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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Spring 2018

Your new community centre

Find a job with iWork

Investing in young people

Put a spring in your step this season







Welcome Message from the Council Leader

Get active The launch of Islington’s first trampoline park

Cycling Improve your skills on free adult courses




News Kids display their tech skills

Early years education Why taking a place could improve your child’s academic ability at school

Local life Don’t be rubbish with your recycling, local policing and more




Budget Making a difference on your priorities


Young people Say hello to our new young leaders


Working iWork can help you find the employment support you need

Spring watch Now is a great time to get out and about and closer to nature



Your Home More new council homes and community facilities delivered

Health Get help with your health goals


Arsenal in the Community The latest news from Arsenal FC

Islington in Bloom The borough’s annual gardening competition is back

Highlights 06

Investing in new council homes and support for young people


New Brickworks Community Centre opens


Real life learning boost for Thornhill pupils

Spring 2018


Welcome Welcome to the latest edition of IslingtonLife, which is packed full of news and updates about what’s going on in Islington, including the brilliant new trampoline park at the Sobell Centre!

Cllr Richard Watts Leader of the Council

View this and previous issues online at Be the first to hear about the latest news. Visit Follow us on Twitter @IslingtonLife and @IslingtonBC for council news

You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. Search for IslingtonLife

Other formats If you would like IslingtonLife in large print, audiotape or another format, please call 020 7527 3416 Recycle me! Please recycle this magazine once you’ve finished with it.

The new trampoline park will double the number of people using the Sobell Centre, helping many more local children and young people take part in physical activity. I am really proud that we have been able to invest over £13 million in improvements to our leisure facilities in recent years, as we help more local people to enjoy activities in the borough. Our investment in the future of Islington can also be seen in our efforts to tackle the housing crisis. At the heart of making Islington a fairer place for all is ensuring we have the genuinely affordable homes local people need. That is why this year we will make our biggest investment in a generation in new council homes, prioritised for local people. We will deliver 200 new council homes at council rents this year, as part of our efforts to build 2,000 new genuinely affordable homes by 2019/20. As you’ll see on pages 10 and 11, we are building the new homes local people need alongside great new community facilities like the Brickworks Community Centre, and the new Cat and Mouse Library on Dalmeny Avenue.

local unemployed people into decent and secure jobs, including more than 1,000 young people. Our pioneering ‘iWork’ service (featured on page 8) includes one-to-one support to help give local people the chance to get the jobs they want. We are also working with local businesses to support them to take on more local people, as well as preparing the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow with events like the ‘Celebration of Computing’ at the Emirates (page 5). At this time of year, much of my attention is on setting the Council’s budget (pages 6 and 7) for the year ahead. By 2020, Islington Council will have lost 70 per cent of its core national government funding in a decade. Alongside growing demand for services, such as help for the elderly and crucial support for vulnerable children, disproportionate cuts by the government to Islington mean we have had to save over £220 million from our budgets since 2010. However, I am proud that this year’s budget once again protects all our libraries, children’s centres, and youth centres and maintains important services like weekly recycling and waste collections, as well as care services for older residents. We will continue to protect the vital services local people rely on and make a difference on the issues that matter most to Islington, as we work to make our borough a fairer place for all.

Supporting more local people into work is also central to how we will tackle inequality in Islington. Since 2014, we have helped over 3,800




Transforming Old Street

Exciting ideas to redesign Old Street roundabout and create an “iconic gateway” for the area are available to see online. Islington Council launched the open call for design ideas in December, together with the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and Hackney Council, as part of the major redesign of the 1960s roundabout. The council was looking for innovative design concepts that encompass public art and embrace

the spirit of “Tech City” - the technological, economic and cultural powerhouse around Old Street. The winning design will be announced before the end of March. Thirty nine entries were shortlisted and a public exhibition of them was held from 12 February to 2 March. The shortlist is still available to see

online, although no longer open for people to comment on. The winning design will be part of the transformation of Old Street, with the gyratory being removed in order to improve safe walking and cycling routes, whilst improving air quality in the area. For more information on the scheme and to view the designs, visit oldstreet

Improving air quality Islington Council has introduced a borough-wide surcharge for diesel vehicles using short stay parking. The £2 per hour charge came into force in January and applies to all diesel fuelled vehicles.

air quality and emit more toxic pollutants than petrol vehicles. Toxic diesel fumes have been linked to cancer, heart and lung damage, the onset of asthma in vulnerable people, and other health problems.

Diesel vehicles are linked with poor

It is estimated that between 25-

30 per cent of the 1.59 million short-stay visitor parking sessions in Islington are made by diesel and heavy oil vehicles, and that the surcharge will help encourage owners of diesel vehicles to switch to cleaner modes of transport.

Spring 2018



Kids display their tech skills

From robots to drones, and a doorbell for people with hearing impairments, Islington children showed off their tech creations at the sixth annual Celebration Of Computing event. More than 500 youngsters from 45 primary schools, as well as experts from Google, Microsoft and the

Institute of Imagination, attended the event at Emirates stadium in January.

The amazing tech creations on display showed how Islington’s computing-focused curriculum is coming to life in the classroom. And now that 10 schools in the borough have virtual reality equipment, lots of pupils are able to learn how to harness latest technology and use code to write their own programmes.



Budget 2018/19

Making a difference on your priorities Building much-needed new council homes, giving young people the support they need and scrapping council tax for foster carers have all been agreed in Islington Council’s 2018/19 budget. Due to ongoing Government cuts to council budgets and other cost pressures, the council has to make £32 million savings over the next year. The council’s budget, passed in February, focuses on helping to make Islington a fairer place and providing good services to residents. Islington will continue to invest in the borough – including major new investment in council homes - and

protect after-school and holiday childcare. Also from April, no foster carers in Islington will have to pay council tax, including those who foster adults through the Shared Lives scheme. To pay for vital services for residents, council tax will increase by 2.99 per cent, as well as applying the government’s social care precept of 3 per cent to help cover the rising costs of adult social care. Raising council tax by 5.99 per cent will mean an overall

weekly increase of £1.24 for the average (Band D) property.

We don’t want to increase council tax for our residents, but at a time of ongoing Government cuts to council budgets it will help us to protect the vital service on which local people rely.

By 2020, national government will have cut its core funding to Islington Council by 70% since 2010

Spring 2018


Budget 2018/19

Where is the money going? Investing £57 million to build 200 new council homes This is the council’s biggest investment into building new council homes to date. Schemes that will benefit from the funding include Kings Square, Dover Court, Elthorne and Park View.

Spending almost £14 million to deliver a new, expanded primary school

Protecting holiday childcare for over 5s

Scrapping council tax for all foster carers

To meet the demand for primary school places and provide good quality schools for Islington’s young people, we will provide a modern, new Tufnell Park Primary school.

We will be protecting after school and holiday childcare places for children over five and including a hot meal as part of the holiday childcare offer, to help address the fact that many of the borough’s poorest children do not get a hot meal during the school holidays.

From April, any registered foster carers in Islington will not have to pay council tax in Islington, to help them cope with the cost of living and encourage more residents interested in becoming foster carers to take on the role.




Helping you find the ideal job “We don’t judge people and I like that my clients trust that I am on their side.” “Once I understand the client’s situation, we make a plan that is designed to address everything that is preventing them from getting into work, and identify the end goal they want to achieve. “It is really heart-warming to see my clients become more confident and overcome the things that have been holding them back for a long time.”

The iWork team

Whether you’ve been out of work for a while, need help to get new skills, or want a flexible job that works with your family life, Islington Council’s iWork service can help you find the employment support you need. We speak to four members of staff from across the service to find out more. Nicky Freeling, Service Manager “My team’s main purpose is to provide support to anybody who is out of work, or working in a low paid role, into a good quality job, apprenticeship or training opportunity. “That sounds quite straightforward, but in reality, this can be a long but rewarding journey for each resident. It’s not unusual for a client to have been out of work for over 20 years because they were raising a family, living with a physical or learning disability, or suffering

from poor health. When you’re coming from that position, you need really tailored support to get into employment - our team, together with some fantastic local partners, provide this.” Don’t miss the Aspire jobs fair on Tues 6 March, 3-6pm at Lift Youth Hub

Abdi Yusuf, iWork Coach “Getting into work is such a personal journey. I help the client feel comfortable so we can identify all of the things we need to do to help them into work.

Mina Scarlett, Business Engagement Manager “I lead a team that works directly with employers in Islington to find or create roles for the people we are supporting into work. “Many local businesses are really keen to employ residents, but need support to develop roles that are flexible enough for parents with young children, accessible enough for those with physical or learning disabilities, or apprenticeships that work for both the business and the employee. “We use the council’s unique position in the local economy to ensure there are as many roles as possible available for residents we support.

Spring 2018


Working Hamish Mackay, Youth Employment Team Manager

“We will support any young person who lives

“We have a team dedicated to supporting 16-24 year olds into education, training, apprenticeships and jobs.

in Islington to find a pathway into work or training.

“Some young people find themselves out of work or education because they simply aren’t sure what path to take. Others didn’t finish school the way they might have wanted or think they can’t get into work if they got into trouble when they were younger.

“In addition to the same kind of one-to-one coaching offered to everyone, we also run a series of ‘Aspire’ jobs fairs throughout the year designed to bring employers together with young job seekers. This is a really fantastic opportunity because they come face-to-face with people who have a job available right there and then.

“Last year, 25 per cent of attendees ended up finding a job or apprenticeship through these events, so if you get a young person to go along to our next event, there’s a good chance they will also find something that suits them. If you know someone who could benefit from iWork encourage them to get in touch on or call on 0207 527 2706.



Your Home

Your Home News for council tenants and leaseholders

A community celebration

A new community centre and 23 new council homes have opened in Crouch Hill to the delight of residents. Brickworks is the new accessible community centre for the whole of Tollington ward, and includes a

cafÊ, meeting rooms, kitchens, a sports hall, children’s play spaces, a nursery, therapy rooms, offices for

community organisations, a roof garden and music room.

Spring 2018


News for council tenants and leaseholders

The centre also boasts a special ‘Changing Places’ toilet, which provides additional facilities such as a hoist, a changing bench and a shower for people with profound and multiple disabilities, beyond those usually found in a standard accessible toilet. Resident and mother Jennie Holloway said: “We come to the stay

and play here on a Tuesday… [our old community centre] was quite run down, so to come here and be in a new space with new equipment and things is really lovely.” New council homes were built along with Brickworks and include a mix of one, two and three-bedroom flats, of which two are fully wheelchair accessible. The new homes house

80 people, and all are for social rent. They are part of Islington Council’s commitment to building 2,000 new homes by 2020, including 500 new council homes. Brickworks Community Centre, 42 Crouch Hill, N4 4BY 020 7263 1067

Energy efficient homes Thirty-four new homes were completed by Islington Council in January, including 16 homes for council rent, on Dalmeny Avenue, in St George’s ward, Holloway. The flats are all rated highly energy efficient, making maximum use

of space for solar panels, and are connected to cost-saving, efficient communal heating. The flats for council rent include a mixture of one, two, three, and four bedroom homes, and three are fully wheelchair accessible.

The development also includes a secure central courtyard with new plants and trees and the new Cat and Mouse Library, which opened to the public at the end of last year, and includes new computers, study space, and new books for adults, children and teens.



Your Home

Grow your own The We Can Grow Project, run by local charity Octopus, is working with Islington Council to help residents get outdoors more and grow some fresh food.

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still get involved. Anita from We Can Grow says: “All you need is a pot or small seed tray, some compost and a packet of seeds. Try salad leaves, lettuce, beetroot, kale. You can even grow peas and just eat the shoots. “Keep the compost damp but not soaking wet. Put your pot in a

light place indoors – a window sill or a table close to a window is fine. Your leaves should appear in a few days.” If you would like to learn more about growing food, or would like to join in a community gardening project near you, email or call 020 7263 7095.

Repairs guide update A new Housing Repairs Guide has been published which applies to all Islington council tenants and leaseholders living in homes directly-managed by the council. It has information about housing repair responsibilities of the council and of tenants, timescales for works, as well as health and safety advice. View it online at www.islington. under ‘Housing’ and then

‘Repairs and Estate Management’. If you need to request a hardcopy call 0207 527 7952 or email If you need to report a repair in a directly managed Islington council home Do it online at Email Call 0207 527 5400

Free health support Expert Patients Programme is a free six-week course, to help you manage your health and find solutions to common problems, like arthritis, depression and heart disease. It is open to people who live, or have a GP in Islington or Haringey. The Diabetes Self-Management Programme is a free seven-week

course for people living with type 2 diabetes. It covers information about the skills and tools to help you selfmanage and other coping strategies. Courses are available on different days and times, in accessible community venues. For more information, call 020 7527 1189 or email

Spring 2018


News for council tenants and leaseholders

Keep your block safe “I’m Gary Squires, the Borough Commander of Islington for the London Fire Brigade. I’ve been a firefighter for over 20 years, but it still seems like only yesterday I joined up. I worked in Islington many years ago and I’m very pleased to be back. “I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of having smoke alarms fitted in their homes, and that they are regularly tested. We recommend doing this once a month – setting a reminder on your phone, or in your diary helps. “For residents living in flats or maisonettes our advice remains the same. You can find full information

at Living in a flat is no more dangerous than a house, but it’s important to know your escape plan. “An important part of this is making sure that all routes and emergency exits are kept clear, so people can escape the building more easily. We encourage everyone to keep common areas free from items like pram, bicycles and furniture, for this very reason.” If you want the latest news from Holloway and Islington fire stations, follow them on Twitter @londonfire

HIGGINS + ISLINGTON COUNCIL + ISLINGTON COMMUNITY = 3 133 brand new council homes, 4 shared ownership homes and 60 private sale homes across London Borough of Islington

3 Brickworks Community Centre, Crouch Hill 3 Cat and Mouse Library, Holloway 3 Refurbishment of the community nursery at Radhere House, Islington

3 Estate landscaping and public realm improvements at King Square, Islington

3 Apprenticeships and jobs for local people 3 Working with local schools and colleges Image: Opening of Brickworks Community Centre




Get active

Trampoline park springs into action Children and adults can put a spring in their step at Islington’s first trampoline park. The park, part of a £3million upgrade of Sobell Leisure Centre, boasts a

designated under 5s area, main court arena, battle beam, 9 metre slide, wipe-out system, slam dunk, diving board, foam pit and dodgeball area. Children from Islington helped test out the facilities ahead of its public launch on 27 January. “My favourite is the giant trampolines because

I jumped really high,” said Holly McLoughlin, 5, of Hargrave Park School. Miraz Osi, 8, of Montem Primary School, said: “The trampoline park’s really exciting. My favourite bit is dodgeball. It’s really fun.”



Bounce, balance and burn calories while having a heap of fun at Better Extreme, Islington.

Find out more or book online at Better Extreme - Islington BetterExtremeTP

Better Extreme is a registered trademark and trading name of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014 registration no. 27793R. Registered office: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX. Inland Revenue Charity no: XR43398

413672_GLL_Extreme_Sobell_PressAd_Jan2018_FV.indd 1

24/01/2018 11:02

Spring 2018


Get active

The trampoline park takes bookings from schools and community groups. It also runs holiday programmes and is available for children’s parties. Entrance fees start from £5.95 for adults and £3.95 for juniors. Find out more at



Early years education

More than just a childcare place

Youngsters at Archway Children’s Centre, which has recently been rated outstanding by Ofsted

When we think of nurseries and childminders it is usually with the need for childcare in mind. However, these settings do much more than care for children whilst their parents are at work. Research shows early education benefits children’s development all the way through to secondary school. Early learning experiences also prepare children for starting primary school by providing them with the chance to make friends and develop their social skills. “The best thing for me is knowing my daughter is benefitting; her learning and development is flourishing, much

better now than how it was before,” said one local mum.

Learning through play Early education is not about formal learning. Instead children are encouraged to be curious and to learn to communicate, to solve

problems, to count and paint, enjoy books and stories through a wide range of play opportunities. Local research has found that children who attend free education at the age of two have better results at the end of their first year of primary school than those who do not take up their place. All three and four year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week during term time,

Spring 2018


Early years education and some working parents are entitled to 30 free hours. Some children can get free early education in Islington from the age of two, if their parents receive certain types of benefits, such as income support, job seekers allowance and universal credit.

How to contact

Find the right place for you Understanding what you are entitled to and deciding which nursery or childminder is right for your child can be a daunting process. However, Islington Family Information Service (FIS) has a team of friendly advisers that can help you with all of these issues. Anyone living in Islington can call, email or drop-in to one of their advice sessions. Islington is home to a fantastic range of childcare and early years’ settings. Our council-run nurseries, part of Bright Start Islington’s under 5s services, are all good, or outstanding, and so there are plenty of options to choose from. One mum using a nursery in a children’s centre said: “I think people should take advantage of the services out there because they are there for a reason. This is for your child’s benefit. I feel like it gets them ready for school, a great base for starting school full time.”

Call: 020 7527 5959 Email: Drop in: Thursday mornings, 9am to 12.30pm, Customer Centre, 222 Upper Street, N1 1XR @islingtonfis

Dame Alice Owen’s School Est. 1613 Sunday Times State School of the Year 2017 Secondary Transfer Admissions September 2019 (Current Y5 Children) Did you know? Every year Dame Alice Owen’s School offers at least 20 places to Islington children Islington applicants mainly gain admission via the academic or music tests The school has a sibling policy Interested? Register for our tests between 16 May and 19 June 2018 Exams take place in early September 2018 ‘When you talk to any department be that Teaching, Music, Sport or Pastoral the message is the same – they want our child to be happy whilst they guide him to be the best he can be.’ - Parent of a Year 8 student

Our annual Open Afternoon takes place on Thursday 19th July 2 - 5pm and is the best opportunity to visit the school. Everyone is welcome and booking is not required

For more details on our admissions process and life at the school visit



Young people

Introducing the new

Fair Futures

young leaders

update Launched 12 months ago to study what it would take to make Islington the best place for children and young people to grow up, the Fair Futures Commission has sparked hundreds of conversations and engaged with children, young people and their families to understand their experiences and aspirations. In February, the Commission presented Islington Council and its partners with a set of recommendations. These include: Setting out what support children and young people can expect from Islington Council and its partners from birth to early adulthood. Giving every young person access to at least 100 hours of employment experience by the age of 16.

The new youth councillors on election night

Following a recordbreaking election, 12 young people have now taken their places on the Islington Youth Council and are ready to represent their peers across the borough. Ayaan Abdulle, Arkan Ali Aqiil, Jackie Appiah-Kubi, Tsedenia Asrress, Honey Baker, Lydia Banjo, Benjamin Boukerma, Abubakar Finiin, Jemelia Furtado, Ashantii Greaves, Crystal

Thoms and Isabella Wolday-Myers were elected in November 2017. Honey Baker became the first youth councillor to be re-elected. She campaigned on increasing sporting facilities for young people. Find out more about the Youth Council at Or contact them on email Call 020 7527 2552 @IslingtonYC islingtonyc

Including young people in consultation on all major developments in Islington from the beginning of the project. A review of ‘no ball games’ signs and policies on case-by-case basis.

Make sure every contact between children and young people and professionals is an opportunity to learn about the young person’s welfare and safety. Read all the recommendations and information about how they were formed at

Spring 2018


Young people

Real life learning Children at Thornhill Primary School are learning new skills and experiences from other parents and local professionals as part of a brand new programme for Islington. The Enrichment Programme was created to help provide an exciting, engaging, hands-on curriculum for pupils. Working with local businesses, parents, professionals and Islington Council, pupils get to try a range of careers and activities, some of which they might never have thought of before. Activities include plumbing, cartooning (with an ex-cartoonist for The Times), philosophy, working with residents at Muriel Street Care Home, mindfulness, and physical experiences, such as kayaking, learning in the forest, and trampoline fitness. The school is the first in the borough, and one of the first primary schools in London, to develop such a programme, and it is already seeing the positive effects. One parent wrote to the school to say her son “taught the whole family how to rectify a leaking tap”, while another said they were “so proud to be part of it.” Head teacher Jenny Lewis said: “Much of the success of the programme comes from the wonderful parents, local business and services who are giving their time free of charge to support hands-on learning.”



Spring watch

Get close to nature

The Mayor of Islington visits Islington Ecology Centre volunteers, Sally (far right) and Hassan (second left)

Gillespie Park and nature reserve is a surprising oasis of green tucked away behind Arsenal’s stadium. Spring is the perfect time to visit, says Sally Oldfield, manager of Islington Ecology Centre, as the park emerges back to life.

people who are surprised by it. We often get people saying, ‘I’ve lived here for 10 years and didn’t know it existed.’ It’s a real gem.”

“The birds are nesting. It’s an active time for our ponds. We have toads, newts and frogs here. Also, everything starts growing again.

Four people help run the centre, including one apprentice, 24 yearold Hassan Al-Islam from Islington, who has now completed the first year of his two-year apprenticeship.

“Blackthorn blossom is the first to come out and then you get the spring woodland flowers, like bluebells, ramsons (wild garlic) and cowslips. But we don’t want people to pick them. “And the first butterfly you can see is the Brimstone, which is a beautiful light green-yellow.” Sally has managed the Ecology Centre for 10 years. She says: “I never tire of seeing people come here and really enjoy it, particularly

He says: “It’s a good place to visit because nature is unique. I would say people who haven’t been here before will be surprised. The first time I came here I didn’t know what to expect.” This month, the centre’s Sunday café is starting up again after its winter closure. There are also pond dipping sessions planned for the Easter holidays. The centre regularly has curriculum-linked school visits and its space is used by various community

groups for sessions like yoga, tai chi and toddler groups. Sally says: “Spring is a good time to get out and about, but believe it or not, we have more work in winter than in summer. In winter, there is a lot of pruning and cutting back, as well as tree and hedge work. In spring you’ve got to be careful not to disturb things.” Islington Ecology Centre is available for hire. Call 020 7527 4374 or email ecologycentre@

Upcoming sessions

Pond dipping Wednesday 4 and 11 April, from 2-3pm. Free and drop-in Adult volunteering Thursdays throughout the year, from 10am-3pm. Teenagers are welcome if accompanied by an adult Sunday café Open from 11am-5pm.

Spring 2018


Spring watch

Giving swifts a home Spring is a time when swifts return to the UK. You can see these mediumsized birds from April to September, although they are now endangered in London due to a loss of habitat and nesting sites. Dover Court, in the east of Islington, is one of the few sites left home to swifts. Efforts are being made to protect and create new nesting sites, as part of works to build 70 new homes on the estate.

in one of the taller blocks to provide a nesting site for a pair of swifts within the external wall. It is believed to be the first time these innovative bricks have been fitted in Islington. Islington Council is also due to install external nesting boxes for swifts at Tufnell Park Playing Fields and Rosemary Gardens this year, and it is hoped that these efforts will help prevent any further decline of this popular bird.

Want to find out more?

Follow Islington Swifts on Twitter @islingt_swifts or go to

Swift nest bricks are being installed

Michael Priaulx, member of Islington Swifts Group, with one of the bricks.

Love your park Islington’s parks and green spaces are your parks and green spaces. And there are many ways you can get involved. For management decisions, gardening days and community events you can join or form a Friends of Park group. You can organise an event in your local park. Email greenspace@ or text: ‘Greenspace’ + your message to 80800 for more details.

If you enjoy gardening, you can join other people by volunteering at a community planting day. Or you can take on your own patch of Islington, by planting and maintaining a forgotten corner or tree pit garden.

Don’t miss the Freightliners City Farm Easter Fun Day on Monday 2 April from 12noon-4pm!



Islington in Bloom

Grow with friends and neighbours

Islington Gardeners collect their London In Bloom gold award

It’s time to get your gardening gloves ready as Islington’s annual horticultural competition opens again in April. The competition, run by Islington Gardeners and Islington Council, is open to all Islington residents and businesses and is a great opportunity to grow with friends and neighbours. Last year, the competition received 215 entries received – up 60 per cent on the year before, and the most popular category was Best Front Garden, followed by Best Container Garden and Best Tree Pit. Islington won silver at Britain in Bloom and gold, for the third year running, at London In Bloom. Both awards were in the city category. Andrew Bedford, Head of Public Realm (Greenspace & Leisure) at Islington Council, said: “Islington’s

Culpeper Community Garden - 2nd Place - Best Community Garden

King Henry’s Walk Garden 3rd Place - Best Community Garden

strength is the way groups and individuals across the borough come together to grow. We have a very strong sense of community and I encourage everyone to get involved again this year.”

of compost from Camden Garden Centre. Prizes for each category are 1st - £100, 2nd - £75, 3rd - £50.

Every entrant will receive a free bag

For more information on how to enter visit inbloom, call 020 7527 6394 or email

dit dit

Spring 2018



Improve your commute

open to you. Working with qualified instructors, you can perfect your cycling techniques, whether that’s improving your ability to negotiate complex junctions, heavy traffic, or having the confidence to cycle at night. Cycle skills sessions are also available for complete beginners, or cyclists who are new to using London roads. Islington Council also provides a series of free Dr Bike sessions, school Bikeability training and courses for children aged 5-12 during the Easter holidays.

Do you cycle as part of your commute, or would you like to? If

you live, work or study in Islington, free advanced cycle skills sessions are

Visit https://islington.coordinate. cloud to see what’s on offer.

Archway Zero Emissions Network. Working together for clean air.

Cargobike biketrial trial Cargo

Electricvehicles vehicles Electric @ArchwayZEN

DrBike Bike Dr Supported by



Local life

On the beat PC Cameron Thorp is the local neighbourhood officer for Islington’s Mildmay ward. He joined the force six months ago and is keen to involve more local people in community policing work. “There isn’t really such a thing as a typical day,” he says. “I come in and check the emails and overnight reports to see if there are any issues to look out for and follow up. Then typically I go out to meet with people from the council, libraries, and different community groups. “We might do a weapons sweep in an area. They turn up all sorts of things, from knives to drugs, moped helmets or even power tools. We also look after the long ranging issues in the community. “Talking to people is my favourite part of the job. You can find out so much more than what you get from a report. Also, we can only do our job if we’ve got the public on board, telling us what’s going on. “You get to feel quite protective for your area and you want to make sure that residents there get a good service. “People sometimes wait until they see a police officer to report something, but I would say, don’t wait, get in touch and talk to us to see if we can help.”

Officers find all sorts of items during a weapons sweep, including a discarded bike wheel

Get news from your safer neighbourhood team: Search online at Follow on Twitter @MPS (followed by the name of your ward), like this @MPSMildmay Email (the name of your ward), like this

Spring 2018


Local life

Don’t be rubbish at recycling

It could be as easy as hanging a re-usable bag on the back of the kitchen door or buying another cheap bin. There are also lots of creative ways you can create extra storage space for your recycling.

1. Keep a basket under the stairs, or by the front door, as a holding area for papers and magazines that are waiting to be moved to an outside recycling bin. 2. Use bags for life to store bottles for recycling. Hang them inside a kitchen cupboard door, or in utility cupboards out of sight. 3. If you have children, get them to decorate a plastic or cardboard box to store all your recycling - this will make it look nicer and encourage them to use it too. 4. Store an old bucket under the sink to put your cans, glass and plastic in after you’ve rinsed them out. 5. Re-use cardboard wine carriers to store glass bottles neatly for recycling.

peelings a

It’s Composting Awareness Week from 6-12 May. This is a good time to find out how to put your kitchen peelings and garden waste to new use.

new life

Islington residents can buy compost bins and wormeries at a subsidised price at www.islington.

Give your

Photo: Ikea

We’d like to help you sort out your bin storage and inspire you to recycle more because the more you recycle, the more money the council can save and put towards essential services, and the better it is for the environment.

Take a look at these tips from Recycle for London and be inspired!


Lots of people in Islington only have one indoor bin, for a variety of reasons, like lack of space or force of habit. But that makes recycling more difficult and much messier. One bin means you end up piling recycling around your bin, or worse still, you throw it out with the rest of your rubbish. Free composting workshops are also held regularly. Just email or call 0207 527 5157 to request a place on the next one. They take 1.5 hours and are held at Freightliners Farm, Sheringham Road, N7 8PF.



Local life

Fab female


Sing for




Islington libraries are celebrating International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March with a month-long book promotion – hundreds of fantastic titles by female authors. Whether you’re after old favourites or new discoveries, there’s guaranteed to be something you love. There are also author events and a talk on the Jewish Suffragettes.

Islington charity Healthy Generations runs projects to reduce isolation for older people, helping them to stay healthy, independent and fully involved in their community. It has a range of weekly classes to learn new skills and keep fit, including tea dances, meditation and osteoporosis remedial exercise groups.

The Singing Well Community Choir is a free, friendly class for Islington residents to drop in and make new friends. No singing experience is needed. Sessions take place every Monday at the Loraine Estate Community Centre, just off the Holloway Road, N7 9UE, between 2pm and 4pm.

Call 0207 263 1751 or email

Call 020 7527 7471 or email for details.

Follow on Twitter @islingtonlibs

At the heart of the for Community focussed Community focussed for community for over 150 years more than 150 more thanprovides 150 years years The Islington Gazette readers with the latest sports and entertainment Visitin usnews, at: Visit us at:

@islingtongztte @islingtongztte


Spring 2018


Local life

Supporting victims of domestic violence A new ‘one stop shop’ service supporting victims of domestic violence and abuse has been launched by Islington Council.

for our residents.” The council is also supporting victims of domestic violence by training GPs, dentists and other health workers to identify the signs and refer victims to appropriate services should they wish to access them. In addition, a new training programme to help council staff understand the signs of female genital mutilation (FGM) and two new specialist services to help domestic violence victims with complex needs will launch in April. The council has recently been awarded official White Ribbon accreditation in recognition of its work tackling domestic violence and abuse.

Cllr Kaya Comer Schwartz and Cllr Andy Hull supporting White Ribbon Day

The Anchor is a free drop in service, open to anyone who wants support for a wide range of issues, including specialist domestic violence advice, housing and legal advice, family support, and drugs and alcohol services. Specially-trained police officers are also on hand to provide help and advice, if needed. People who attend are seen on a one-to-one basis in secure meeting rooms and treated with the utmost confidentiality.

“One in four women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, which is completely unacceptable,” says Cllr Kaya Comer Schwartz, executive member for community safety. “Islington Council is committed to leading the way as a borough in which no form of domestic violence and abuse is tolerated and where those affected know how and where to get the help they need, and we are thrilled to be able to launch this valuable new service

For more information visit email or call 0207 527 6662.

For confidential support or advice call the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, always dial 999. Anyone with information about domestic violence crimes can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




Get help with your

Sexual health

health goals


Islington has been working with 32 councils across the capital to improve sexual health services for residents through the London Sexual Health transformation programme.

Merlin and his wife at the gym

Rebalance is a free 12-week weight management programme for people who live in Islington or Camden with a certain BMI. It aims to help you lose weight and improve your overall health. You will receive advice on your diet and nutrition and a tailored programme of group activity classes held at a range of local leisure and community centres. Merlin who lives in Angel, completed the programme last year. He said: “When I started Rebalance at retirement age I was heavily overweight, had difficulty walking

services are

without a limp because of arthritis in my left hip and I had high blood pressure. “After 12 weeks I had lost 14 kilos in weight, was walking normally and my blood pressure was lower. I really enjoyed the program despite not being sporty person. And great support from the Rebalance staff and fellow attendees, and seeing early benefits, was really helpful in staying committed through to the end.” Find out more at rebalance or email rebalance@

Under the new model, people benefit from an integrated ‘one stop shop’ sexual health service, covering sexual health promotion, services for sexually transmitted infections and contraception. Clinics are open for longer hours, including at weekends, and work with other local services, such as pharmacies and GPs. From February, Islington’s services will also be working closely with a new London-wide online sexual health service that provides information and assessment to sexual health services, including access to self-sampling HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test kits for people who do not present with symptoms of an STI.

Spring 2018



Free family workshops Families for Life is a series of free workshops for parents and their children aged 5-11, where you can learn about being healthy as a family in an enjoyable and active way.

The Family Kitchen programme runs for six weeks, starting on 6 June until 11 July, from 4pm5.30pm, at St Luke’s Community Centre. Each session lasts 90 minutes and includes practical cooking skills and eating a healthy meal. At the end of

the programme, all families receive a Family Kitchen recipe book to take home. Find out more or to book your place call 020 7974 6736 or email healthandwellbeingteam@camden.



Arsenal in the Community

Become an Arsenal in the Community trainee

Are you in Year 11 and interested in football coaching? Our two year BTEC Level 3 in Sports Coaching could be for you! Visit for more information about the 2018-20 scheme.

Free homework club on

Apply for The Arsenal

Westbourne Estate

Gap Year

Arsenal in the Community run free homework sessions in partnership with Islington Housing at the Westbourne Community Centre. The sessions mirror a game of football – with 45 minutes of Arsenal-themed school work followed by 45 minutes of coaching. They take place every Thursday from 4.30-6.30pm.

Arsenal in the Community are looking for enthusiastic candidates for the August 2018 intake of the Arsenal Gap Year Programme. Running since 2006, the programme sees participants contribute to the club’s community work in north London and overseas. To find out more and to apply, visit community/gapyear

Spring 2018


Arsenal in the Community

Xhaka visits Arsenal

Charity matchday raises

sensory room

record total

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka took time out to visit the Gunners’ sensory room at Emirates Stadium.The new facility, which contains a range of sensory tools and games, gives fans with profound special needs the opportunity to enjoy matches with their families and carers.

The Gunners raised £309,000 for The Arsenal Foundation on their charity matchday against Newcastle in December. Much of the money will be used to support community and charity groups in Islington, via the Gunners Fund and Islington Giving.

Fever Pitch the Opera Arsenal were involved in a special production of Fever Pitch - an “opera for people who think that they don’t like opera” at the Union Chapel in Islington last year. The Arsenal Foundation helped to fund theatre workshops with local schools. As part of this outreach work, around 1,000 local children had the chance to see the play – and relive THAT night at Anfield in 1989!

Home fixtures Visit for the latest information on Arsenal home fixtures.

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IslingtonLife magazine spring 2018  

Islington Council's quarterly resident's magazine. See the latest news and events at

IslingtonLife magazine spring 2018  

Islington Council's quarterly resident's magazine. See the latest news and events at