Stories and recipes from across the globe to raise money for local community


Residents of O’Grady Court have gathered together recipes and memories to be part of two books, the Reminiscence Book and Recipes from Around the Block. These two books tell the story of a diverse community brought together from across the world. They will be sold for £5 each to raise funds for projects at the scheme.

O’Grady Court, a sheltered scheme in west Ealing, is home to a wide mix of cultures and experiences. Richard Neville, a story telling specialist, has spent the last year getting to know the residents, probing them with questions and capturing stories about their lives. The tales span over 80 years and cover all parts of the world including mining in Yukon, boat journeys to Fiji and memories of the 1948 Olympics in London.

In its 30 years, O’Grady Court has reflected the change in local population. In the beginning residents were predominantly from British Isles but as time has moved on they have welcomed people from the Caribbean, India, Bosnia, Somalia and Iraq to name but a few. With so many languages, cultures and religions under one roof the potential for isolation was high but residents found that the joy of cooking connected them all. Recipes from Around the Block is a collection of some of the recipes they share.

The book launch was attended by over 60 people and included stories being read and food served from both books. The event also included a play by Open Ealing written by Liam O’Grady the son of James O’Grady the namesake of O’Grady Court.

These books are part of the 30th anniversary of O’Grady Court and have been created with the help of £10,000 Lottery funding. To purchase either of these books please contact Birgit Huhn on 020 8840 1649.

Birgit Huhn, sheltered scheme manager at Catalyst Housing:

‘This was a wonderful and enjoyable activity, people loved sharing their stories. The reminiscence sessions have encouraged older tenants in the community to join in and get involved in the social life inside our sheltered scheme’.’

Donalda, a resident of O’Grady Court:

‘It has been an absolute joy taking part in the Reminiscence Book, I’ve remembered things that I would have forgotten otherwise and it feels great to be able to share a part of my life with people.’

Richard Neville, storyteller:

‘The experience was one of being welcomed into an extensive family as people started divulging different parts of their life stories.  We discovered connections through these stories and the warmth of those connections and being at the centre of that was fantastic.’