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Find out more about W3 Hive and the work they do to support, promote and raise awareness of Acton

EALING.NEWS meets up with Kal Di Paola, the founder of W3 Hive who have been running a number of projects in Acton since 2018. W3 Hive has been created to be the parent organisation for the projects Kal and her team have done and will be doing which promote and support Acton including Acton Notebook, Acton Unframed, ReProject and Restore W3.

You are known for creating and developing a number of leading projects to support, promote and raise awareness of Acton and the people and businesses in the area, what excites you about the Acton area and how long have you lived in the area for?
I have lived in Acton for 12 years, since my son was born. Before that I lived in an area that felt like a bit of a bubble. What I love about Acton is that it feels like the real world – people from all walks of life, a melting pot of cultures, and there is a noticeable sense of community. 

What are you most proud of to have achieved so far?
To have got this far! Winning the GLA funding for our most recent proposal to set up a Restore and Repair Hub was a big moment but it doesn’t overshadow the hard work that lead up to it.

When I first started out with a social media feed for Churchfield Rd I didn’t have any big ideas in mind – it was just a creative outlet and a way to support the local high street but it developed into a love local movement, a website followed and when I met Jewel & James Goodby the idea for Acton Unframed came about – the Street Art project was crowdfunded and that was our first big success – the 5 murals we produced as part of that we feel very proud of –  some have become landmarks and bring visitors to the area. 

What inspired you to set up W3 Hive as the umbrella body for you work?
Once we won the GLA funding for the ReProject, we felt it was important to have a properly functioning organisation through which we could develop bigger ideas. We are keen to galvanised people in Acton who share our objectives to make our neighbourhood a better place to live and to create more opportunities for young people and we could only do that by formalising the ad hoc networks that we have built.

How many people are involved in what you do?
At the moment it’s just four of us myself, my other half Massimo Di Paola and Jewel & James Goodby. Between us we have a wealth of experience that spans Food, Art, Fashion and Entrepreneurship and we’ve all given our time to develop local projects in recent years. We have children who are growing up here and we are keen to make it a dynamic and creative neighbourhood that they can feel proud of growing up in. 

Outside of W3 Hive what do you do?
I help small businesses and start ups  with their business and marketing strategy. 

If you had to recommend to someone who is spending a day in Acton, where would you take them to for breakfast, lunch and dinner and what would also be on their tour of the area?
For Coffee – Buono is a favourite –  great views of the Findac mural, or ActOne Cinema has a really lovely cafe too. 

For Brunch: at the weekends Fed&Watered, or Bondi for a quick pit stop.

Lunch – it’s usually on the go so I love to grab a wrap from the Lebanese stall at Acton Market,  or Churchfield Food Store do the best sandwiches. For a sit down lunch it would be Ezo Japanese or Putt in the Park when the sun is out. 

For dinner –  Rodfai does great Thai food and My Old China is one of the best Chinese around, for something a little more refined Fed & Watered do great high end cuisine. 

We would also take in some of the great art work in the area that are part of the Acton Mural Trail – and take a moment to remember Jamal Edwards at his sculpture by artist Matt Small.

What help do you need and how can people get in touch with you?
We aim to build the Restore from reclaimed materials  and so looking for help to source materials but also for volunteers to build, paint and get the Restore up and running.

After that we’ll be looking for mentors to work with young entrepreneurs; we are keen to run branding and marketing workshops and we also need facilitators to run up-cycling workshops. Circular economy brands will be given pop up space and marketing support to reach a local audience and should get in touch by email to kal@actonnotebook.com

We’ll also be reaching out to youth workers and schools in the area to ask them to put forward children who might benefit from being involved in entrepreneurial and creative projects. 

For more on W3 Hive, click here.

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