

Improving Plaistow Station

I have been in corrpondence with TfL about the health and safety issues around the crowding at the ecntrance to the station – it is a massive ticket hall and everything is crammed into the entrance area. Thanks to Caroline Pidgeon AM for her help.

5th September

From: Flindell Richard []

Dear Caroline

 We are currently in the early stages of looking at a coffee shop for Plaistow station and have received some interest from a prospective tenant. 

As yet, I’m afraid I cannot give you much more detail or indicative timescales; however, just to let you know that Plaistow is high on our agenda for the District line and we hope to progress this shortly. 

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. 

Best wishes

Richard Flindell I Stakeholder Communications Manager

Rail and Underground External Relations I <image001.png> Transport for London

Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ I

25th August

From: Leach Adam []
Sent: 25 August 2016 14:04
To: Caroline Pidgeon
Cc: Members Correspondence; Flindell Richard
Subject: Plaistow Ticket hall

Thank you for passing on this correspondence regarding the ticket hall at Plaistow station.
All ticket machines on the London Underground network are emptied and restocked with cash from behind. This requires access via an associated ticket room, for safety and security reasons. Whilst relocating the existing machines would help move customer queues away from the station entrance, it would also require the associated ticket room to be rebuilt at a considerable cost.
Based on the customer frequency at Plaistow station – the current station capacity and ticketing devices adequately meet demand; meaning there is no business case to relocate the ticket machines and associated ticket room. We will however look into the possibility of providing a queue management system that would address the conflicting customer flows that your constituent has highlighted.
If you have any further questions please do contact me directly.
A. Leach | External Relations
Transport for London

5th August

Caroline it is not clear who I could send this too. Could you pass this on 🙂

It has been over a year since the staffed ticket sales at Plaistow have closed. And it is going ok.

But with a few more tweaks I think TFL could make things much easier for passengers at Plaistow.

As you know there is a big ticket lobby in Plaistow. Since the closure of the ticket booths you have made this bigger and even begun to look at extra revenue streams by putt in a photo machine.

But currently all of the ticket the machines (3) are positioned in the entrance- there are only two small doors to the station. On even quiet days this means a few hundred people walk headlong into 3 queues of people trying to pay for tickets. It makes no sense.

You have plenty of room elsewhere in the lobby to put some double sided free standing machines to reduce this build up of people. Some more modern machines may also be more reliable than the current ones which are often out order. We are lucky that the family that run the kiosk are good at selling tickets but they close early.

Last week the council got rid of the massive seating/weed area that also blocked customers entry and exit to the station – so flow to get into the station is much better – which in turn has increased the problem as you enter the station.

I am happy to ‘show and tell’ if you have some time. I really do appreciate you looking at ways to monitise the space at Plaistow, but some improvements to this ticket hall would not only be very welcome for customer flow but may also help improve ticket revenue too.

Laura Willoughby