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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Spring 2020

Ten years of making Islington

a fairer place

Investing in:

safe, decent affordable homes, a safer community, jobs and opportunities and a cleaner, greener future for all


IslingtonLife

02

Contents

03

Welcome Message from the Leader of the Council

05

News Highbury Leisure Centre update

06

Fairer Islington We take a look back at 10 years since the Fairness Commission

08

Homes for all See where the council is building new homes

12

Safe place How one domestic abuse survivor is using her experience to help others

14

Jobs and opportunity Congratulating Islington’s adult learners

16

A cleaner, greener future What plastics you can and can’t recycle

18

A cleaner, greener future Learn about Islington’s amazing School Streets

20

Children and young people Celebrating the first anniversary of 11 by 11

22

Health Discover Islington’s new Dementia Cafe

24

Local life Photos from the We Are Islington event

30

What’s on VE Day celebrations, spring activities, and more!

Highlights 17

Meet your Recycling Champions

25

An LGBTQ+ foster carer’s story

29

Remembering Andrea Levy


Spring 2020

03

Welcome 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 issuu.com/islingtonlifemag Be the first to hear about the latest news. Visit islingtonlife.london 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.

This edition features the continued work we do to create a fairer Islington for all by investing in the issues that matter most to local people.

Ensuring everyone has a safe a decent home We are delivering the largest council house building programme in Islington in a generation, with local people given priority to move into these new homes, which you can read more about on pages 8 and 9. The council’s budget this year invests an extra £60m to help deliver Islington’s target of 550 new council homes by 2022. You can read more on page 24 about the council’s work to tackle the homelessness crisis, and support our most vulnerable residents into safe and secure accommodation.

Creating a cleaner, greener Islington Since declaring the climate emergency in June, the council is working hard to achieve our ambitious target of a net-zero carbon Islington by 2030. This year’s budget gives a green light to a number of projects across Islington that will tackle the issues that matter most to residents, while

reducing carbon emissions and cleaning up air quality. From more than doubling the number of School Streets to 30 to investing £1m to redesign our streets into Liveable Neighbourhoods. You can read more about the launch of London’s first ever Low Plastic Zone and how air quality is improving across our borough on page 19.

Protecting vital services despite government cuts Investing in the issues, alongside creating a safer community, helping more people into jobs and protecting vital services is made more difficult each year as national government continue to cut the council’s core funding. Despite being forced to make savings of almost £250m since 2010, I am pleased that this year’s budget, detailed on page 4 invests in making Islington a fairer place, and protects vital services like libraries, weekly bin collections and free school meals. 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.

To receive news and updates directly to your inbox visit www.islington.gov.uk/stayupdated

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IslingtonLife

News

Highbury Pool rebuild in final phase Work to rebuild Highbury Leisure Centre following a devastating fire has taken a major step forward with the last stage of work to rebuild the pool now underway. Planning permission for the works, which include restoring all areas of the pool hall, including the roof, pools and poolside areas and changing rooms, and the main contractor that will carry them out have been confirmed. The swimming pool is due to reopen early next year. “This latest development is a huge step forward,” said Paul Lister, Head of Service at GLL. “We continue to work closely with Islington Council to ensure that we can return outstanding leisure facilities to the community as quickly and safely as possible.

“We are extremely grateful to our customers for their continued patience.” Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and social care, visited the centre and said: “The new spin studio is a fantastic addition to the range of activities on offer at Highbury Leisure Centre. With work now under way on reinstating the pool and health and fitness areas, I am looking forward to seeing the wonderful results.” Get further updates at www.better.org.uk/highbury

Your vote matters On Thursday 7 May 2020, Londoners go to the polls to elect a Mayor of London and 25 London Assembly Members. Make sure that you can have your say by registering to vote at GOV.UK by 21 April. EU citizens who live in Islington can vote in these elections regardless of settled status.

Is your washing machine a fire risk? If you have an Indesit or Hotpoint washing machine bought between 2014 and 2018 it could have a flaw with the door-locking scheme that might lead to it overheating and potentially catching fire. You can check if your washing machine is affected by visiting https:// washingmachinerecall. whirlpool.co.uk/ Or you can call Whirlpool’s free hotline on 0800 316 1442, where an adviser can assist with checking your model and providing further information. Please note that appliances under the Whirlpool brand itself are not affected.


Spring 2020

05

News

Council spending to create a fairer Islington for all A decade of government austerity has meant that Islington Council has had to make savings of almost £250 million. This year’s council budget is the first time we’ve been able to spend money on our priority areas: homes, safety, jobs and the environment. At the forefront is building new homes and preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place. Support for survivors of domestic violence and abuse, assistance to helping more people get a job, and measures to tackle climate change are also on the list.

Islington is also set to get its first Liveable Neighbourhood, which aims to cut traffic and boost walking and cycling in the Mildmay and Highbury East area. The scheme, part of the council’s investment proposals for 2020-21, includes road closures, protected cycle routes,

better crossings and improved public spaces. Local residents will have the chance to have their say and co-design the scheme before a full public consultation later in the year.

Here’s where else we’re investing:

Environment £1 million

Homes £60 million

Safety £600,000

Communities £3 million

£1.5 million

£280,000

£239,000

£450,000

£700,000

Jobs £250,000

£130,000

to create Islington’s first Liveable Neighbourhood to build a new substation to power and electrify the council’s fleet of 230 vehicles

£450,000

to improve New River Walk

towards building 550 new council homes by 2022 to stop vulnerable households becoming homeless to tackle rogue landlords

to tackle violence against women and girls to create an anti-social behaviour rapid-response team

to help more people into work

to modernise schools, libraries, children’s centres and leisure centres for water play facilities in Barnard Park, Highbury Fields and Whittington Park to complete Wray Crescent cricket pavilion refurb

Sign up to our Latest News newsletter to stay up-to-date with news from Islington Council www.islington.gov.uk/stayupdated islingtonlife.london


IslingtonLife

06

Fairer Islington

Seeking fairness for all It is 10 years since Islington launched its Fairness Commission, which was a first-of-its-kind approach to tackling inequalities in wealth, health, housing, education and crime. Widely praised as a pioneering way to make the borough a fairer place, this approach has since been applied by other local authorities up and down the country. We take a look at some of the things that have happened since the commission took place.

2012

December / Bunhill phase 1 launched This energy centre uses otherwise wasted heat to heat 700 homes making it cheaper and greener for local people. Before

2013

July / New homes in Vulcan Way Sixty disused garages are transformed into high quality council homes for local families. This inventive solution tapped into the chronic lack of building space and overcrowding facing Islington.

Years

2010

After

June / The Islington Fairness Commission is set up

2011

June / The Islington Fairness Commisssion publishes its final report and recommendations

2012

July / Islington is the first local authority to become a Living Wage employer

No-one in Islington should do a hard day’s work for less than what they can live on. Being an accredited Living Wage employer means all council staff are paid the Living Wage, and by using its buying power, 98% of its contractors pay it too. Staff are also working with other local employers to promote the Living Wage and there are now 257 accredited organisations in Islington, benefitting over 2,800 workers.


Spring 2020

2014

July / iWork established Employment for Islington’s residents is the best way to tackle poverty in the borough. In 2014, the council set up iWork, which works with employers in the borough to provide opportunities for local residents. Since it was established more than 6,000 people have been helped into work.

2015

March / All Islington playgrounds go smoke free

07

Fairer Islington

2017

December / Brickworks Community Centre

Crouch Hill residents celebrated the launch of Brickworks, a new community centre, and 23 new council homes. The accessible community centre caters for the whole of Tollington ward, and includes a café, meeting rooms, kitchens, a sports hall, children’s play spaces, a nursery, therapy rooms, offices for community organisations, a roof garden and music room.

November / Over 1,000 previously unemployed local people helped into work in one year

2019

January / Islington Council and Debt Hacker join forces to take on rip-off payday lenders March / 11by11 launches

This pioneering programme will give all Islington children and young people at least 11 outstanding creative and cultural experiences before they leave school in Year 11.

2016

April / Moreland Primary School celebrates transformation The school in Moreland Street was in danger of closing in 2010, but celebrated a glowing Ofsted report after teaming up with another successful school in the borough. Islington schools have transformed during the past decade and are now ranked in the top 20 in the country for the progress pupils make at secondary school, with, 93% of Islington schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

2018

September / Bright Start is launched What happens during pregnancy and a child’s first year is crucial to a child’s life chances. Bright Start, which brings together services for children aged 0-5, was launched, significantly improving the coordination of services, especially those delivered by GPs, midwives, health visitors and the council.

2020

February / Council approves budget to make Islington a fairer place by investing in new homes, safer communities, jobs and the environment islingtonlife.london


IslingtonLife

08

Homes for all

New council homes Delivering new genuinely affordable and council homes is a top priority for Islington Council. Since 2010, we have delivered new homes for local people on 30 different sites. Currently new homes are being built on sites across he borough. Making improvements in the area where building work is taking place benefits all local residents. These improvements include building new community centres, creating new playgrounds, improving lighting and paving to make an area safer, and providing new cycle storage.

Currently under construction...

Charles Simmons House 25 new homes for up to 88 people All council homes Due to be completed in spring 2021 Building a new community centre and commercial space Replacing the play area Improving the bin storage

Charles Simmons House, view from Calthorpe St

Beaumont Rise

Beaumont Rise

27 new homes for up to 57 people A mixture of council homes and supported housing for adults Due to be completed in spring 2021 Building cycle and bin storage Improving the paving and lighting Creating a new garden


Spring 2020

09

Homes for all

Dover Court Estate 27 new homes for up to 112 people All council homes Due to be completed this summer Part of a larger scheme to provide new homes on this estate Also improving the public park space Building a community space

Dover Court, block 1

Belfont Two new homes for up to eight people All council homes Due to be completed in April this year Final phase of building new homes on this estate Reducing anti-social behaviour

King Square community centre

Redbrick new homes partially completed

King Square Estate 93 new homes for up to 345 people A mixture of council homes and homes for sale Due to be completed this summer Also building a new community centre and refurbishing the nursery Improving the roads on the estate to make them safer Creating a new entrance to the estate

Redbrick Estate 55 new homes for up to 191 people All council homes Due to be completed this spring Building flexible homes that suit residents’ changing needs Improving the landscaping across the estate New community centre

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IslingtonLife

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Homes for all

Dipo and Seun

Ugur

Mary

Residents welcome 10 years of investment Providing safe, decent, genuinely affordable housing for local people has always been a priority for Islington Council. We spoke to residents about how the council’s home-building programme has helped them. Fairness for young people Like many of Islington’s new homes, Blenheim Court was built on an underused space where 12 garages used to be. Ugur Icli was 25 when he moved into one of the new flats. He had lived on the estate all his life and was pleased to have the opportunity to have a place of his own. “It’s very tough in London for people my age. Young people need to be given a chance and the opportunity to live independently. To have this flat in the borough I grew up in, it’s amazing,” he says.

Info for council tenants:

Fairness for older residents New Romford House, on the Dover Court Estate, is a specially built block of council homes for people aged over 55. They include wide entrances, and sinks and cooker hobs that can be lowered to allow use by people using wheelchairs. Born and bred in Islington, Derek Marjoram, said: “This flat is amazing in itself. I have all of the facilities here I need to live independently, in safety, which is very reassuring.” His neighbour, Mary Robson, said: “It was very important for me to stay in the area. I have friends close by, it’s not too far for my family

to drive over and I’m close to my family church.”

Fairness for local residents Brothers Dipo and Seun Areoye, along with their mum and sister, moved into a new property on their estate near Caledonian Road. They got their new home through Islington’s local lettings policy, which gives priority to people already living in the area. Dipo said: “I’ve been in the same property since I was three years-old. It’s amazing to be part of something new while still being in the same estate and not having to change too much.”

Rent statements will be delivered before the end of March. If you owe money, don’t ignore the problem. Contact your Income Recovery Officer on 020 7527 5300 or email homesandcommunities@islington.gov.uk


Spring 2020

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Homes for all

Homelessness: the real story Rough sleeping is a complex issue, but the council has a simple priority – to get people into safe, secure accommodation. This is not as easy as it seems. Mark was reluctant to accept accommodation, saying that he would, but then not following through and rough sleeping instead. In 2019 he finally accepted an offer of supported accommodation in Islington. Since then he has been doing well and is using his accommodation rather than sleeping out. He is working with a dedicated support worker, who is helping him engage with the support he needs to get his life back on track. *This is a true story, but the person’s name has been changed.

This year, an extra £280,000 is being invested on work to stop vulnerable households in the borough from becoming homeless because of complex issues like mental or physical ill health. Here is one real life story that shows how difficult the process can be.

Mark’s* Story Mark came to London in 2013, in the hope of a fresh start after losing his job as a chef. However, Mark struggled to find work and soon found himself rough sleeping in Islington. When our outreach team first met Mark his confidence and self-esteem were low and he was also

having issues with substance misuse and his physical health. Mark’s addiction made his life challenging and he would often move between boroughs, which made it difficult for respective outreach workers to fully support him. When Mark returned to Islington in 2018, he initially declined our support. However, our outreach team continued visiting him, carrying out welfare checks and took time to get to know him. They built up a rapport with Mark and his trust of the team increased. Our outreach team supported Mark in applying for his ID, registering with a GP and attending appointments, arranging food vouchers and fresh clothes.

You can make a difference If you want to make a difference to someone rough sleeping, please donate to Islington’s Homeless Catalyst Fund. Every single penny will go to people in need by way of a grant tailored towards the individuals needs and aspirations. To find out more and make a donation visit www.Islingtongiving.org.uk If you are concerned about someone rough sleeping, call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or www.streetlink.org

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IslingtonLife

Safe place

Breaking the cycle of violence against women and girls “They control your mind, body and soul. Your life is not yours and you are so fearful of something bad happening. I was threatened to be killed lots of times. He had previously made threats to slash me in my face prior to actually carrying it out.”

Tanya Pinnock (pictured) is a domestic abuse survivor. She was savagely attacked by her expartner in 2016. He stabbed her several times in the face as she was getting into a taxi outside London Metropolitan University in Hornsey Road where she was studying.

Now, four years on, she is using her experience to support survivors as co-chair of Islington’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) forum. In her role, Tanya is helping to shape the council’s £2million investment to tackle VAWG over the next three years.

Tanya suffered violence and abuse at his hands for a decade before this terrifying ordeal finally saw him jailed.

“I think it’s so important that the voice of the survivor is represented because how do professionals know they are doing right by the victims?

“I am speaking for all the other women who are impacted and don’t have a voice and are living in fear right now. “This extra money is sending a really strong message about what Islington’s priorities are. This is going to be able to reach so many more victims,” she said. The extra funding, including £700,000 this year, will help the council intervene earlier to break


Spring 2020

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Safe place

cycles of violence, support survivors to stay safe, and hold perpetrators to account. Being exposed to violence early in life does long-term damage, so it is a priority to work with children and young people who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence, so they can recover and build healthy relationships themselves. The extra money will also help

police replace smart phones of survivors, making it easier for women to hand over their mobiles as evidence, to increase the likelihood of convictions. “I wouldn’t want anyone to feel how I felt when I was going through it. I just want people to have hope,” says Tanya. “One thing is being in an abusive relationship, but when you come

over the next three years to tackle violence against women and girls.

“My journey now is all about healing and helping, and I’m really passionate about supporting other women and girls. That’s my passion,” she said.

Violence against women and girls

Islington Council will spend an extra

£2million

out, it’s also very dark. After having this person behind you all the time, now you are alone, and how do you function? It’s like you are finding yourself and starting from scratch all over again, and it’s really hard.

The stark facts

Over

2,500

domestic violence and abuse offences were reported to the police in Islington in 2018-19.

Domestic violence and abuse is a factor in 8 out of every 10 children’s social care cases in Islington.

On average, it takes a victim

3 years and 50 incidents

before they report it to the police. In 2018-19, the council’s Children’s Social Services team was contacted over

2,000 times

about concerns relating to domestic violence.

Where to go for help All council housing staff who come into contact with residents are trained to recognise

and understand domestic violence and abuse, so they can offer the best help and support available. Angela Lawson (pictured) supported a tenant who had endured 30 years of abuse at the hands of her partner. Angela gave her the strength and support she needed to move to a place of safety.

Afterwards the tenant wrote to Angela to say: “Every time I put my key in my door, I thank God and I thank you for helping me.” If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse contact Solace Women’s Aid on 0203 795 5070 or advocacy@ solacewomensaid.org

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Jobs and opportunity

The cornerstone of the community Islington Council has a vision to make the borough a fairer place for everyone. Social workers play a vital role in this by ensuring some of the most vulnerable people reach their potential and enjoy a good quality life. We want to celebrate the hard work of Islington’s social workers. These are people like Penny, who recently won at the Social Worker of the

Year awards because of how she has made a difference to the lives of many children and families across the borough. “Social work is the cornerstone of the community; it can be meaningful, and interventions can change children and families’ lives for the better,” says Penny. “Effective and compassionate social work can support young people to feel empowered and to believe that they can succeed in life. It keeps children safe from harm and supports families to thrive together. Social work should form part of everyone’s agenda, and the work will continue until every child is safe from abuse.”

If you are intrested in a career in social work, sign up for our jobs bulletin at www.islington.gov.uk/stayupdated

Islington launches 100 hours World of Work A new programme to inspire and equip young people for the modern workplace, called 100 Hours World of Work has been launched. The programme aims to give every Islington pupil 100 hours experience of the world of work by the time they leave school. This includes career insights, work tasters, mentoring, employability workshops and workplace visits. Almost 40 employers are on board with the programme and it is hoped that by creating stronger links between local schools and businesses the ‘skills gap’ in school leavers will be reduced. Cllr Asima Shaikh, the council’s executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, said: “We want to challenge the old adage, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ and create a new truth for our young people, many of whom face barriers such as child poverty, overcrowding at home and family unemployment, which all make it harder to secure good quality jobs.” If you want to find out more about 100 hours World of Work visit www.islingtoncs.org/wow


Spring 2020

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Jobs and opportunity

Skills open the door to a new job

More than 100 adult learners celebrated the new skills they have achieved at the annual Adult and Community Learning award ceremony.

Olga, far right, with the Mayor of Islington and some of her fellow learners

Free Adult and Community Learning courses are on offer to Islington residents – ranging from computer and digital skills to English, and family learning – giving more people the chance to get new jobs and opportunities.

to understand the English language. You know it’s very difficult if you don’t understand when people speak to you. You feel so proud when somebody asks you the way and you can help them. It’s such a big pleasure.

One learner, Olga said: “I am very happy that I have been given the chance to learn English because I had a big problem speaking, listening and understanding. I have opened my ears and finally started

“I am studying in Morley College in my first term of professional sewing and tailoring. The course is in English and I am happy that I can now understand so can learn something new. I work part-time

doing alterations in a dry-cleaners shop and as a cleaner but now I would like to find a job in the fashion industry.” See a full course list online at adultlearning.islington. gov.uk Or head along to an enrolment day on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 April, from 9.30am4pm, at either Arsenal or First Steps Learning Centres.

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IslingtonLife

A cleaner, greener future

Reuse and recycle to help tackle climate change Diye Wariebi is a project manager at the Bright Sparks re-use and repair centre in Finsbury Park. He works closely with the council and social landlords in Islington to make sure that furniture and other household items don’t end up in landfill.

How you can help Volunteer “We’ve been going for nearly 10 years now. I’ve seen Bright Sparks grow from a repair centre working with small electrical equipment to a full shop repairing and selling anything from furniture to large electrical appliances.

from homes in Islington and mostly stay in the borough, meaning our carbon footprint isn’t very high. Having second-hand stock also means that it’s cheaper so we’re able to keep the cost of living down for local people.

“In the beginning, we only had local volunteers but we’ve since been able to take on hired staff. For one person, this was his first job since working his way out of homelessness.

“We’re also opening a repair café at the Andover Estate Community Centre. Residents can bring items, like bikes or furniture, to be repaired and take part in training sessions on hanging shelves or performing a basic service for washing machines.”

“The products we sell have come

Offer to volunteer at Bright Spark’s shop or repair café at brightsparksonline.com

Donate Bright Sparks offer a free furniture collection service to Islington residents.

Buy Pay them a visit next time you’re looking for furniture or electricals for the home at 176 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, N7 7PX.


Spring 2020

17

A cleaner, greener future

Knowing what to recycle needn’t be a challenge Yes

Plastic bottles

Meet Islington’s new Recycling Champions It’s never been so important to recycle. That’s the message from Islington’s new Recycling Champions as they launch their campaign.

Tetra-Pak

If you know your rubbish from your recyclables, want to meet new people and make a positive contribution to your community, email recyclingchampions @islington.gov.uk

Plastic pots, tubs and trays Magazine wrapping Plastic bags

No

Polystyrene Toothpaste tubes

Nappies are made up of a mix of materials meaning that they can’t be recycled. The outer wrapping can go with your plastic recycling for collection Crisp packets are made from metallised plastic film which currently can’t easily be recycled Hard plastics such as broken children’s toys go in your general waste To find out more about what can be recycled in Islington visit www.islington. gov.uk/recycling

The team are part of a community of residents who are taking action to increase recycling and help fight climate change. Chris Radway said: “I know how difficult it can be for residents to know the best ways to recycle and cut waste. So, through the Council’s new Recycling Champions scheme, I want to do my bit to help them, starting with my neighbours first of all!” Another Champion, Annabel Goulding said: “I’ve long been interested in recycling, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more and become a Recycling Champion.”

You don’t need any previous experience, although you do need to be over 18 and living or working in Islington. You’ll get all the training and support you need to make a difference in your community. Islington’s big Spring Clean will take place from Friday 20 March to Monday 13 April with a host of events and activities all over the borough. If you are a resident, business or community group and would like to get involved, please email chris.demetriou@ islington.gov.uk

Sign up to our recycling newsletter to stay up-to-date with all the recycling news in Islington www.islington.gov.uk/stayupdated

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IslingtonLife

18

A cleaner, greener future

Cleaner and safer streets for all

It’s a little-known fact, but Islington has the most School Streets in the country. These are roads that are temporarily closed at the start and end of the school day to make them safer and the air cleaner for everyone.

Pupils at Winton Primary school celebrate Islington’s 10th School Street

Islington has 13 School Streets, with four currently being consulted on, and plans to roll out School Streets or alternative measures to all Islington schools. St John’s Evangelist Catholic Primary school, in Angel was the first School Street in Islington. Headteacher Stephanie Day said: “The School Streets scheme has

significantly changed the start and end of the school day. “There are no cars idling outside the school and Duncan Street is much safer for the children without vehicles. More children are either walking to school or taking public transport and we have many more children on scooters and bikes. “As a school in an area with very

poor air quality, the introduction of the scheme has been welcomed by parents, Governors and children. “We feel that the school streets scheme should be prioritised across Islington schools.” Find out more at www.islington. gov.uk/schoolstreets


Spring 2020

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A cleaner, greener future

Islington’s air quality improving RO

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Monitored average NO2 at every Islington school Source: Islington Council diffusion tubes

Jo Corrall is a project officer in Islington’s air pollution team. She ‘walks the talk’ (living in the borough and walking to work!) and is extremely passionate about helping everyone to have cleaner, fresher air to breathe. “Everybody is affected by the air pollution we have,” says Jo. “It’s so closely linked with the climate emergency and climate change.

Jo on Archway’s Clean Air Walk

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Councillor Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We are committed to rolling out Britain’s biggest programme of School Streets to make the school gate a healthier, safer place for all.”

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In 2018, actual data shows that pollution levels dropped to 25 to 42µg/m3, which is an improvement, but there is still work to do.

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Modelled data for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution levels shows that in 2016 it ranged from 37 to 56 µg/ m3 – with the majority of schools well above the legal objective of 40µg/m3.

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Air pollution levels outside primary and secondary schools in the borough has improved, the latest council data shows.

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Modelled average NO2 at every Islington school Source: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-atmospheric -emissions-inventory--laei--2016

Loads of things that we do to improve the air quality will help us tackle the climate emergency, and that for me is the number one thing we should be working on. “My work helps brings everyone together. When the air is cleaner and people are feeling they are in a cleaner, greener space it actually creates a lot of joy and happiness, and why would you not want to be more happy?”

Find out more about how the council is trying to improve air quality, and what you can do to help at www.islington.gov.uk/ airquality

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IslingtonLife

Children and young people

Hard working teachers celebrated at Education Awards The borough’s finest teachers and school staff were congratulated at a special ceremony to mark the second Islington Education Awards.

Awards for innovation, ambition and excellence in all areas of education were presented to the borough’s teachers and early year’s educators. Winner Jenny Lewis from Thornhill Primary School, who was named

First anniversary for 11 by 11 From gallery trips to behind the scenes theatre tours, pupils from across the borough have enjoyed

Headteacher of the Year said: “I feel really overwhelmed and to have had so many amazing headteachers that I’ve worked with, it really is a privilege to have been identified as Headteacher of the Year. It’s a lovely event that brings so many sectors of education together and it’s great

to be celebrating with each other tonight.”

new cultural activities as part of the 11 by 11 programme.

A teacher from Richard Cloudesley School said: “Thank you so much for your help with getting these trips arranged. Our students really benefit from getting out of school and enjoying cultural experiences, so the 11 by 11 project is a wonderful initiative!”

11 by 11 is a commitment to ensure all children and young people attending a school in Islington have 11 outstanding cultural experiences by Year 11.

A new ‘Green Award’ was introduced this year, putting the spotlight on sustainability in Islington schools and was won by Prior Weston Primary School and Children’s Centre.


Spring 2020

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Children and young people

Welcoming the new young leaders Fourteen young people have been elected to Islington Youth Council to represent the voices of their peers across the borough. The Youth Council members are: Catherine Browne Husen Abdullahi Jessica Chukwu Emmanuel Appiah-Kubi Rosie Kurnaz Muskan Khan Melissa Williamson Mariam Lawani Honey Baker Kacper Strek Miriam Etuk Juwaerat Ayanda Simge Yilmaz Salman Ayadi

For the first time two young people from Samuel Rhodes School have been elected to serve on the Youth Council, helping to champion fairness and equality, making sure

the voices of students with learning difficulties are represented. A record 39 candidates stood for election, with voting open to all

Islington young people who either live or go to school in the borough, aged between 11 and 17. Find out more at www.22y-info.com

New role for Young Mayor Former Young Mayor Lydia Banjo has been elected co-chair of the Islington Safer Neighbourhood Board, putting the voice of young people at the heart of Islington’s community safety work.

Lydia said: “My priority as co-chair will be to increase the involvement of young people in decision making and having their say about community safety.” Congratulations to Lydia!

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IslingtonLife

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Health and wellbeing

Is your child protected? Vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children against ill health. Measles and mumps are starting to appear again in Islington even though the MMR vaccine is safe and protects against both diseases. Dr Jacqueline Lenders, from City Road Medical Centre, says: “Measles is a highly infectious disease that will make your child very unwell and can have serious, potentially fatal complications. MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against three separate

illnesses – measles, mumps and rubella.” Your child needs two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. These are usually given at 12 months and at 3 years 4 months.

Any child who missed, or only partially completed, their earlier MMR vaccination can have a “catch-up” MMR vaccination. Just contact your GP.

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Get protected against measles The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination is the safest and most effective way to protect you and your family against these diseases. Full protection requires two doses. For anyone not fully immunised, a catch-up vaccination is available. Ask the reception team for more information. www.nhs.uk/MMR

Rachel Keith, Nurse


Spring 2020

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Health and wellbeing

Join or volunteer at Islington’s new Dementia Café A new cafe has opened at St Andrew’s Church, in Thornhill Square, for people with dementia and their families.

Coming up at StAn’s 21 March Spring has Sprung 18 April Sensory Café 16 May

All that Jazz

20 June Cupcake Day 18 July

Leanne and her mother-in-law enjoy a trip to an art gallery

Held on the third Saturday of the month, StAn’s Cafe was set up by Islington resident Jeanne who cares for a family member living with dementia.

“I want to share this experience with other families affected by dementia or any other special needs. StAn’s cafe is open to all to reminisce and create new memories.”

“I was inspired to create this dementia inclusive cafe by my mother-in-law, whom I care for and who is living with dementia,” says Jeanne. “She loves it there and to see the smiles and the light in her eyes is the most precious thing anyone can ask for.

Islington Council and the Alzheimer’s Society are working towards making the borough ‘Dementia Friendly’. There are almost 1,500 people in Islington living with dementia and many feel trapped in their own homes, with one in three only getting

Busy Bee

All sessions take place from 10am-1pm out once a week and one in 10 managing this only once a month. This is why initiatives like StAn’s cafe are so important. To find out how you can get involved in making Islington Dementia Friendly or for information about the cafe email katie.patrick@ islington.gov.uk

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IslingtonLife

24

Local life

CORONAVIRUS: PUBLIC INFORMATION The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. You can help too. The best way to protect yourself and others is: Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel, regularly throughout the day. Catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue, bin it, and wash your hands. If you have recently arrived back from specified areas follow the returning traveller advice. Check the list of areas and find out more at nhs.uk/coronavirus


Spring 2020

25

Local life

Real families come in all shapes and sizes

Foster carer Felix* provides a stable and caring home for teenagers who have been separated from their families in Islington. He is also a single gay man. Here he explains how their acceptance of his sexuality makes him feel very proud. “The Islington fostering team have been so good to me and have embraced me as a human being and invested in me as a person. The training that is provided to foster carers allows us to grow and open minds about the LGBTQ+ community.

“The father and mother are typically presented as the desirable norm for family life, usually portrayed laughing along with a couple of smiling, cherubic offspring. But in fact real families come in all shapes and sizes. “Whilst I always knew that I would be able to add a new dimension to this picture-perfect family, I was convinced that the world wasn’t ready for me to be a single male gay foster carer. Whilst fostering had been on my mind for many years, I decided to make everyone wait before I would make a grand entrance.

“I actually hate being called a ‘gay foster carer’. I’m not ashamed but I am not defined by my sexuality. I am a single man, who is an excellent foster carer for teenagers. I just happen to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “When I started to foster a teenage boy I was blown away because I have had the privilege to meet someone who saw me that way too. He sees me as his role model, his carer, his teacher, his friend, his father, his brother, his uncle, who happens to be gay. This kind of acceptance makes me feel very proud.

“Two of my teenage idols were raised in foster care, the gay icons Cher and Joan Crawford. But it wasn’t until I attended training where I learned about how trauma affects behaviour and how to understand attachment that it became clear to me how strong these two women really are. And in turn, how strong young people in foster care have to be too. “Being a foster carer has taught me how to use trauma of any level as a source of energy, both as a lesson and as a guide. Our trauma is our treasure. It is what makes us exceptional, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege to share this knowledge with teenagers.” If you are interested in fostering a child contact Islington Fostering on 020 7527 7933 or email fostering@islington.gov.uk

*Names have been changed islingtonlife.london


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Our proud, diverse community Residents flocked to Islington Memorial Green to celebrate the borough’s rich diversity at the We Are Islington event in February. The event was held the day after the UK officially left the European Union (EU). There are over 20,000 EU citizens living in Islington and they play a valuable role in our community. There was music, dancing and speeches, while council staff were on hand to offer free ID checks for EU citizens looking to apply for settled status.

Cllr Una O-Halloran

Dancers provide entertainment


Spring 2020

The mayor of Islington and dancers

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Council worker Luisa Dornelas

Help to apply for settled status Thousands of EU citizens in Islington have applied for settled status so they can continue to live and work here. If you haven’t yet applied, you can make use of lots of free local support and information at www.islington.gov.uk/ brexitsupport

Local people show their support

If you are not able to complete the process online, call We are Digital on 0333 445 675 or text the word “VISA” to 07537 416 944. Alternatively, speak to an advisor from Citizens Advice Islington by calling 0300 330 1197.

Residents join in the fun

The Pearly King and Prince

Sign up to our IslingtonLife newsletter to stay up-to-date with all your community news and events in Islington www.islington.gov.uk/ stayupdated

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IslingtonLife

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Local life

Make this the year you ‘have a grow’ Islington in Bloom, the borough’s annual gardening competition, launches at the end of March. Whether you are a seasoned gardener, or a complete novice, the competition is open to all Islington residents and businesses. It’s a great opportunity to grow flowers or vegetables for your enjoyment. You don’t need a garden to enter. Window boxes, pots and containers are great options for people who live in flats and you can create stunning displays using these. Islington also has fantastic parks and greenspaces, plus lots of opportunities to volunteer in them.

Winner of Best Forgotten Corner 2019

These volunteering 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 to Islington Bloom 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 www.islington.gov.uk/inbloom, call 020 7527 6394 or email inbloom@islington.gov.uk

Access to nature on Highbury Quadrant Three underused and unloved spaces on the Highbury Quadrant estate will be redeveloped to attract more wildlife and give residents a place to enjoy gardening. Elizabeth House Community Centre has been awarded a grant from the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund to transform areas into thriving community gardens. If you want to know more or get involved email info@ elizabeth-house.org.uk or call 020 7690 1300.

Best Front Garden 2019


Spring 2020

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Local life

Celebrating a literary great

If you had to name Islington’s best author, then Andrea Levy is up there, and to prove it, the award-winning writer, who passed away in 2019, is getting the borough’s finest accolade – her very own heritage plaque. Andrea is best known for her novels ‘Small Island’ (2004) and ‘The Long Song’ (2010), which are widely celebrated, giving insight into life in Britain from the perspective of the Windrush generation and the origins of Britain’s links with the Caribbean. Her sad death in 2019, aged 62 cut short her life and writing career, but she will be forever remembered for the way her novels celebrate the contribution of different cultures to British life.

Central Library welcomes Tall Stories Andrea Levy (1956–2019)

Unveiled on Saturday 14 March, the plaque can be found at Twyford House, on the Blackstock Estate, where Andrea spent her childhood. “The council flats of Twyford House on Elwood Street, leading up to the old Arsenal stadium, formed the backdrop to Andrea’s early life,” said her husband Bill Mayblin. “These places also provided much of the material and memories for her early writing.

“Growing up in the 1960s in this corner of Islington was a crucial influence, for better or worse, on her sense of identity and on her very motivation to become a writer. “To have her name celebrated with a heritage plaque like this would have amazed her. ‘Pride comes before a fall’ her mother always told her, so she might have been a bit embarrassed too. But I’ll happily wear all the pride now. I’m bursting with it!”

An exciting partnership between the council and theatre company Tall Stories will see empty space in Central Library transformed into a storytelling hub. Residents will benefit from free workshops, tours, open rehearsals, performances, and exhibitions. Last year, the council transformed the reference library and built a new Adult Learning Centre in Central Library. This second phase of work will include the restoration of the libraries historic entrance on Holloway Road. The library will remain open throughout the work.

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What’s on

Get active this spring This spring an exciting programme of free health and fitness classes is on offer for Islington residents. Active Spaces sessions take place on council estates, green spaces and community centres. They include meditation, family fit multi sports, women’s box fit, men’s football, dance aerobics, and Pilates, so there is something for all ages and interests. Sessions are led by qualified instructors from Arsenal in the Community, Access to Sports, Better Leisure and Healthy Generations, and are suitable for all fitness levels.

Go online to find out more www.islington.gov.uk/ activespaces ject1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 13:02 Page 1

Digital confidence drop-in Get the best out of your computer and smartphone, or use one provided if you don’t have your own at this friendly free session. It’s also a great way to meet new people, plus all sessions include a free light lunch. They run every Tuesday from 12.15-2pm at Westbourne Community Centre, Roman Way, N7 8XF. For more information email westbournecc@ yahoo.com or call 07806 781 175.

ect1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 13:02 Page 1

Your FREE local newspaper

Lunch Buncsh is back thi Easter! fun Free holiday with lunch

News Letters Theatre Films Food

Islington Council is again offering children and young people a free healthy lunch every weekday (except Bank Holidays) during the Easter holidays, as well as fun activities at a range of venues.

Find out more at www.islington. gov.uk/lunchbunch

Sport

Out every Friday islingtontribune.co.uk Tel: 020 7419 9000


Spring 2020

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What’s on

Islington remembers VE Day This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Islington is commemorating this historic event with a special

exhibition at Islington Museum and a community event on Islington Memorial Green. ‘Photography on the Home Front’ is free and offers a fascinating insight into the everyday lives of Islingtonians who lived through the war. It will run from Thursday 16 April to Tuesday 7 July at the Museum St John St, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4NB.

Start a new course with Adult Community Learning Boost your career skills in 2020 To find out more or enrol onto a course, come along to our Enrolment Days on Wednesday 22 or Thursday 23 April 2020.

On Friday 8 May (May Bank Holiday), the ‘Nation’s Toast’ will be an opportunity to celebrate the work of people to end conflict and promote peace and reconciliation. You can also take an historic stroll around the borough looking at all the war-related heritage plaques. Find out more www.islington.gov. uk/warplaques

The Walk-In Centre at Ritchie Street is closing on 31 March 2020 The GP practice at Ritchie Street will continue to operate as normal for its own registered patients.

Arsenal Learning Centre Arsenal Hub 56 Benwell Road N7 7BA 020 7704 4500 First Steps Learning Centre Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent N5 1PF 020 7527 7002

Need to see a GP today or tomorrow? • Contact your GP practice to make an appointment • If an evening or weekend appointment would be more convenient, ask the receptionist to book one for you at a local GP Hub • If you have an urgent medical problem and you are not sure what to do, call 111 • If you are not registered with a local GP, please visit www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-gp or a local GP practice to find out how

To find out more visit: www.islingtonccg.nhs.uk/walkincentre If you think life is at risk, you should call 999

islingtonlife.london


Foster with us. You may have more to offer than you think. Being a foster carer is challenging but also brings great rewards. Your care and support makes a real difference. Don't be put off by fostering myths. If you've had children or have worked with young people, you will have life skills you can use. Get in touch, you have more to offer than you think.

0800 073 0428

fostering@islington.gov.uk www.islington.gov.uk/fostering

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Profile for IslingtonLife

IslingtonLife spring 2020  

Islington Council's spring residents' magazine dedicated to 10 years since the Islington Fairness Commission. Featuring stories on School St...

IslingtonLife spring 2020  

Islington Council's spring residents' magazine dedicated to 10 years since the Islington Fairness Commission. Featuring stories on School St...

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