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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Summer 2019

Free summer fun!

New life for historic clock tower

We are Islington

New homes for local families Former car park converted to new homes





Welcome Message from the Council Leader


News Islington launches five new parklets


Housing Celebrating 100 years of council homes


Jobs and money Could Islington’s Adult and Community Learning courses boost your career?



Children and young people Get the listings for free summer activities

Health Meet Islington’s health ambassador



Young people What our young leaders will be doing this summer

Active health Making our streets and parks healthier



Cally Clock Tower See photos from the launch event

Local life Street traders tell us what they love about our markets



We are Islington Celebrating our strong community

What’s on Find out about the upcoming Italians in Islington festival


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

Highlights 05

Meet this year’s Mayor



Our Caretaker of the Year

Islington remembers D-Day


se Mu ar ial W


Summer 2019



Welcome to the summer edition of IslingtonLife – packed full of the latest news about how Islington Council is making a difference for local people.

Cllr Richard Watts Leader of the Council

View this and previous issues online at Be the first to hear about the latest news. Visit Follow us on Twitter @IslingtonLife and @IslingtonBC for council news You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. Search for IslingtonLife

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

Action packed summer for Islington This edition is your handy guide to the huge range of activities for all ages that are available this summer (pages 10-13). From events in our beautiful parks, to the incredible ‘Summerversity’ and ‘Go Islington’ that offer children and young people a whole host of enjoyable, educational and engaging things to fill the holidays. There really is something for everyone this summer in Islington! Building more council homes Tackling the housing crisis that faces Islington is the council’s number one priority. We know having a good quality, secure and genuinely affordable home is massively important to help people to enjoy a good quality of life. This year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first council homes (page 7) by pushing forwards with our ambitious programme of building new council homes. We are building the largest number of new council homes in the borough for over 30 years, with local people being given priority. Between 2018-2022, we will build at least 550 new council homes as part of delivering another 1,900 genuinely affordable homes for local people.

We are also taking action to raise standards for private renters, with new landlord licensing schemes and tough penalties for rogue landlords, and we want local people to have their say on our plans – see page 6 for details. New facilities for Caledonian Park I know, from enjoying them with my own family, that Islington’s precious parks and green spaces are a wonderful asset to our borough, particularly in the summer months. That’s why I am really pleased that the fantastic new facilities in Caledonian Park are now open for people to enjoy, including the café, toilets and the new heritage centre that provides a window into the important historical past of the park (pages 16-17). I am also delighted that we have been able to return the Caledonian Clock Tower to its former glory and that it will now be open to the public for free for the first time in its history. Despite the massive cuts to funding from central government that the council has had to face in the last decade, I am proud that we are continuing to maintain our parks and green spaces and to secure extra investment for them where we can. I hope you enjoy this latest edition of IslingtonLife.

To receive news and updates directly to your inbox visit




Islington launches five new parklets

Action against crime and anti-social behaviour Islington Council is working with local police and other partners to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough, with a particular focus on hotspots around the Caledonian Road and Finsbury Park areas. Positive progress has been made in disrupting criminal networks, taking more knives off the streets, tackling the demand and supply of drugs, installing more safety measures, such as improved lighting and CCTV, and working with schools and partners to keep young people safe. The council recognises that there is still more to do and will continue to work hard with partners to address crime and anti-social behaviour to make Islington a safer place to live, work and visit.

Islington has launched five new parklets across the borough that offer residents and workers a little oasis in the city. Once a car parking space, the parklets have shrubs, trees, seating and bike stands, adding greenery to the street and offering a place for residents, workers, cyclists and visitors to rest. You can find them in Central Street,

Banner Street, Baldwin Street, Bickerton Road and Waterlow Road. Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We’re working hard to encourage walking and cycling in Islington, and to change streets so they work better for pedestrians and cyclists.” Find out more about Islington’s air quality initiatives at

You can play a part by:

Reporting crime to the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report crime anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Reporting anti-social behaviour to the council at or by calling 020 7527 7272.

Summer 2019



Another first for Islington Islington’s new Mayor, Councillor Rakhia Ismail, is the first Somali-born woman to hold the position of Mayor in the UK.

The Holloway ward councillor has worked in the voluntary sector for more than 20 years, first engaging Somali and BAME local people with children’s services and then in schools across London. She is also the founder of Back 2 Basics Create, a charity supporting hard to reach women and mothers. Cllr Ismail was born in Somalia, but came to the UK as a refugee in the 1980s. She has lived in the borough since 1993 and was first elected to Islington Council in 2012. “It is such an honour to become the Mayor of Islington,” she said. “The borough is my home and this role is a chance to meet and experience the inspiring people and all the things that make our community so amazing.” Rakhia will be supporting two charities during her year as Mayor, they are: Centre 404, an organisation that offers support and services to children and adults with learning disabilities; and Nafsyiat, an

intercultural therapy centre offering accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities.

Stay connected, follow the Mayor’s official Twitter account @IslingtonMayor




Building for today, building for the future To tackle the housing crisis and provide new, genuinely affordable homes for residents, Islington Council is delivering the biggest council homebuilding scheme in the borough for a generation. Islington is building 1,900 genuinely affordable homes between 2018-2022. This includes more than 550 council homes, all built to a high standard. Under the Local Lettings Policy, local people who need them most have first priority. When the council builds new council homes on estates it works with local residents to make sure everyone benefits. The council has built community centres; transformed landscapes; improved access and

safety and provided play spaces for young people, a nursery and a community garden. Islington is committed to building a fairer borough and works with contractors to secure apprenticeships for local people when it builds new council homes. The council has to fund most of the costs to build new council homes itself – only a very small

proportion of the funding comes from the government. This means occasionally some of the new homes have to be sold, but only to help pay for the new council homes being built.   If you would like to know more about the new council homes being built visit newbuild

We build much-needed, genuinely affordable, council homes for our residents, community and generations to come.


Summer 2019



Homes for local people

“We were in a three-bedroom house with my mum and three grownup children sharing rooms,” said Seun. “Now everyone has their own space and we’re less stressed and happier.” Their new neighbour, Ms Muchanyuka, has been living in the area for about six years.

Dipo and Seun Areoye

Ms Muchanyuka

Brothers Dipo and Seun Areoye, along with their mum and sister, have just moved into a new home near Caledonian Road, on a disused car park. They previously lived in a crowded home overlooking the car park. 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.

She said: “I have an autistic son with learning difficulties and our new home provides a much more comfortable environment for him.” Every new council home that is built creates a chain of lettings by freeing up existing homes that can be let to other families in severe housing need.

100 years of genuinely affordable homes Wessex House in 1930’s

This year marks the centenary of the 1919 Housing Act, when for the first time affordable housing, of a decent standard, was made available to people according to need. The act marked the start of a huge council house building programme

Wedmore in the near future

across the country, which continues to this day. Islington has a long history of providing genuinely affordable homes and this remains a priority for the council today. Thirty new build schemes have been completed in the last 10 years. The

Wedmore Estate is one of Islington’s oldest estates. It was the first estate specifically built-to-let by Islington Council.

The Wessex Buildings, now known as Wetherby, Northcombe and Melchester Houses on the Wedmore Estate, were started in 1903 and completed in 1905. The current Wessex House was added between the wars. Fast forward to 2019 and the face of the estate is set to change again. Building work is about to start to provide 19 new homes for up to 77 residents, along with improvements to bicycle storage, play area, bin storage and landscaping.




Why Semone is proud to care The 32 year-old Islington mum said: “I’d worked in retail but found it very dissatisfying. My journey into care work began when my granddad was terminally ill and I helped my dad to look after him. “I’d also thought about being a nurse in a hospital, but I had two young children and I needed a job which suited my family life.

Like many people in the care sector, Semone Drewitt-Wilson started working in this field after one of her close family members became ill.

“I’m a homecare co-ordinator for London Care, covering the Islington postcodes of N1, EC1, N4 and N5. On average I co-ordinate about 2,300 door-to-door homecare visits per week.

Want to improve your computer skills?

“I’ve been with London Care for about two years and I’m currently working towards my NVQ level 5 in care management, which they are funding. In future I would like to open my own care home and run that myself.” Proud to Care North London is working with employers, employment support and training providers across five north London boroughs, including Islington, to boost jobs and opportunities in the health and care sector. Visit their new jobs and training portal at

Sign-up to a FREE Adult and Community Learning course at one of our drop-in sessions: Arsenal Learning Centre

Thursday 11 July 2019, 9.30am-12.30pm

Finsbury Library

Friday 12 July 2019, 9.30am-12.30pm English, Maths and ESOL classes start September 2019. Come along for an assessment and enrol on a class at First Steps Learning Centre, every Monday, 1-3pm, until the 22 July.

Can’t make any of these dates?

For additional assessment dates and course information, visit

Summer 2019



How free adult learning helped Aura In 2017, Aura Lozano was visiting the Islington Customer Service Centre and picked up a leaflet advertising free Islington Adult and Community Learning (ACL) courses.

Little did she know that two years later she would be working there. Having been out of work for two years, Aura said that completing the Level 2 Award in IT with ACL really helped build her confidence.

Soon after, she started training as a volunteer telephone assessor with Citizens Advice Islington.

Then Aura was given the opportunity to return to Citizens Advice Islington as a Help to Claim Advisor, supporting local people to apply for Universal Credit. It is a role Aura says gives her the opportunity to “give something back to my community.” You can read a longer interview with Aura and find more information about ACL courses at or call 020 7704 4500

Are you on Universal Credit, and finding it difficult to pay your rent? The new Universal Credit Support Team can help you get back on track by:

making sure you have all the benefits you’re entitled to

advising you how much rent you owe, and when it’s due

helping you manage your debts

negotiating rent payments and deadlines with your landlord

providing advice on managing a tight budget

finding you any other support that you need

A drop-in service is run by Islington Council and Citizens Advice at 222 Upper Street. You can ask for the Universal Credit Support Team at

the reception desk.

For help making a new claim for Universal Credit contact Citizens Advice on 0800 1448444 or speak to one of their local advisors at Barnsbury or Finsbury Park Job Centres.


In the Spring edition 2019 on page 9 in the ‘Islington Working’ article, we said that Nanu is a lone parent, this was incorrect. We apologise for any upset caused to Nanu by this error.



Free summer events

There’s loads to do this summer

Islington has once again got a jam-packed free summer programme for young people. Check out the Heatwave listings for under 13s at, or find out more and book your place on Summerversity courses and activities for 13+ and Launchpad courses and activities for 16+ at

Art, design and



£5 max meals for 2: Make 13+ delicious meals for two people on a £5 budget Lift Youth Hub: Tuesday 6 - Thursday 8 August, 4.30-7.30pm

Acting Out: Workshops exploring different aspects 14+ of drama The Big House: Tuesday 20, Wednesday 21, Tuesday 27 and Thursday 29 August, 10am-1.30pm or 2.30-6pm

Basics of Home Baking: Be the next Mary Berry - sponge 13+ cakes, pastries and bread Lift Youth Hub: Tuesday 20 Thursday 22 August, 4.30-7.30pm

Be a Mover and Shaker: An inclusive dance project 15+ for young women with All Change and Candoco Platform Youth Hub: Monday 29 July – Friday 2 August, 11am-5pm Creative Tracks: Develop 13+ your skills and gain an Arts Award with Cubitt Artists Central St Martins Archway: Tuesday 6 - Friday 23 August (excluding Mondays), 10am-4pm Design your own trainers: Learn the basics of footwear 14+ design, includes a trip Rose Bowl: Monday 19 - Friday 23 August, 3-7pm Make your own Go Kart: Learn to make and race your 13+ own Go Kart Rose Bowl: Monday 29 July Thursday 1 August, 5.30-8.30pm Stand Up for Yourself: Confidence through comedy 16+ - and chance to perform Platform Youth Hub: Monday 22 Friday 26 July, 11am-4pm

Creative Finger Food: Making food for parties - and chance 16+ to cater at Go Islington Lift Youth Hub: Wednesday 24 Saturday 27 July, 4.30-7.30pm

Book club

AfroFuturism: Mash-up of 13+ sci-fi and African culture Monday 29 July, 12-4pm Race in Britain: Why are immigrant voices under-represented in the media? Tuesday 30 July, 12-4pm


Gender: What will love be like in the future? Wednesday 31 July, 12-4pm


History: Looking at the real lives of the long-dead Thursday 1 August, 12-4pm


Cooking: Sampling tasty treats and talking about ‘food-writing’ Friday 2 August, 12-4pm


Independent Living Cookery: Basic cooking skills, 17+ budgeting and inspiring recipes Lift Youth Hub: Tuesday 30 July Thursday 1 August, 4.30-7.30pm Vegetarian Cooking: Learn the basics of curries, wraps, 13+ roasting veg and more Lift Youth Hub: Tuesday 13 Thursday 15 August, 4.30-7.30pm

Summer 2019


Free summer events

Film, music and tech Discover & Make with Tech: Try cutting edge technologies such as 3D printing Mildmay Community Centre: Tuesday 23 - Thursday 25 July, 1.30-5pm Andover Community Centre: Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 August, 12-5pm


Documentary Filmmaking: All the practical skills 13+ you need to make a documentary Platform Youth Hub: Monday 12 Friday 16 August, 11am-4pm Filmmaking Project: For young people who are or 13+ have been in care Platform Youth Hub: Monday 29 July - Wednesday 31 July, 11am-4pm Game Ctrl Tournaments: Fifa 19, Mario Kart, Fortnite 13+ and more on a cinema-sized screen Platform Youth Hub: Monday 12 and 19, Friday 16 and 23 August, 12-5pm iPhone Repair Academy: Repair screens and build 16+ your own enterprise with Cracked It! Cally Resource Centre: Monday 12 - Friday 16 August, 1-5pm Finsbury Park Community Centre: Monday 19 - Friday 23 August, 1-5pm Mildmay Community Centre: Tuesday 27 - Friday 30 August, 1-5pm Make a Music Video: Sing, dance and film all over Lift 14+ with Patience and Dionne Lift Youth Hub: Monday 5 - Friday 9 August, 11am-5pm

Making Podcasts: Exploring subjects including crime, 13+ sexual health and reading Lift Youth Hub: Monday 29 July and Monday 5 August, 4-8pm and Thursday 1 and 8 August, 1-5pm Making YouTube Videos: Develop a channel and make 13+ videos with Film Creatives Platform Youth Hub: Wednesday 31 July – Friday 2 August, 11am-4pm MNTR XL with Gain Ctrl: Learn how to make money 16+ from your music and more Platform Youth Hub: Monday 5 Friday 9 August, 2-5pm Music Industry Intro: Find out how to get into the music industry with Gain Ctrl St John’s Community Centre: Thursday 25 July, 3-6pm


Life skills Emergency First Aid: How to save a life - and the 16+ qualification will boost your CV Copenhagen Youth Project: Thursday 25 July, 11am-6pm Platform Youth Hub: Thursday 15 August, 11am-6pm Soapbox: Wednesday 28 August, 11am-6pm First Aid for Heroes: Keep 14+ your cool in an emergency and do the right thing Mary’s Youth Club: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 29 July - 16 August, 2-5pm Wood that Works: A carpentry course and accredited 13+ certificate in woodwork Highgate Newtown Community Centre: Monday 22 July - Friday 2 August, 11am-3pm or 3.30-7.30pm



Free summer events

Sport and fitness Athletics: Coached track and field activities with Access to Sports Finsbury Park: Monday 5 - Thursday 8 August, 1.30-3.30pm


Boxing with Access to 13+ Sports: Fun non-contact training, bag work and shadow boxing Sobell Leisure Centre: Mondays to Thursdays 22 July - 8 August, 3-5pm

Basketball: Ball handling, 13+ footwork, and team play with Access to Sports London Metropolitan: Monday to Thursday 22 July to 1 August, 4-6pm

Boxing for Fitness Activators: A qualification to deliver non-contact boxing for fitness sessions Sobell Leisure Centre: Friday 9 August, 12-3pm

Boat Club Taster Days: Try 13+ paddleboarding, kayaking and mountain biking Islington Boat Club: Wednesday 24 Friday 26 July, 10am-4pm

Clidive Sub Aqua Club: Learn about basic kit, scuba skills and have a try dive Ironmonger Row Baths Thursday 8 August, 7-9.30pm

E R E F a y o j En activity-packed

n i r e m m u s


Find out what’s on at



Dance Activator: Providing ideas for basic moves and 16+ fun ways to introduce dance activities Rose Bowl: Friday 16 August, 12-3pm Discover Kayaking: Learn how to canoe and work 13+ towards a Discover Award Islington Boat Club Monday 29 July - Thursday 1 August, 9am-4pm Monday 12 - Friday 16 August, 9am-4pm Football and Multi-Sports: Football, basketball cricket, 13+ archery, netball and more Finsbury Leisure Centre: Monday 29 July - Thursday 1 August, 2-4pm

We have hundreds of free play and educational activities for 3-11 year olds.

Some of our venues offer free lunch too. See www. lunchbunch

Summer 2019


Free summer events Football Referee Course: Very useful FA qualification 14+ that can lead to part-time work Market Road: Monday 5, Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 August, 9am-5pm

Tag Archery: Actionpacked game played with 13+ bows and foam-tipped arrows Finsbury Park: Monday 12 - Thursday 15 August, 1-3pm

Football Sports Camp: Work on ball skills, footwork, 13+ fitness, team play and more Elthorne Park: Mondays to Thursdays 22 July - 8 August, 12-1.30pm Sue Davis Football Pitch: Mondays to Thursdays 22 July - 8 August, 1-3pm

Tennis Camp: Forehand, backhand, serve and play 13+ with Access to Sports Finsbury Park: Monday 19 - Thursday 22 August, 10am-12noon

Mountain Biking: Confidence in safe cycling, route 13+ planning and navigation Islington Boat Club: Monday 5 - Friday 9 August, 9am-4pm Multi-Sports: Basketball, 13+ football, cricket, archery, netball and more Finsbury Park: Monday 22 - Thursday 25 July, 1-3pm Paddle Boarding: Gain competence in stand up 13+ paddleboarding on the canal Islington Boat Club: Monday 19 Friday 23 August, 9.30am-4pm Pool lifeguarding award: NPLQ accreditation can 16+ get you a job in the leisure industry Cally Pool: Monday 19 - Saturday 24 August, 8am-5pm Sports Leadership Level 1: Nationally recognised 13+ qualification in sports leadership skills Finsbury Park: Monday 29 July Friday 2 August, 10am-4pm Street Dance: Core street styles, improvisation and 13+ exciting choreography Rose Bowl: Monday 12 - Thursday 15 August, 4-6pm

Carnival and Theatre Project Spend your summer holidays preparing to be part of an Alice in Wonderland themed carnivalinspired production. For older participants there is also be the chance to take part in the world famous Notting Hill Carnival procession. You can take part in one or more of the activities listed below. Weekly sessions are at Lift Youth Hub with the Indigo Project.

Mondays Afro Fusion Dance: Be part of an Alice and Wonderland carnival-themed show 29 July - 19 August, 5.30-7pm Body Painting: Explore the art of body and face painting and theatrical makeup 29 July - 19 August, 2-4pm Soca Dance: Be part of the Notting Hill Carnival with this dance group 29 July - 19 August, 7-9pm Staging and Props: Design, build, create and paint staging and props 29 July - 19 August, 11am-1pm


14+ 18+


Wednesdays Costume making: Making theatre costumes - design, 13+ sew and paint 24 July - 21 August, 11am-1.30pm Choir Singing: Improve harmony skills, increase vocal range and confidence 24 July - 21 August, 5-6.30pm


Thursdays Drama and Words: Interactive drama and 13+ spoken word elements of the show 25 July - 22 August, 6.30-8.30pm Expressive Dance: Expand your knowledge and emotional dance vocabulary 25 July - 22 August, 7-9pm Fashion Runway: Making elaborate over-the-top avant-garde costumes 25 July - 22 August, 3-6pm



Fridays African Drumming: Learn the basics and prepare a musical show piece 9 - 23 August, 2-3pm


Fun for under 13s

There are also loads of activities for younger children. Tiny tots and their grown-ups can go to Bright Start 0-5 sessions. Islington’s 12 adventure playgrounds are open, offering outdoor fun and games. Our seven leisure centres have different sporting activities available, and libraries have loads of fun sessions happening, as well as the annual Summer Reading Challenge.Find out more at www.



Young people

What we’re doing this summer Islington Youth Council are planning a busy summer – having fun and taking part in the hundreds of free activities for children and young people, funded by Islington Council during the summer holidays. They explain what they are looking forward to most… Ben

“I’m looking forward to accessing all the activities available from Summerversity and Launchpad as well as using leisure centres, especially Sobell for the trampoline park. My advice to Islington young people is to take every opportunity that comes around as there are many free things to do across the borough.”


“During the summer, I’m most looking forward to enjoying the sun and getting involved in the amazing things to do in Islington. I am also looking forward to the days being longer and going on holiday.”


“This summer I’m really looking forward to going to Carnival at the end of August. I would advise a young person to try and do as much as you can in the holidays and if you’re bored head down to the local youth clubs.


“What I personally would recommend to young people wanting to get the best out of their summer, is to have fun with friends and family, take time to relax, but also be productive. So perhaps learn a new hobby, or take part in Summerversity.”

Just finished your exams?

Young people who have completed Year 11 must now stay in learning until the end of the school year when they turn 18. This doesn't mean they have to stay in school. They could: Do a full-time course at a college or school sixth form Work-based training such as an apprenticeship or a job with training

Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering more than 20 hours per week.

If you want advice on options available for your child, contact the Progress Team on 020 7527 7031 or email

Summer 2019


Young people

World-class music education for Islington’s school children

Every school child is set to discover and develop their musical skills under the guidance of some of the best music teachers in the world thanks to a pioneering partnership between the council and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the internationally renowned conservatoire in the City of London. They have teamed up to launch Music Education Islington, a brand new service to give Islington’s pupils and teachers access to world-class music education, resources, and experiences at Guildhall School and the Barbican. Music Education Islington will be accessible through schools to every Islington child aged five to 18, regardless of their background, educational attainment or ability to pay.

Learn, play and make friends! Play is how children learn. Research shows that high quality early learning enhances children’s development including social skills and language, plus it lays the foundations for later reading and writing.

qualified practitioners and other children. Did you know that playing with sand and water helps your child with counting, and playing in a pretend kitchen helps your child make friends?”

What you do with your children at home is vital, but free early learning at nursery, or with a childminder, gives them even more opportunities to learn and have fun.

Give your two year-old a head start. If you are unemployed or earning a low wage, or if your child has a special educational need, you could get 570 hours a year free early learning.

Jemima Murray, of Montem Primary School, says: “Children learn best through play when it is with highly

For more information, contact Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or visit



Cally Clock tower

The new heart of Caledonian Park

Hundreds of people celebrated the grand opening of the restored Cally Clock Tower with a day of art, theatre, exercise, exhibitions and tower tours. Islington Council, supported with a grant of almost £2million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, fully restored and repaired the 164-yearold clock tower and part of the original market railings. For the first time in the tower’s history, it will now

open regularly to the public for free. A new learning and community centre, the Cally Clock Tower Centre, with a café, public toilets and dedicated volunteer room, also welcomed its first visitors. About 600 local residents, visitors, guests and councillors took part in the official opening and after speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, visitors with booked tours climbed the tower for panoramic views of London’s skyline. On the ground, people had the chance to get involved in a range

of sports, including a nod to the site’s past with Victorian-themed playground games. The learning centre hosted workshops on the turret clock and an exhibition for guests detailing the history of the site and the stages of the restoration project. Throughout the day, the landmark site’s history was brought to life with interactive performances by drama company Past Pleasures. Check caledonianpark for regular updates and to book tours

Summer 2019


Cally Clock tower

The clock tower was built in 1855 as the centrepiece of a new cattle market to replace Smithfield

The view from the top of the tower

It was designed by the architect James Bunstone Bunning There are 220 steps to the top of the tower The tower is set in the middle of the 18-acre park Caledonian Park was called Copenhagen Fields in the 17th century

The sites’ history is brought to life by drama company Past Pleasures

In 1834, the park was where a mass march on Parliament began in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs



At the heart of the community The Vibast Community Centre is officially opened

Community Centres play a vital role in our neighbourhoods, with arts and events for local residents of all ages and walks of life. In July, community centres in Islington will be dedicating a whole week to celebrating what they do best – meeting the needs of their local community.

Community Centre Week is taking place from 19-25 July and is the perfect chance to find out more about your local centre. During the week, Islington Council will be running activities to help communities become better connected and bring neighbours together to improve their street or estate. Islington newest community centre Vibast Community Centre, in Old Street, had an official opening party in April and will be fully open to the

public later this summer. The modern centre has a large hall, kitchen facilities, two meeting rooms and a therapy room. It will be hosting a wide range of activities, like yoga and Capoeria, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, as well as social activities for older people. Find out more about Community Centre Week by following @OctopusCN @CCWeekUK or by visiting


Europeans are part of our community  Islington has a wonderful mix of people from all over the world – something we are proud about. Some 20,000 Europeans live in Islington and when the UK leaves the EU we want to support them to stay.  The council offers a free identity checking service for Islington and City of London residents who are applying for settled status. Find

out more about this and other local support to help you to secure your status at brexitsupport   

Celebrate Islington! Join us for an evening celebrating the wonderful people and communities of Islington at the ‘Celebrate Islington - Community Festival’ on Wednesday 17 July, 6-9pm, Islington Assembly

WE ARE Islington


Hall, N1 2UD.  

There will be music, dance, performances, free food, and more. Everyone is welcome at this free

Irish citizens do not need to apply for settled status to continue to live, study and work here. 

event, but places are limited so please register in advance, find out more at celebrateislington

Meet Eglal She owns a deli and café in Seven Sisters Road Born in Italy Part of Islington

Credit: © Islington Faces


Summer 2019

Europeans are part of our community. We are stronger when we stand together. EU citizens: for information and support to help you to secure your status visit /brexitsupport



Your home News for council tenants and leaseholders

Reporting repairs online just got better

Fire safety update

Have your circumstances changed since you took up your tenancy? Let your housing office know so their records are up-to-date. It’s important that the council has accurate information to give to the fire service in the event of a fire or emergency. Following a recent fire in another London borough, please remember that the use of BBQ’s (including gas cylinder types) is not permitted on any private or communal balcony, or accessible roof space of any council block. Using BBQ’s in these areas is a serious fire risk. Instead there are a number of open spaces where you can enjoy a BBQ safely. Further information can be found by visiting

Paying rent over the school holidays? If you are an Islington council tenant or leaseholder you can report most routine repairs affecting your home or estate online, using a computer or smart phone. Book appointments online for a time which is convenient for you and if you need to, you can cancel and rearrange your appointment up to 24 hours beforehand. You can report your repair through your My e-Account, or online at If your repair is an emergency call 0800 694 3344. Deaf residents can report emergency repairs by email to deafemergencyrepairs@

If you are worried about paying your rent over the school holidays, please contact your Income Recovery Officer so they can help. The longer you leave the problem, the bigger your debt will become. If you are a Partners tenant please contact them directly. More support is available at uk/advice

Summer 2019


Your home News for council tenants and leaseholders

Why Francis is Islington’s Caretaker of the Year

L-R: Billy Well, Francis Oduro, Pearly King John Walters and George Sharkey, Branch Secretary GMB

Francis Oduro, a caretaker at Kings Square, has won Islington’s Caretaker of the Year award for his friendly nature and hardworking attitude. More than 80 residents put forward their nominations, and out of nearly 200 Islington Council caretakers Francis came out tops. Residents said Francis was hardworking, dedicated and friendly and that his work ethic and attention to issues on the estate made him stand out as a winner.

Francis said: “I’m really proud and delighted to be have been nominated and to have won! Thank you for recognising the work that I do.” John Walters, the Pearly King of Finsbury and Billy Wells, Islington Council’s Head of Neighbourhood Services, presented Francis with his award at the council’s annual Caretakers Conference. Penny Seal, chair of King Square Estate Tenants and Residents Association, was one of the people to nominate Francis. She said: “Francis deserves this recognition. He’s proficient, professional, always smiling and

goes the extra mile to maintain our estate. We are lucky to have him!” Other caretakers who deserve a mention include: Sara Walters, from New River Court Estate; Danny Roberts, from Dover Court Estate; and Greg Walters, Williamson Street Estate. Congratulations to Francis for his outstanding work, and thanks to all of Islington’s caretakers who are helping to build a safe, supportive, inclusive community here in Islington! For more information on estate services, go to uk/estatemanagement

Proud to care? Find a job that suits you Live in north London and looking for flexible and rewarding work or training in the care sector? Or do you want to develop your skills and career within the care sector?


Summer 2019



Breaking down barriers to cervical screening

Sahra (2nd from right) with her fellow North London Health Ambassadors

Islington Health Ambassador, Sahra Ahmed, is working hard to get into the heart of the community to highlight the benefits of cervical screening. As part of a local campaign, she is encouraging women in her community to understand the importance of cervical screening and feel empowered to make an appointment. A long-time Islington resident Sahra says: “I understand that many Muslim women are scared to go for a screen. There is often stigma around screening in our culture and it isn’t an issue we talk about much.” By speaking to women face to face

and helping to organise awareness events, Sahra says she can help break down the barriers that prevent women going. Sahra also works as a medical interpreter and can often be found translating in healthcare settings like the Whittington Hospital. Although the campaign is aimed at women, Sahra has also been talking to husbands and fathers to encourage them to support the women in their lives to get

themselves checked out. She says, “I tell them this is something that can protect your wife or daughter – tell them to go!” If you are overdue a screening but find it difficult to find the time, you can now access appointments through Islington I:HUB from 6.308pm Monday-Friday and 8am-8pm Saturdays (if you are registered with an Islington GP). To book, call your GP between 8am-8pm and ask for an I:HUB appointment.



Active health

Reclaiming the streets Islington is taking a number of steps to reduce pollution in the borough and make our streets healthier and safer.

Headteacher Claire Brown and pupils at Winton Primary School celebrate their School Street

In June, Islington launched its 10th School Street – a pioneering initiative to cut pollution, boost road safety and encourage cycling and walking. Islington’s School Street scheme reduces traffic outside schools at drop-off and pick-up by closing them to traffic, aiming to create quieter, safer, environments for children, with cleaner air. Hugh Myddelton Primary School in Clerkenwell and Winton Primary School near King’s Cross became the 9th and 10th schools in Islington to launch School Streets, a major milestone for the scheme. Islington’s first school street opened in November last year.

Fun community connections Celebrate Car Free Day this year by attending Islington’s Giant Play Street on St John’s Street on Sunday 22 September or turn your own road

into a Play Street for the day.

Play Streets are roads that are closed to traffic so that children and families can play out in the street without worries about cars, safety or pollution. It’s all about fun, community and connections.

Understanding air quality and what it means for you and your family can be tricky, so there will be information at the Giant Play Street to help you recognise what you can do to reduce your contribution and exposure to pollution.

Apply now by visiting www.

Have your say on greener, cleaner transport Tackling poor air quality and road danger, and making getting around the borough sustainable, accessible and enjoyable for all.

Islington Council has launched the draft Islington Transport Strategy 2019 - 2041 and you are invited to have your say.

The public consultation will run until early autumn. Have your say on the future of transport in Islington by visiting transportstrategy

Summer 2019



Putting health at the heart of Islington’s parks Islington parks and green spaces are to be changed to take an active and central role in improving health and wellbeing to local people.

Islington Council received a grant for the Future Parks Fund run by the National Trust, National Lottery Heritage Fund. Parks were initially created as a direct response to a public health crisis and the councils want to transform the management of parks and green spaces to make sure they continue to actively address health challenges by tackling isolation and creating much wider opportunities for physical activity for people of all

Highbury Fields is a great place to get active or relax

ages and interests. A strong partnership with the health and voluntary sectors will ensure

benefits are focused on those with greatest need to improve health and wellbeing.

150 years of Finsbury Park This year marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of Finsbury Park. Originally there was just a teahouse next to a wood, then a tavern. But in 1869, after nearly 30 years of debate

and local pressure, it finally became a park – the ‘People’s Park’. To mark the occasion, Haringey Council is organising celebration event on Saturday 10 August 2019 in Finsbury Park.

A range of new projects have also been launched this year to improve and introduce new facilities in the park, including a new playground, enhancements to McKenzie gardens, and surface works to upgrade the two existing volleyball and netball courts.



Local life

Become a Time to Change champion! Islington is now part of a network of Time to Change hubs, which bring local organisations and people together to tackle the mental health stigma. If you would like to help change the conversation in Islington about mental health, sign up to be a Time to Change Champion. Being a champion is flexible and voluntary and there are lots of ways to be involved, like having conversations about mental health

with the people around you; running a Time to Change activity in a cafĂŠ, or your workplace; or speaking up when people say damaging things about mental health.

For more information visit champions or email

A new look for Central Library Exciting changes are underway for Central Library that include a vastly improved First Steps Learning Centre, and a totally renovated Reference Library with large amounts of quality study space. The library will be closed between Monday 12 August and Monday 2 September 2019. The second floor Reference Library will be closed between May and September 2019. For updates visit

Supported by

Summer 2019


Local life

Celebrating their school

Love recycling? Become a Recycling Champion!

Being a recycling champion is all about encouraging your neighbours, friends, family and colleagues to reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s a great way to meet new people, make a positive contribution to your community. Pupils entertained staff, parents and guests with a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the official opening of their special school in Holloway. St Mary Magdalene Academy: The Courtyard is a special school for pupils aged 14-19 with autism spectrum conditions, or speech, language and communication needs in Islington. It has been operating for six years, but was finally ready in May to celebrate its move into a purposebuilt home in the grounds of St Magdalene Church gardens. “It is a huge honour to serve as the headteacher of the Courtyard,” said

Deborah Shepherd. “As a small, purpose-built educational provision for young people with autism spectrum conditions, we provide the perfect environment for this inspiring group of individuals to achieve their potential in all areas of their lives.” The celebrations were attended by Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen and the then Mayor of Islington, Cllr Dave Poyser.

You'll get to team-up with other people whose enthusiasm can help people understand the importance of recycling and broader environmental issues. You don’t need any previous knowledge or experience, although you do need to be over 18 years old, and Islington Council will offer you and the other volunteer champions training and support. If you’re interested visit recyclingchampions, contact and leave your name, address, email and telephone number and the recycling team will be in touch.



Local life

Find your fashion fix

If you need inspiration for a new summer outfit look no further than the new Fonthill Road Fashion Village lookbook. Developed by independent traders in partnership with Islington Council, the lookbook showcases some of the incredible fashion pieces at affordable prices you can find in the Village, close to Finsbury Park station.

The lookbook is modelled by local residents and compiled by Courtney Mitchell, a recent womenswear fashion design graduate who lives in Islington. Courtney said: “I have known about Fonthill Road my whole life because it is such an institution for so many people across London, particularly for women like my aunts who find such incredibly high-quality dresses there. I am impressed the council launched this type of project because it is quite creative.”

Vickie Christensen, manager of London Fashion centre and cochair of the Fonthill Road Traders Association said: “We know Fonthill Road is London’s best kept fashion secret, but we don’t want it to be a secret, so it is good that more people will find out about the quality pieces they can find in our shops.” See the lookbook and get an exclusive discount voucher to spend in Fonthill Road Fashion Village at www.IslingtonLife.London/FRFV

Archway’s vinyl market a hit Students from City and Islington College teamed up with Islington Council to launch the Beats and Eats - Archway Vinyl Market in Navigator Square. The market gives local record shops and residents the opportunity to sell their vinyl to collectors, DJs and appreciators.

Traders set up shop on the day and business was brisk as the crowds proved that vinyl is as popular as ever. As part of the project, City and Islington College students developed plans to promote the market.

The successful team’s first market was held on 30 June, with more due to follow this year. If you would like to have a stall email barry.causton

Summer 2019


Local life

Our amazing market traders Islington has some amazing markets to visit, made so great by the traders themselves. We spoke to six islington stallholders about what they love most:

Jo Jo’s card stall in Chapel Market was 50 last year, “even though I’m only 40,” she laughs. It was set up by her dad in 1968. Being a market trader runs in Jo’s family. “The thing I like most about Chapel Market is the people, both the stallholders and the customers, everyone around. Most people are happy and cheerful. It’s a lovely place to work.”

Will Will serves up delicious jerk chicken from his stall in Whitecross Street Market. He’s traded here for four years and this is his first and only pitch. “Whitecross Street is a definitely a great community. I wouldn’t be on the market if it wasn’t for the other traders. There’s not one thing that I love about the market in particular, it’s the whole, overall feeling of being here. It’s exciting.”

Peter Peter and his pie stall, HolmesBake, has been a regular fixture of Whitecross Street Market for 10 years. “It can be a battle of the elements – snow, rain, wind,” he says. “Wind is the worst in a tent. But no pies have ever blown away. “I have just gone plastic free, which I feel better about. Everything is paper now.”

Sandra A relative newcomer to Chapel Market, Sandra sells women’s fashions and is loving her change in career. “There was a lot of fear at first, and doubt, should I do it, shouldn’t I do it? I came out last July and I’ve been here ever since and it’s been fantastic. I’m loving it. I’m very much a people’s person, so I like meeting all the people that come along.”

Wendy Wendy has been a regular in Chapel Market for 35 years. She started with £300 and a table of clutch bags and now sells every kind of bag and luggage imaginable. “My daughter was young at the time and I wanted a job that was flexible. I’ve fitted this job around my life and I prefer this kind of work. I love the summer. My family are all in the business. It’s just in my blood.”

Dave Fruit and veg legend Dave started out in Chapel Market when he was 12 years-old. He’s 62 now. “Every day is a funny story. We just have a laugh. My stall is like my stage and I’m an actor. People come to it and I tell them jokes, they confide in me, I’m like an agony aunt. It’s nice being part of the community and being known as part of the community.



Local life

Islington remembers

Imperial War Museum

Royal Marine Commandos coming ashore on the Normandy coast, 6 June 1944

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. More than 60 men from Islington died in the landings. Here, we remember some of their stories. Able Seamen Charles William Smith died on, 6 June 1944, the first day of the landings. The 27-year-old was serving on Landing Craft Infantry vessel (S) 524 when, after landing commandos on Sword Beach, it was struck by a shell causing it to explode into flames. Charles is remembered with honour at Chatham Naval Memorial. Another Islington casualty of that day was Alfred Wyatt, 24, of Queen’s Head Street, N1. Alfred was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and is buried at

Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy. Also buried at Bayeux is Sapper William Heatley, 19, of the Royal Engineers. William lived in Sutton Dwellings, Upper Street. The following day, another five men from Islington fell. These were Rifleman Percy Godsave, 28; Serjeant Richard Harris, 24; Lance Corporal Ernest Schafer, 30; Lance Corporal George Mitchell, 24; and Trooper Walter Walters, 20. Their sacrifice is not forgotten.

Barnsbury church history brought to life A volunteer-led heritage project exploring the lives of the first parishioners of Holy Trinity church in Barnsbury is underway. ‘The Place Where We Live’ will animate the history of Holy Trinity, now known as the Cloudesley Centre, through a series of free walks, talks, an art project at New River College Primary and an exhibition at Islington Museum. Running for two years, the project forms part of plans to restore this architecturally significant Grade II* listed building to public use. A team of local volunteers, trained and supported by a social historian, will undertake research crucial to the understanding and restoration of the Cloudesley Centre. The church, built in 1826-29 to a design by Sir Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament, has been closed since 2017. The Diocese of London aims to raise £6m for its complete regeneration by the end of 2022. Find out more at

Summer 2019


What’s on

Discover more about Islington’s Italian community, including the clown Joseph Grimaldi, Swiss-Italian entrepreneur Carlo Gatti and political activist Giuseppe Mazzini, during this festival that is running from 17-24 August.

There will be a talk and walk and workshops, plus events, so look out for flyers inPage libraries, the Local History ject1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 05/09/2018 13:02 Page ect1_Islington ad 13:02 11 Centre, Islington Museum and on IslingtonLife social media channels!

Treading the boards Let’s stamp it out

Between now and March 2021 the council is partnering with arts organisations, independent artists and community organisations to deliver a variety of short and long-term community projects, such as art classes, ceramics, theatre and choir, within estate-based and hub community centres. For more visit uk/treadingtheboards

Your FREE local newspaper

Join sniffer dog Levi at the Islington illegal tobacco roadshow on Thursday 25 July 10am to 4pm outside Islington Town Hall, Upper Street N1 2UD. Find out what is being done locally to tackle this.

Wagtail UK

Italians in Islington

Illegal cheap tobacco brings crime into your community and helps more children get hooked at a young age. You can report the sale of cheap tobacco anonymously to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0345 404 0506.

Amwell Street Summer Party

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Out every Friday Tel: 020 7419 9000

A fun day for all the family, this annual street party takes place on Sunday 14 July from 11am-6pm in Amwell Street, EC1. This year there is a garden party theme and there will be lots of food and drink available, including a BBQ hosted by the George & Monkey pub, real Spanish paella, gourmet hot dogs, gelati, vegan and vegetarian food, strawberries and cream, plus cakes galore! Also expect live music and three great competitions with fabulous prizes – the legendary Dog Show sponsored by Amwell Vets, a Summer Hat Parade, and the Amwell Street Bake-off. Amwell Street between Ingelbert Street and River Street will be closed from 8am to 8pm on the day to allow for delivery, set-up and removal. Ingelbert St will also be closed and traffic diversions will be in place.


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IslingtonLife summer 2019  

Find out about the hundreds of free or low-cost activities for children and young people that are taking place during the school summer holi...

IslingtonLife summer 2019  

Find out about the hundreds of free or low-cost activities for children and young people that are taking place during the school summer holi...