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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Spring 2019

Funding boost for new council homes

Council budget to make a difference

Spring clean ups coming!

Islington working

Supporting Usama and 5,500 people into jobs





Welcome Message from the Council Leader


News Brexit advice for individuals and businesses


Homes The £24.2m funding boost for new council homes


Working More than 5,500 residents have been supported into work


Budget How the council is protecting the services that matter most


Young people Introducing the new Young Mayor and Deputy Young Mayor


Place Fill up at Islington’s new water fountain


Your home News and information for Islington Council’s tenants and leaseholders


Safety Islington against hate crime


Health Get fit this spring in Islington’s parks and greenspaces


Local life Islington foster carer Debbie explains the rewards of the job


What’s on Don’t miss the Irish in Islington Festival

Highlights 15

Helping young people get the skills they need


Enter this year’s Islington in Bloom awards


Who are Islington’s inspiring teachers?

Spring 2019



Welcome to the latest edition of IslingtonLife – your one-stop shop for the latest news and information about Islington Council.

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

I am really pleased that, in this edition, we are celebrating the progress being made on two of the most important issues facing local people – building new council homes and supporting people into work. Building new council homes We are delivering the largest council house building programme in Islington for over 30 years, with local people given priority to move into these new homes. Now, thanks to support from the Mayor of London, we are set to build even more new council homes across the borough (see pages 6 and 7). We will now be building an extra 131 council homes over and above our existing plans to build 550 new council homes by 2022. Supporting people into work Alongside helping more people to have genuinely affordable, well maintained and secure homes, the council is committed to supporting more people into work. Since 2014, we have provided advice, training and support to local people which has helped over 5,500 unemployed people into work. We have also

provided tailored support for people who face challenges in getting back into work, which you can read more about on pages 8 and 9, and we are giving young people vital experience of the world of work to help them secure the careers they want (see page 11). Protecting vital support despite government cuts Making progress on both of these issues is made more difficult by continued cuts to the council’s core funding by the national government. Despite the 70 per cent cuts we have faced since 2010, I am pleased that our budget for the year ahead (see pages 12 and 13) will protect vital services - like libraries and weekly bin collections - whilst also making a difference on important issues, such as tackling homelessness and providing young people with support to prevent them being drawn into crime. We are doing all this, whilst also keeping council tax in Islington below the London average. I hope you enjoy this latest edition of IslingtonLife.

Recycle me! Please recycle this magazine once you’ve finished with it.

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Brexit Advice Update Around 20,000 EU citizens live in Islington, they play a valuable role in our community. Three-quarters of our residents voted to remain in the EU. We are proud of our diverse community and we are stronger when we stand together. Islington Council has been taking steps to prepare for Brexit, and will do what we can to support residents who may be affected by Brexit so they can

continue to live and work here.

to stay up-to-date.

If you are an EU citizen, you and your family will need to apply for settled status to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. You will be able to apply when the scheme fully opens on 30 March this year and you will have plenty of time to apply before the scheme closes on 30 June 2021. Your rights will remain unchanged until then. For more information visit You can also sign up to email alerts

If you run a business in Islington – and perhaps employ a number of people from EU countries, or import and export goods and supplies – you can get advice from the Government online at https:// There is a free advice session for EU nationals at Islington Town Hall on Thursday 21 March, 7.30-9.30pm. Book your ticket at

Tackling rogue letting agents

Three men behind the lettings agency Crestons have been jailed following a major investigation by Islington Council that uncovered how they ripped off customers to the tune of £105,000.

Mohammed Rayn Mashuk, Mohammed Ibrahim Ali and Ahmed Ali Syed were each sentenced to 28 months in prison in January. They were also all disqualified from acting as a director of a company for eight years. Blackfriars Crown Court heard how between 2014 and 2016 the men failed to refund deposits to private tenants at the end of tenancies,

failed to pass on rent to landlords, and failed to put tenants’ deposits in an approved protection scheme. At least 19 people were affected. Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “This sends the message loud and clear that rogue letting agencies cannot rip off their clients and get away with it.”

Traffic works update

Work to transform Highbury Corner and Old Street will continue through the spring and may lead to traffic congestion in and around both areas. Find out more at and

Spring 2019



The next generation of tech leaders

Islington pupils Gertie, Leia & Haifa demonstrate how to programme Milo, a robot for children with autism, at the Celebration of Computing event.

They joined over 500 bright young pupils at the Emirates stadium who showcased their achievements in technology at the event organised by Islington Council. Children produced their own digital newspapers, coded musical instruments and created ‘tech for good’ guides to help other pupils use technology responsibly and healthily.

BBC Click’s Kate Russell was a special guest on the day, along with

representatives from BT, Microsoft, Lego and Google.

Boundary review underway A review of Islington’s ward boundaries has started. Islington currently has 48 councillors representing local people in 16 wards. The review, carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), aims to ensure electoral equality for residents, in other words whether this is the right

number of councillors in the right places to represent the borough’s growing population. Islington’s last review was in 1999, since then there has been significant population growth – currently it’s estimated that nearly 240,000 people live in the borough. The LGBCE will be asking for views on Islington’s ward patterning

from the end of March until the beginning of June as it draws up its recommendations. From September to November there will be a further consultation on LGBCE’s proposals. Find out more about the review at See who your ward councillors are at councillors




Building more new council homes for Islington

Andover Estate, Finsbury Park

Islington Council has secured £24.2m funding from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to support its flagship programme to build new council homes. The council wants to build as many new council homes for local people as possible to help tackle the housing crisis. It doesn’t get any money from the government to build new council homes, and so it

often has to sell some of the homes it builds to fund its schemes. The Greater London Authority funding has secured the future of 131 of the new homes the council is building on 10 estates. Rather than having to sell some or all of these, the council can keep them as council homes, providing desperately-needed, decent, safe, genuinely affordable housing for local people for generations to come.

Local lettings

The Local Lettings Policy means council tenants and their family members who live with them have first priority for the new homes built on their estate.

Spring 2019


Homes The extra 131 new council homes that will be built on 10 estates are: 1. Beaumont Rise, Hillrise 2. Elthorne Estate, Hillrise 3. Wedmore Estate, Junction 4. Andover Estate, Finsbury Park 5. Parkview Estate, Highbury East 6. Harvist Estate, Highbury West

1 2


Dover Court Estate, Canonbury

4 6 5

7 Redbrick Estate, Old Street

Harvist Estate, Holloway Road

8 7. Dover Court Estate, Canonbury 8. Charles Simmons House, Clerkenwell 9. Redbrick Estate, Bunhill 10. Braithwaite House and Quaker Court, Bunhill

9 10




Islington is working

Poverty is a real issue for many families in Islington. The best way out of poverty is through work, and the council is giving help to families who are out of work, or in low paid jobs and struggling to get by, to get good quality jobs that pay a proper wage. This month, Islington Council is celebrating supporting more than 5,500 residents into work; helping to change their lives for the better.

used the recommendations of the 2014 employment commission to get Islington working. It has focused on giving tailored employment support to residents and working with local employers to create job roles that are open to more local people. This important work is

all part of building an inclusive economy that works for all local people.

CAP secured a place for James on an innovative pilot project set up by the council’s iWork employment support team and the local NHS Foundation to split full-time NHS jobs into part-time job share roles to make them more accessible for residents.

into account.

James was helped to apply for a job as a health care assistant and the recruitment process was adjusted to take his abilities

He is now working part-time as a health care assistant at Stacey Street Nursing Home where he is really enjoying the job.

“I absolutely love it,” he says. “The team are incredibly supportive and I enjoy working with the residents. It gives me a real purpose. I even enjoy setting my alarm to get up at 6.30 in the morning!”

Over the past five years, the council and its employment support partners across the borough have

Here are some of their inspirational stories:

James James has a learning disability and spent a number of years as the primary carer for his mother. He lacked confidence in his abilities because he had little work experience and had struggled with job applications before. After the death of his mother, James was introduced to the Community Access Project (CAP), that helps Islington residents living with learning disabilities to find work and training.

Spring 2019



Inspiring the next generation Esther da Silva, a Year 13 student at Central Foundation School was supported by the council’s youth employment team into a placement with Green and Fortune’s Rotunda restaurant on the Kings Cross development last year. The council’s Saturday Jobs programme provides paid parttime employment to 16 and 17 year-olds in Islington. It is a great way to introduce young people to the world of work and valuable employability skills.

“The experience I have gained by working there has made me a better person and know a lot more about hospitality as well as working in such a diverse place. I love every minute of it and I honestly wouldn’t have asked for a better place to work. Also the food

is great so that’s an extra bonus.” Through the Saturday Jobs programme: Students are paid £6 per hour and work between 2 and 6 hours per week for 12 weeks Young people go through a recruitment process and attend an interview to give them experience of what is involved in applying for a job The council provides support with completing application forms, pre-interview preparation and ongoing support during the placement.

Nanu Nanu is a lone parent with three children. After her youngest child started school she was keen to get paid employment to improve her family’s finances. She met Maria Marsh the council’s iWork coach at Moreland Children’s Centre in 2014. Maria helped Nanu enrol on ACL courses to gain maths and English qualifications and to get a volunteer placement with City & Islington College. Nanu’s long-term goal was to be a London bus driver, so Maria looked for bus driving opportunities and in May 2015 Nanu was interviewed with Go-Ahead London and was offered a job.

Nanu celebrates four years in the job this year. She said: “with all Maria’s support, I am a happy full-time London bus driver.”

Contact iWork today, call 020 7527 2706 or email

Are you already in work, but would like to progress to a more senior role? Or maybe you’re looking for a job, but have other commitments during the day. Islington Council is offering new evening classes in English, Maths and IT skills. Sessions are taking place at Finsbury Library, EC1V 4NM this spring. Email or visit to find out more.

Spring 2019



Start your career with an apprenticeship

What have nursing, digital marketing, software development, law and environmental conservation got in common? They all offer apprenticeships. Apprenticeships have evolved a lot and now offer a debt-free route into so many different types of jobs. They are available at a range of levels – from GCSE to Master’s degree – so they are a great alternative to university for many young people. Usama (pictured right), from Finsbury Park, is five months into his Level 4 higher apprenticeship as a trainee quantity surveyor with the Osbourne Group. Working on a major project to regenerate the Andover estate, he is also earning over £20,000 per year, while studying at Southbank University for the training element of his two-year apprenticeship. In spite of these great opportunities, Usama’s mum took some convincing that this was the best option for him. “My mum believed going to university was a more respectable route for me,” he said. “I was lucky that Abdi from the council’s iWork employment service managed to convince her otherwise, or I would have missed out.” Abdi Yusuf said: “Usama has so much potential that I couldn’t see him lose out. Higher level apprenticeships can be equivalent to a university degree, but at the same time the young person earns a wage and avoids the costs of going to university full-time. It’s a no brainer really.”

As an apprentice you will:

work alongside experienced staff gain job-specific skills earn a wage and get holiday pay get time for study related to your role (equivalent to one day a week) Apprenticeships take one to five years to complete depending on their level.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still at school. To start one, you will need to be: 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays living in England not in full-time education If you want support to find a great apprenticeship opportunity, contact iWork on or call 0207 527 2706.




Protecting the services that matter most In this year’s budget the council is pledging to build new homes, maintain weekly bin collections, keep all libraries open and much more. Massive cuts by the national government to Islington Council’s core funding, combined with rising demand for vital services that the council provides for local people,

it needs to save £50 million over the next three years. This is on top of £225 million it has already had to save since 2010. Despite these challenges, the council is working

towards making Islington a fairer place for all, by making a difference on the issues that matter most to local people and by protecting vital services.

National government has cut Islington Council’s core funding by 70% since 2010

Help us keep costs down Manage your council tax online to win

Register for e-billing or pay by Direct Debit and you will automatically be entered into our prize draw where you could win £3,000. Paying by Direct Debit is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to pay and by signing up for e-billing you help the council cut down on costly paperwork. Sign up at

Contact the council online

Online transactions cost the council roughly 32p, compared to £7.40 to speak to us in person. Register for a My eAccount for faster, simpler and cost efficient access to council services. Visit

Recycle more

Did you know it costs us nearly twice as much to deal with your rubbish as it does your recycling? Recycling is better for the environment too! Find out more

Spring 2019



Towards a fairer Islington by… Building at least 550 more council homes, prioritised for local people, by investing £187m over the next three years Islington faces a housing crisis with a desperate shortage of genuinely affordable housing. A £187m investment will be spent on schemes including Beaumont Rise, The Triangle Estate and Charles Simmons House.

Keeping all libraries open and maintaining weekly bin collections Regular street cleaning, parks maintenance and weekly rubbish and recycling collections have also been protected from cuts and will remain unaffected. All libraries, leisure centres and youth hubs will be protected, too.

Protecting free school meals for all nursery and primary school pupils, saving families £400 per year Islington Council is one of just a few councils in London to provide free school meals to all nursery and primary school children in the borough all the way up to age 11.

Investing in vital support for homeless people, and a determination to prevent homelessness Rough sleepers are among the most vulnerable people in the community, and the council is committed to helping get people sleeping rough into safe accommodation.



Young people

Meet Islington’s new Young Mayor Lydia Banjo is the new Young Mayor for Islington following election by her fellow youth councillors.

(L-R) Lydia, Abubakar and Arkan, with their fellow youth councillors

Lydia, who will hold the post for a year, said: “I am honoured to be given this opportunity and am looking forward to making a difference and making our name as youth councillors much larger.” Arkan Ali Akiil has also been elected Deputy Young Mayor while Abubakar Finiin is the new Member for Youth Parliament. The Islington Youth Council is elected every two years but the positions of Young Mayor, Deputy Young Mayor and Member for Youth Parliament change each year. Youth councillors make sure the opinions of young people in the borough are heard

and work with the council to involve young people in how services are run.

Lunch Bunch is back! Islington Council is again offering children from low income families a free healthy lunch every day throughout the Easter school holidays. Lunch Bunch provides a fresh meal to children who might otherwise go hungry, as well as being a chance for them to make new friends. The scheme is open to children aged 6-12 (Year 1 to 7) from low income families who receive benefits and/

or a household income of less than £16,190. Find sessions and book at islingtonlunchbunch.eventbrite. For more information call 020 7525 5959 or email

If you are struggling to afford food, you can find out about Islington Foodbank at islington.

Find out more about the Islington Youth Council at or follow them on Instagram or Twitter @IslingtonYC

Spring 2019


Young people

Helping youngsters get the skills to suceed A unique partnership between the council, schools, businesses and cultural organisations is set to help youngsters develop the skills they need for life.

Islington sits at the heart of one of the greatest cultural cities in the world with famous museums and galleries right on the doorstep. It’s also home to businesses offering great job opportunities. But many local young people don't get to benefit. To make sure they do, the council has launched two exciting initiatives – 11 by 11 and 100 hours World of Work. 11 by 11 is a commitment to all school children that they will experience 11 outstanding cultural experiences by Year 11, including free concert tickets, backstage theatre tours and school assembly talks on the creative industries. The World of Work is a pledge they will experience 100 hours of career-related activities by the time they reach 16, including things like inspirational talks and visits to workplaces. By embedding these in school life, Islington’s young people will have new opportunities to develop essential life skills like communication, self-reliance and team working and learn more about career options open to them.

Morgan’s story You cannot fail to be impressed by Finsbury Park’s Morgan McManus-Lee. She’s studying for a degree at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins after gaining a Gold standard Arts Award qualification. She’s an advisor, holds down a part-time job and is an all-round inspiration.

It started when at 15 she dropped into an arts project on the former Marquess Estate. Run by community arts organisation All Change, the B Project aims to get girls and young

women involved in photography and the arts. Morgan quickly learned new skills and grew in confidence, leading her to where she is today. She says: “Take all the opportunities that come your way. They really make a difference to your future, whether it’s college, university or work. Even knowing what you don’t want to do is better than not knowing at all.” Find out more at




Get free water fill-ups in Old Street Do your bit to reduce plastic waste by getting free water refills at Islington’s new drinking fountain near Old Street station. This is the first of six new drinking fountains that will be opened this year thanks to work by Islington Council, the Mayor of London and #OneLess. The fountain stands on the Promenade of Light close to Old Street Roundabout.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Drinking fountains are win-win – they help people cut down on plastic waste and also save money.

Download the Refill app to find free water at

People of Islington

FREEZE YOUR BREAD TO MAKE TOAST And together, we could save 65,000 slices from the bin every day.

Why not give it a go? Toast straight from frozen.

Spring 2019



Spring cleaning the borough

Islington’s litter and grot spots will be getting a blitz as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Great British Spring Clean’ between 22 March and 23 April. A number of clean-up events will be taking place across the borough to tackle litter and fly-tipping with help from volunteers, community organisations and local schools.

The Great British Spring Clean also marks the first anniversary of the launch of Islington’s neighbourhood cleaning teams. The dedicated neighbourhood street sweepers follow the same routes as recycling and refuse collection rounds and have been welcomed by residents since they were set up. There are also more bespoke litter and recycling bins being installed across Islington. By April there will be 300 of these new bins dotted around the borough. They have a transparent window on the recycling side, which will hopefully prevent

people from throwing non-recyclable items, such as food waste, cigarette ends and chewing gum into this side of the bin. If you’d like to take part in a local clean-up, please email

Keep an eye out for these events at springclean or on social media @IslingtonBC




A place to park your bike Knowing that you have somewhere safe and accessible to store your bicycle makes taking up cycling an easier option.

ULEZ is coming The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will take effect in central London, including Bunhill and Clerkenwell in Islington, from Monday 8 April 2019. Most vehicles will be required to meet new tighter exhaust emissions standards or pay a charge to travel within the zone. Find out more at

Tackling poor air quality

By the end of March there will be more than 140 bike hangars installed around the borough and plans to roll out over 100 more by

April next year. There are also 1,264 resident cycle spaces and 800 bike stand spaces for visitors on estates.

Cleaner, Greener and Fairer Transport Change first line to Islington Council is about to launch a new blueprint for transport and residents are invited to have their say this spring. The transport strategy sets out the council’s vision and policies for transport over the next 20 years. It aims to create a more sustainable borough by making walking and cycling safer and easier, make

transport more accessible and inclusive, improve air quality by reducing traffic and reliance on cars, and make Islington’s streets more enjoyable and welcoming places to be. For the latest information visit transportstrategy

To accelerate a move away from diesel vehicles and address their impact on poor air quality and health, the additional cost of parking diesel vehicles in short stay bays in Islington has increased from £2 to £3 per hour. The price of diesel resident permits will also go up from 1 April. Disabled residents with a Blue Badge can continue to park for free. For more information visit dieselsurcharge

Renew your Freedom Pass Is your Freedom Pass due to expire? If it is, then the easiest way to renew it is online. You just need your current Freedom Pass and the letter containing your unique renewal number. Your new pass will be sent within three weeks once you’ve completed the renewal. Go to renew

Spring 2019



Islington in Bloom launching soon Islington’s annual gardening competition launches at the end of March, so make this the year that you ‘have a grow.’ Whether you have green-fingers or not, the competition is open to all Islington residents and businesses and is a great opportunity to grow some flowers or vegetables for enjoyment. You don’t need a big garden to enter. Window boxes, pots and containers are great options for people who live in flats and you can create some stunning displays using these. Islington also has some fantastic parks and greenspaces, plus lots of opportunities to volunteer in them. These sessions are a great way to get out and about and meet people, as well as learning tips to help with your gardening at home. Every entrant will receive a free bag of compost from Camden Garden Centre. Prizes for each category are 1st - £100, 2nd - £75, 3rd - £50. For more information, visit; call 020 7527 6394; or email

Eileen Carnell won first prize in the ‘container’ category last year with this superb display

Get composting When you throw out food with your general waste it either goes to landfill or gets burnt. Both aren’t good for the environment. But luckily, there’s a different way.

Home composting is a great way to turn your cuttings and peelings into wonderful, nutritious compost to use on flower beds and vegetable patches. You don’t need to buy a compost bin to compost, but you can get a reduced price one at Learn how to compost at a free

workshop at Freightliners Farm on Saturday 11 May, from 2.30pm-4pm. Booking essential, please call 020 7527 5157. If you don’t have the space to compost at home, you can still do your bit by using a food caddy. Whether it’s tea bags, coffee grounds, potato peelings or banana skins, all food waste can go in your caddy. Recycling has never been this a-peel-ing. www.smallchangebigdifference. london



Your home News for council tenants and leaseholders

Help if you are experiencing domestic abuse Islington’s local housing teams now have the specialist knowledge and skills to support survivors of domestic abuse. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or are worried about a friend or family member, speak to your local housing team in confidence. They will be able to offer you a range of support and help you understand your housing options to help you to live safely and free from fear.

Contact your area housing office on: Holland Walk 020 7527 7480 Upper Street 020 7527 5300 St John Street 020 7527 6250

You can also call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or Solace Advice helpline on 0808 802 5565. In an emergency, always dial 999. For more information visit housingdomesticabuse

Lasting power of attorney If you lose the power to make certain decisions, a lasting power of attorney keeps those decisions with the people you trust.

Start the fight back to a healthier you! Find out more online at or call 0300 456 0300

One You Islington is packed with practical tips, tools and free apps to help you improve your health today.

Spring 2019


Your home News for council tenants and leaseholders

Who is your Caretaker of the Year? Does your estate caretaker go above and beyond their duties keeping your estate in good shape and deserves to be recognised? The council’s Caretaker of the Year awards is now open for nominations. So if your caretaker goes the extra mile, whether that’s keeping your estate spick and span, letting you know about local services and activities, organising community events or just being a friendly face who says hi, we want to know about it! To nominate, go to caretakeraward and fill in the online form. Alternatively, you can email your nomination to or post it to Compliance Solutions, Neighbourhood Services, 222 Upper Street, London N1 1XR. Please include your name, which

Could you use a drying room on your estate? Would you like a lockable space on your estate to hang laundry? Earlier this year in Highbury Estate, the council turned a disused area on a landing into a drying room, and it’s already made a difference to residents. “It’s a special place to hang laundry,” said Ernest Okrah, the council’s Estates Services Team Leader. “It frees up space in residents’ flats and helps to keep damp and condensation at bay.” A drying room is a well-ventilated, lockable room where estate residents can hang their laundry to dry. If you think a drying room could work on your estate, here’s what you need to do:

estate and block you live in, the name of the caretaker you want to nominate and why. Make sure you include details like if your caretaker is friendly, how they keep your estate in good shape, and how they go above and beyond for your community

Nominations close on Friday 12 April. Look out for an announcement about the winner on islingtonlife. london or follow us on twitter or facebook @islingtonlife

1. Think about where it could go. Is there an underused or unloved space that would work? 2. Contact the estate services team at your area housing office and tell them – they’d love to work with you to make it happen! UpperStreet.Housing@islington.

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Spring 2019



Safe havens Thanks to the support of local shops and businesses, anyone who feels harassed, unwell, or just needs help, now has a choice of safe places to go in Islington.

More than 40 premises have now signed up to Islington’s safe haven’s scheme, providing help by letting people inside and away from others who may be harassing them. Staff will also help the person by calling the police, family or friends; or by simply giving them directions, or somewhere to sit for a short time.

All Islington’s libraries and leisure centres have signed up to scheme, as well as many local shops, cafes and pubs.

Islington says no to hate There is no place for hate in Islington. In the latest stand against hate and racism, the council has adopted a definition of Islamophobia that will make it easier to tackle this form of racism towards Muslims. Islamophobia impacts on the lives of many British Muslims and those that others perceive to be Muslim. The definition developed by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Muslims makes it easier to recognise and therefore challenge any prejudice, discrimination or

anti-Muslim hatred. Council Leader, Richard Watts made the announcement at the Full Council meeting on 28 February. You can help the council to take action against hate and stop the few from disrupting our strong Islington community: If you experience or witness any form of hate crime, report it to the police at, call 101 (999 in an emergency) or tell Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also sign the anti-hate crime pledge at hatecrime

For more information visit

Tackling phone theft

For the first time in years, the number of phone snatches in Islington has fallen due to tough action by the police and the council. It wasn’t that long ago that snatches in the borough were higher than anywhere else in the country, but today after a sustained clamp down they are down 60%, to low levels seen in 2011. The police have used a range of techniques to boost detection rates, including using DNA spray, planting “sting” mopeds, and also experimenting with new pursuit tactics. The council has helped with increased CCTV monitoring and by making it harder to commit crime by enhancing street lighting and redesigning streets.




Get fit in parks this spring

Amazing things happen when you stop smoking Since the launch of Islington’s Breathe Stop Smoking Service in 2017, more than 1,210 Islington residents have stopped smoking with the help of the service; why not join them and feel the benefits?

Spring is in the air and Islington’s parks are starting to bud with activity and life. Nature is awakening from its winter slumber and more people are out and about enjoying Islington’s green spaces. Parks are the perfect place to get fit this spring. Did you know there are 38 parks in the borough that offer opportunities to do sport? They include 28 places to play football, 20 basketball courts and eight outdoor gyms, as well as four tennis courts, two climbing walls and one cricket pitch. There is also a court

for bicycle polo, which is the same as traditional polo but with bikes instead of horses! Most facilities are free, and you can just turn up. Many parks also offer organised sports, like the free 5k Highbury Fields parkrun (2k for juniors), tag rugby and multi-sports. So, don’t miss out. Head down to your local park and find out what’s available. sportinparks

Here’s some inspiration: If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day by stopping smoking you could save as much as £2,000 a year! Stopping smoking will restore your skin’s natural glow When you stop smoking you’ll start to have more energy and your breathing will improve, making it easier to exercise Stopping smoking is good for your teeth and your breath. Find out the best way to stop smoking by visiting, calling 020 3633 2609 or texting QUIT to 66777

Spring 2019



Reduce your risk of diabetes To mark Diabetes Prevention Week, from 1-7 April, we highlight some of the support that is available in Islington. One in 13 adults in Islington has type 2 diabetes, while the same number are at high risk of developing of the condition. This is a serious condition where the body is not able to regulate blood sugar levels and can lead to heart, eyes, feet and kidney damage. The good news is that making small changes now can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Jean*, who lives in Islington, was told by her GP that she was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and was referred to the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention

Programme. After completing the nine-month programme, Jean was able to reduce her blood glucose levels out of the ‘pre-diabetic’ range. Jean said: “The nutrition sessions were most enjoyable for me. They were really effective in helping me change everyday habits, and I’m going to maintain the changes that I

made in controlling portion size and maintaining at least 10,000 steps per day.” You can find loads of advice at the OneYou Islington website *Names have been changed to preserve anonymity.

Lose weight for free Get active, lose weight and meet others this spring by joining Islington’s free 12-week Rebalance programme. Rebalance offers exercise and dietary advice for adults who may be struggling with their weight. The programme covers nutritional advice, healthy-eating guidance, online, cognitive behavioural support and help to get active.

At the end of the 12 weeks, you can get nine months of free support from coaches, like Nanci, to help you stick to your new lifestyle. You will also be eligible for a discounted gym membership at any GLL leisure centre in Islington. Find out more, call 020 7974 3019 or visit rebalance

Health coach Nanci has lots of fitness advice



Local life

Target a new activity

Did you know that you can try archery in Archway? Experience Archery, based at Caxton House, in St John’s Way, offers everything an aspiring Robin Hood could want – from beginners courses and ‘have a go’ lessons, to archery in schools and club shooting sessions. It is a great way to meet people and is a fun activity for families. The sport doesn’t exclude on grounds of physical ability or fitness, so anyone can have a go, although you need to be aged over eight.

Previous experience is not necessary and all equipment is provided. The club even has lightweight bows to make sure everyone can have a go. So, why not take aim on your next activity?

Find out more at

There are more than 60 different sports on offer in Islington. See what’s available near you at active

Spring 2019


Local life

“We treat them as family” Fostering Fortnight takes place in May. We spoke to Islington foster carer Debbie about the ups, downs and personal rewards of caring for teenagers. As a child Debbie’s neighbour was a foster carer and an inspiration to one day take up the role. Fast forward to today and Debbie has cared for more than 15 Islington teenagers. “One thing to remember is that there’s no easy age group! You can be up all night with a baby or supporting a teenager. The difference is with teenagers there’s a lot of banter and you can really establish a relationship,” Debbie says. While some of the young people Debbie and husband Terry have cared for were looked after for weeks, one boy was with them for 10 years. “He’s 28 now and we still see him,” Debbie says fondly. “We treat them as family. When they come in our house, whatever they’ve done is left at the doorstep. It won’t work to lecture them.” “They’ve got such low self-esteem coming into care. A big part of the role is re-building that self-esteem and letting them take it at their own pace, we let them settle. Providing them support is essential.” “A lot of these children haven’t been

Terry and Debbie

to school much. One young lad struggled with maths and needed a tutor. After a couple of months, he could sit in class and put his hand up. That made him feel really good about himself.” Equally vital is the fostering team’s support for the carer. As well as financial assistance there is training in specialist subjects such as gang involvement and sexual exploitation. And although there are challenges,

Debbie is clear the emotional reward from seeing a young person thrive is unparalleled and there will be plenty of happy memories. “When a teenager comes to you they want to sleep with the light on then all of a sudden the light’s off. That’s when you know you’ve cracked it.” If you would like to know more about fostering, contact the team on 0800 073 0428 or send an email



Local life

Inspiring excellence in education one of 12 winners in the first ever Islington Education Awards. The awards, organised by Islington Community of Schools and supported by Islington Council, celebrate ambition, innovation and excellence in teaching and learning in the borough.

Dame Sian Phillips presents Barrie O’Shea with his award

Mr O’Shea, who has been a headteacher in Islington for almost 30 years, was presented with his award by actress Dame Sian Phillips at a special ceremony at LSO St Luke’s.

One of Islington’s best known headteachers, who has been a positive role model for thousands of children, has been given a Lifetime

Achievement Award. Barrie O’Shea, Headteacher of Duncombe Primary School, was

The winners Headteacher of the Year

Abi Misselbrook-Lovejoy from Newington Green/Rotherfield Primary Schools

Premises Staff of the Year

Patrick Seeburn from City of Islington Academy Islington

Senior Leader of the Year

Sarah Gill from Hugh Myddelton Primary School

Classroom Support of the Year - Primary

Sharon Turney from Ashmount Primary School

Classroom Support of the Year - Secondary

Noreen Akhtar from Holloway School

Governing Body of the Year

Moreland/St Luke’s Primary Schools

Bright Start Early Years Educator of the Year

Dilek Kavak from Hornsey Lane Estate Community Nursery

Administrator of the Year

Nimira Lalji from The New North Academy

Teacher of the Year – Primary

Julia Marriott from Yerbury Primary School

She told guests he had “influenced the lives of thousands of children” and “works tirelessly for his school’s children, parents and staff and has also always been an advocate for disadvantaged children in Islington.”

Teacher of the Year – Secondary Sonali Patel from Holloway School

Special School Educator of the Year

Elena Burguete Vidal from The Courtyard - St Mary Magdalene Academy

Product of Islington Award

Karen Tumbridge from Islington Futures Federation

Lifetime Achievement Award Barrie O’Shea from Duncombe Primary School

Spring 2019


Local life

Celebrating fabulous diversity

Cookie MonStar launches the LGBT+ children’s booklist

In February, Islington celebrated its diverse and fabulous LGBT+ community for LGBT History Month. There were walks and talks, film screenings and an exhibition at Islington Museum. Don’t worry if you missed out, there are still ways to get involved! Islington libraries launched one of the UK’s first LGBT+ booklists for children. Cookie MonStar launched the list with one of her wonderful Drag Queen Story Times. The books showcase different forms of family life and spread messages of tolerance and acceptance. They are available to borrow throughout Islington’s 10 libraries. You can also join the brand new

Reading Friends project, which joins up people in the borough who want to make connections and new friends via reading books together. Library staff are looking for older LGBTQ+ residents to take part in the exciting scheme. Reading Friends will meet regularly to chat and share stories in groups or one-to-one sessions. Using the Islington’s Pride archive, you will

also develop stories and shared experiences through a number of workshops. There will be a celebration event in June where you will be able to share your work with an audience. To sign up or for more information contact visit www.islingtonspride/ readingfriends or email



What’s on

Dog Olympix is back Training sessions for Archway’s very own Dog Olympix are due to start on Sunday 1 April, at 11am in Whittington Park. Open to all dogs and owners, the Dog Olympix is an agility competition with the finals due to take place on Sunday 8 September.

Training costs £3 per session, or £2 a session if you are out of work. Money raised goes towards buying a water fountain for the park. Find out more at or email

Gunzo winner of Best in Show

Volunteer in Compton Terrace Gardens

Irish in Islington Festival

The Irish in Islington Festival, organised by Islington Library and Heritage Service, takes place from 17-23 March. Celebrations kick off on St Patrick’s Day with fantastic local Irish bands and a free Irish dance workshop in Archway’s Navigator Square on Sunday 17 March from 1-5pm. There will also be an exhibition and children’s storytelling at Archway Library and a guided walk by Islington Walks on Saturday 23 March. Don’t miss the craic!

Easter holidays

Compton Terrace Gardens is the long thin park in front of Union Chapel. They were first set up in 1823, nearly 200 years ago. A friendly group was set up about 10 years ago to look after the gardens and they are looking for help. From planting, mulching, cutting, to tidying up, and other things that

a garden needs, after the hard work the team often goes for a meal together. Everyone is welcome and no special skills are needed. Sessions are held on Saturdays 16 March, 13 April, 18 May, 5 June, 6 July. Just turn up if you want to get involved between 10am and 1pm.

Holiday playschemes are an affordable way to cover childcare during school holidays. The schemes are for Islington children aged 4 to 11, though most schemes also cater for older children. Activities include arts and crafts, sports and outings. There are also 12 adventure playgrounds dotted around the borough that are safe, fun, welcoming and free! Get your Easter childcare sorted, find out more at holidaychildcare

Spring 2019


What’s on

Stay updated There are lots of ways you can find out about what’s happening in Islington. Visit to read our blog, discover your local neighbourhoods and step back in time with our local history section.

Follow @IslingtonLife on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send us your photos of places you love around the borough and we will try to share them. Email ject1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 05/09/2018 13:02 13:02 Page Page 11 ect1_Islington ad

You can also sign up for our monthly IslingtonLife and Things to do e-newsletters and get them sent straight to your inbox. Plus

the council has a number of other e-bulletins that you can sign up for at stayupdated

Your FREE local newspaper

Free early learning for 2 year olds News Letters Theatre Films Food

Your 2 year old can learn, play andmake friends at a high-quality nursery, school or childminder. If you are unemployed or on a low wage, your child could get 15 hours free early learning each week during term-time.

Don’t let them miss out!


Out every Friday

Apply at: For more information ring the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 Tel: 020 7419 9000

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Fostering teenagers is is challenging but Fostering teenagers challenging butbut Fostering teenagers is challenging also brings great rewards. Your care also brings great rewards. Your care also brings great rewards. Your care and support makes a real and support makes a real difference. and support makes adifference. real difference. Don't bebe put off by fostering myths. If If Don't put off by fostering myths. Don’t be put off by fostering myths. you've had children ofof your orown you've had children your own or or If you’ve had children ofown your have worked with young people, you have worked with young people, youyou have worked with young people, willwill have lifelife skills you can use. have skills you can use.use. will have life skills you can Get in in touch today toto find out Get touch today find outout Get in touch today to find more about making that more about making that more about making that difference. You may have more difference. You may have more difference. You may have more toto offer than you think! offer than you think! to offer than you think!

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Profile for IslingtonLife

IslingtonLife spring 2019  

Islington Council's spring residents' magazine, featuring new council homes, spring clean ups and more

IslingtonLife spring 2019  

Islington Council's spring residents' magazine, featuring new council homes, spring clean ups and more