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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Winter 2019

Use your vote!

Islington lights up for Christmas

Helping the homeless

Get your free festive parking vouchers







Welcome Message from the Chief Executive

Climate emergency How you can avoid food waste and do your bit to tackle the emergency

Children and young people The new voucher scheme for pregnant women and their families




News Use your vote! How and where to vote in Islington


2019 review We take a look back at some of the big stories of the year


Jobs and money What is Living Wage Week and why does it matter?


Housing Discover the new council homes built on a disused car park

Christmas The festive lights are on around Islington; and find out who the Market Trader of the year is!

Healthy Advice on how you can stay warm and well this winter


Local life Rediscovering the beauty of Central Library

Our community We meet one of Islington’s outreach workers who is helping to tackle homelessness


Christmas info All the details you need about council opening hours during the festive season



What’s on Local shows and exhibitions you won’t want to miss!


Parking Get your free festive parking vouchers

Highlights 15

Ten tips for a waste free Christmas


Volunteering: the best gift you can give this Christmas


Islington People’s Rights turns 50

Winter 2019


Welcome Christmas is my favourite time of year and so it’s a huge pleasure to have the opportunity to write this column and wish residents a merry Christmas!

Linzi Roberts-Egan Chief Executive

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.

I’m sure you’ve all dug out the tinsel and untangled the fairy lights and are in full festive swing. The same is certainly true for Islington’s high streets, which are looking wonderful. From Angel and Archway, to Finsbury Park and the Nag’s Head, the town centre Christmas lights are looking great and helping to spread yuletide cheer. You can see photos from some of the switch-on events on pages 12 and 13. And don’t forget to shop local and support your local businesses and traders this festive season! Since starting my job as Chief Executive back in July I’ve getting out and about across the borough to meet staff, partners and residents alike. One recent visit was to the newly refurbished Central Library. It’s a stunning building which has been given a whole new lease of life, and you can read more about that on page 25. Diversity is one of Islington’s strengths and it has been fantastic to see how despite differences we can all work together to bring about change. This leads me on to the climate emergency and how we can all do our bit to make a difference. From recycling to food sharing apps you can read about this on pages 10 and 11 and get 10 top tips for a waste free Christmas on page 14. Working in local government is all about partnership and I’ve been pleased to meet many partners

who help us to provide services for residents and keep our borough healthy and safe. At this time of year, it’s important that all of us take time to look after ourselves, but this is particularly true for older and more vulnerable residents. Staying warm and well is a big part of that, and you can find out more about how you can do this on page 22. One of the things that drew me to Islington is the council’s links with the thriving voluntary and community sector. These organisations do a fabulous job supporting people during difficult times in their lives, and at Christmas the demand on their services can be even greater. Providing shelter for rough sleepers or hot meals for residents who are isolated and lonely, they provide a vital service. As a local resident, you can also do your bit – find out about some of the volunteering opportunities available in Islington, or what to do if you see someone sleeping on the streets on page 16-17. And finally, the general election is almost upon us and Islington’s elections team has been busy preparing for polling day on 12 December. Elections are not just a job for our small elections team, we rely on all the brilliant people who work in the polling stations and on the count overnight. So I’d like to say thanks to them for their work, and encourage you all to go out and use your vote! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year.

To receive news and updates directly to your inbox visit




Is your child Smart getting ready for cameras primary school? to cut If your child is due to start school in September, you must submit your application by Wednesday 15 January.

lorry rat-runs

Islington Council has installed smart cameras in Copenhagen Street and Mildmay Park to tackle the number of lorries that use them as through-routes. The new cameras will operate 24/7 to enforce a 7.5t weight restriction in place in the streets following concerns from residents about rat-running and to improve air quality.

If your application is received after the closing date, then it will be late and this will reduce your chances of getting a place at your preferred school. You can apply for up to six schools and it is recommended that you do. Offer day is Thursday 16 April 2020 when you will find out which

school your child has been offered a place at. So, if your child was born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016, make sure you apply on time. Sign up for the admissions e-newsletter at

The smart cameras can identify a vehicle’s size and predicted weight and if the vehicle is over the restricted weight, its details are checked with the DVLA before a penalty charge notice is made. Signs have been put up in the streets to warn drivers about the weight restrictions. However, access is maintained for vehicles required to service the local areas.

Winter 2019



Use your vote! How and where to vote in Islington The UK general election takes place on Thursday 12 December. Make sure you have your say, every vote counts. Results will be announced on national television, the council website and on social media @IslingtonBC later that night after all votes have been counted.

New councillor for St George’s ward

Use your vote! More than 160,000 people are registered to vote in Islington. Everyone who is entitled to vote will have been sent a polling card or a postal vote by Friday 6 December. Your polling card tells you where you should go to vote. You don’t need to take the polling card with you when you go to vote, but you must vote at the polling

station which is listed on your card. This is the closest polling station to your home address. You can check where your polling station is at voting Islington’s 92 polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm, but don’t leave it until the last minute as polling stations are usually busiest in the evening.

If you live in St George’s ward you are also entitled to vote in a local by-election on 12 December to elect a new councillor following the resignation of Kat Fletcher. The results of the by-election will be known on Friday 13 December. Go to uk/by-election for more information and results. Sign up for the elections e-newsletter to get the latest info straight to your inbox www.islington.



2019 review

A year in Islington

We take a look back at some of the major stories in the borough over the past 12 months

Clean streets award March saw Islington win a prestigious Keep Britain Tidy award for its clean streets. Each street in the borough is assigned its own dedicated street sweeper, like Gino (pictured) Islington’s street sweeper of the year 2019, who visit their beat at least five times a week. Rounds are also tied into bin collections, so cleaners visit soon after the trucks have been round, clearing up anything that may have

been missed or spilled.

Cally Clock Tower opening Hundreds of people came together to celebrate the grand opening of Caledonian Park’s restored clock tower in June. Islington Council, supported with a grant of almost £2million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, fully restored and repaired the historic

clock tower and part of the original market railings.  For the first time in the tower’s history, it is now open regularly to the public for free.

Winter 2019


2019 review

Islington’s little oasis In June – the same month Islington declared a climate emergency – the first of the borough’s parklets was launched replacing a car parking space in Central Street. With shrubs, a tree, seating and a bike stand, the parklet has added greenery to the street and offers a place for residents, workers, cyclists and visitors to rest. In place for a year, it was the first of five to be set up across the borough in Banner Street, Baldwin Street, Bickerton Road and Waterlow Road.

Summer fun It was an exciting summer for Islington’s children and young people with a busy calendar packed full of events, courses and things to do. Over 900 Islington children, including Rafiah Jones, 9, and Thandiwe, 7, (pictured top right), read an astonishing 6,547 books as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Islington’s free summer activities programme was a hit once again, with courses in comedy, cookery, filmmaking, sports and much more. And Go Islington returned to Highbury Fields in July to energise the borough with its sporty fun and activities. It was just a shame about the rain!

Islington’s award-winning apprentice In September, Islington apprentice Usama Mohamed (pictured above) was named Supply Chain Apprentice of the Year at the London Borough Apprenticeship Awards. Against some strong competition, Usama won the award for his work as a trainee site manager with construction firm Osborne. The council’s iWork team brokered Usama’s apprenticeship with construction company Osborne. The team supported 53 people into council apprenticeships in 2018/19, and 167 people into apprenticeships with other employers. Find out if iWork can help you, call the team on 020 7527 2706 or email

Highbury Corner transformation The new Highbury Corner junction was officially opened in October. What was once an intimidating roundabout, is now a much safer junction that is more welcoming for people. There are segregated cycle lanes, a new green public space for people to enjoy, and a new, wider and ‘straight across’ pedestrian crossing, which is easier to use than the old two-stage crossings. Construction work to remove the 1960s roundabout began in June 2018 and traffic switched to two-way operation for the first time in 60 year.



Jobs and money

Fresh start through the London Living Wage At the age of 37, Nikola became an Energy Advisory apprentice for the council. As a mother of two, she wanted to pursue a new career, but continue to provide for her children, and be an active member of the borough she grew up in. Nikola was paid the London Living Wage during her apprenticeship and says: “Receiving the London Living Wage was very good, not only was I in education and gained my business admin qualification and energy efficiency level 3, I was getting paid at the same time. “I have two young girls and to show them that I can do that and earn a decent wage was good to experience as a mum.” Islington council has been an accredited Living Wage employer since 2012. All its 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 London accredited organisations in Islington, benefitting over 2,800 workers. More than one year on, Nikola has finished her apprenticeship and is now an Energy Adviser at SHINE, the council’s fuel poverty referral network and free energy advice service for residents. She

mentors other apprentices and also volunteers to support vulnerable people in Islington. “I’ve always wanted to help people. I got to a point in my life and I was

like – is this going to happen as I’ve got children now? But when the apprenticeship came up, it was like it was meant to be and it was another chance.”

Winter 2019



The changing face of Caledonian Road

A transformation has taken place near Caledonian Road. An underused piece of land used for car parking is now eight two-bedroom flats, providing much needed homes for over 30 people.

These homes have a sophisticated heating and ventilation system. Heat from the bathroom and kitchen is recirculated to warm the rest of the house. This can reduce energy bills and help to prevent damp and condensation. Most of the new homes have been let to alleviate overcrowding. The remaining properties have been let to older residents who are downsizing, freeing up much needed larger homes for families to move into.

Ponder Street, which connects the new homes to Caledonian Road, has been reopened with improved lighting and new planting making it safer for residents to use. Secure cycle parking and bin stores have been built for residents. These have been built from natural materials with green roofs and include homes for birds and insects to encourage wildlife to this urban area.

A new home for Christmas More than 280 council tenants are moving into new homes built on a new development near Caledonian Road Tube station. The 1970s estate has been transformed into 252 new homes by property company London Square. A total of 82 of these new homes are for social rent.

The new homes all have green roofs to encourage more wildlife and there is a rooftop play area for younger children and a garden for residents to share.

As well as the new homes, the Grade II listed Methodist Chapel next to the development is having a new extension built creating a new space for use by residents and businesses.



Climate emergency

Fighting food waste to help our planet

Each of us can make small changes to our lifestyle, which make a big difference to the environment when we act together. Residents had a great time at five free ‘small change, big difference’ cookery classes where they learnt sustainable food tips and reducing food waste.

The average household throws away

£800 worth

What do we waste? A staggering amount of food is wasted daily across the country which is having a terrible impact on the planet’s climate and biodiversity. Food production and consumption contributes to around 30% of CO2 emissions, so by eating more healthily, using ingredients that have less impact on the environment, reducing the amount of food wasted at home, and by recycling more, we can have a real impact.

of food every year

Londoners waste 910,000 tonnes of food every year. The top five foods wasted are:

1 2


90,000 tonnes every year. That’s 560,000 every day!


2.6 million slices every single day







100,000 tonnes per year

350,000 each day

9,600 tonnes per year

Winter 2019

Helping Islington become a net zero carbon borough by 2030


Climate emergency

Top tips for reducing food waste save money, get healthy, help the planet! Enjoy a sustainable, healthy diet and go meat free one day a week. If all Islington residents went meat free for only one day a week we could save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Freeze bread to make toast straight from the freezer Check what food waste services are available in your area, so you can recycle your fruit and veg peels – recycling or 020 7527 2000

Do you have any tips that you could share about things you do to help tackle the climate emergency? Whether that is going plastic free, recycling your children’s old toys or swapping your car for a bike or car share, get in contact with us if you would like to feature in a future edition of IslingtonLife! Email


Are you keen on recycling? Sign up for the recycling e-newsletter at www.islington.

Food sharing app surpasses 15,000 users in Islington OLIO – an app for sharing food – is a quick, social and free solution to the food waste problem. Since launching in 2015, the app has encouraged over 15,000 Islington residents to share more and waste less. The way the app works is simple. Users snap a photo of their spare food items and upload it to the app. Neighbours who live nearby receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. Pickup then takes place at the doorstep, so neighbours get to know each other in the process. Alice, a 30-year-old student and ‘Food Waste Hero’ has been saving food

from her local Pret a Manger and adding it to OLIO for eight months. “I’ve had a wide range of people pick up food from me – students, newcomers to the city, neighbours, my housemates, colleagues, an elderly woman with her zimmer frame, and mothers with their children. It’s incredibly rewarding to rescue food and feed my community, and I would encourage anyone to sign-up if they want to make a positive difference.’’ If you want to download OLIO or become a Food Waste Hero, please visit

Islington’s Air Quality Strategy Islington’s Air Quality Strategy sets out targets and bold actions for the next four years to tackle air pollution. It commits the council to: Stringent World Health Organisation standards for air quality Air pollution monitoring at all

schools in the borough Lobbying for greater powers to tackle engine idling, making buses in Islington zero emission and the ULEZ area zero emission. Find out more at www.islington.



Festive lights

Islington lights up for Christmas Festive lights are bringing sparkle to Islington’s high streets and town centres as the borough gears up for Christmas. People young and old enjoyed a host of activities at switch-on events in Finsbury Park, the Nag’s Head, Chapel Market, Archway and Angel. Festive tunes, facepainting and free roast chestnuts entertained shoppers, plus there was even a visit or two from Father Christmas himself. Enjoy our photos of the fun here!

Luigi and Luisa

Grafton Primary School choir

Winter 2019


Festive lights

Our top traders Luisa with Sofia

Stall holders Serpil Erce and David Jackson have each been named Islington’s Market Traders of the Year 2019. Serpil, behind Sunny’s Olive Tree in Whitecross Street Market received 32 votes from Islington shoppers, and fruit and veg seller Dave Jackson from Chapel Market, received 28. Customer Zane Moses nominated Serpil for her “fresh ingredients, diversity of options and a variety of salad every day. Super friendly people.” While Suzy Gordon, who voted for Dave, said: “I have bought from Dave Jackson for over 32 years. He has the freshest fruit and veg on the market, and his demeanour and banter makes me go and buy there every week. I look forward to seeing him, and his daughter Katie. My five a day (and my son’s) all come courtesy of Dave Jackson. Wouldn’t go anywhere else!”

The Barbican’s Drum Works

Holloway Seventh-day Adventist Church choir

Islington’s high streets are a great place to shop! Support your local businesses #ShopLocal

Both Serpil and Dave receive £150 off their pitch rent and Zane and Suzy get a £50 voucher to spend on their chosen trader’s stall. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to everyone who voted! Find out all you need to know about Islington’s markets at




Stay safe over the festive period It’s important to enjoy the festivities over Christmas and New Year, but also that you feel safe and stay safe, and don’t get into debt.

Keep your drinking in check

Personal safety support

With all the parties and celebrations going on, it’s easy to drink more alcohol than usual. The units can soon add up and begin to affect your health and wellbeing. Visit the ‘One You Islington’ website for some top tips and download a free ‘Drinks Tracker’ app to help keep your drinking in check. www.

If you are on a night out over the festive season and feeling uncomfortable in a pub or club, use the ‘Ask for Angela’ service by discreetly asking for Angela at the bar to alert staff. On your way home, always use black cabs or book a licenced taxi – never get into an unlicensed taxi or one that’s touting for business.

Fire safety For many people, candles are as much a part of their Christmas decorations as holly and tinsel. But if you don’t use candles safely it could spell disaster for you and your family. Advice from London Fire Brigade is to always place candles in a suitable fire-resistant holder on a flat surface away from things that could catch fire and always put them out when you leave the room or go to sleep.

It’s a fact that domestic abuse and sexual violence increase over Christmas. If you experience domestic abuse, contact Solace Women’s Aid on 0808 802 5565. If you experience sexual violence contact Solace North London rape crisis service on 0808 801 0305. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Debt problems In the run up to Christmas it’s tempting to throw caution to the wind by spending more than you’d like or can afford. Instead, set a budget and stick to it – this is the best way to manage debt, but only one in four people do it. Continue to pay your bills, like rent, council tax, gas and electricity because falling behind will make it even harder to catch up in January. And avoid borrowing, but if you do take out a loan make sure it’s not high interest and use a trusted lender like the Credit Union Get advice now – if you are struggling with debt, act early by calling the Islington Advice Alliance on or visit www.

Winter 2019



Ten tips for a waste free Christmas Christmas is a magical time of year, but it can also be one of significant excess and unnecessary waste. Here are some easy to follow tips on how you can make a difference...

Helping Islington become a net zero carbon borough by 2030 Try an alternative to wrapping paper. Brown or plain white standard wrapping paper can look great and be recycled too.


Same for cards – recycle all your Christmas cards unless they have glitter on them. Or, save them and use for gift tags next year.



Avoid gimmicks – who needs glittery ‘reindeer food’ anyway?

Don’t waste any in-date food that you can’t eat. Download the Olio app and arrange a collection (see page 11).



Use up your Christmas leftovers in a tasty pasta or soup. There are lots of recipe ideas online.


Remember to stock up on recycling bags and compostable food bags so you don’t run out.


Make sure you add a reusable water bottle to your Christmas list!

Don’t waste your money on small plastic toy stocking fillers that are entertaining for a short time but soon end up in the bin.



If you are having a pre- or post-Christmas clear out, donate all your unwanted items to local charity shops.

Recycle your real Christmas tree. Remove all decorations and leave on the edge of your property along with your regular green waste on your Christmas collection day. Full details at christmas. Resident’s trees will be collected on council estates on 11 and 18 January. Or if you live in a flat above a shop, leave it at your normal rubbish collection point from 6 January.




Our community

Supporting rough sleepers this winter As the weather gets colder it’s more important than ever that those living on the streets receive the support they need.

“When we meet someone who is newly sleeping rough, we start building a relationship with them,” Kevin says. “People come from all walks of life and no two situations are ever the same. “Most of the people I work with often have multiple needs, such as mental health, physical health needs and substance use issues, as well as experiencing homelessness. Some people who sleep on the streets are very vulnerable – those people really need our help. “The work doesn’t stop when we’ve successfully homed someone. Another important part of our job is to work closely with them to prevent a return to the streets,” he says. “When we see people’s lives get turned around like that, it makes all the challenges worthwhile.”

How you can help

Kevin Livingston is a complex needs outreach worker for the council. He works closely with local partners and charities to get homeless people

into housing and their lives back on track. In the last year he’s helped 60 rough sleepers get off the streets and into accommodation.

If you see someone sleeping rough the best thing to do is to call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or visit

Winter 2019


Our community

Spread some cheer this Christmas There’s no better gift to give someone this Christmas than your time. Whether you want to help the homeless, serve up a meal or fundraise, there are lots of volunteering opportunities right here in Islington.

Crisis at Christmas Crisis provides immediate help for homeless people at its day and rough sleeper centres. With a range of volunteering roles available you can help to cook and serve meals, share your skills as a hairdresser, health professional or entertainer, or have a chat and play games with guests. Register your interest at

Manor Gardens Welfare Trust A health and wellbeing charity, Manor Gardens prepares personal

Christmas hampers for clients every Christmas. They’re looking for dry foods like pasta, coffee, crackers and chocolate, and toiletries, socks and scarves to go in their hampers this year. They are also recruiting yearround volunteers to visit an older person in their home for one hour a week to chat and keep them socially connected. If you’re interested in offering a helping hand, get in touch through www.

CARIS cold weather shelters CARIS provides shelter for over 100 people in need at seven of Islington’s churches through the coldest months of the year. They rely on the work of volunteers to prepare meals and spend time with guests. Visit for more information. If you’re looking to volunteer and provide a helping hand, then Islington has a range of opportunities available. Visit



Christmas Information

Details for council tenants and leaseholders Area Housing Offices St John Street

245 St John St, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4NB T 020 7527 6250

Holland Walk

85-88 Holland Walk, N19 3XS T 020 7527 7480 These two offices will be closed from 25 December until 2 January 2020.

Upper Street

222 Upper Street, N1 1XR T 020 7527 5300 This office will be closed on 25 and 26 December and 1 January, but will be open on 27 December, 30 and 31 January from 9am-4pm. Upper Street staff will be able to assist housing callers from across the borough while the other offices are closed.

Housing repair service Report your repair online at any time The repairs service will prioritise emergency and urgent repairs throughout Christmas.

24 December – 8am-8pm 25 and 26 December – Emergency repairs only 27 December – 8am-8pm 28 December – 8am-12noon then emergency repairs only 30 December – Emergency repairs only 30 December – 8am-8pm 31 December – 8am-8pm 1 January – Emergency repairs only Emergency repairs can be reported on 0800 694 3344 or 020 7527 5400.

Housing aid team The housing aid team will not be available after 4pm on 24 December. The office will reopen at 9am on 2 January. When the office is closed an emergency telephone service is available for people who are homeless and are unable to find alternative accommodation. Call the council’s main switchboard on 020 7527 2000.

From Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 December, from 9am-3pm, you can get emergency advice on homelessness at 222 Upper Street.

Paying your rent Christmas can be an expensive time of year and put a strain on your finances, but it’s important that you continue to pay your rent in advance and avoid falling into arrears. If you are struggling to pay your rent, please contact your local Area hHousing Office, which can provide you with help and support to manage your money and arrange energy and debt advice.

Winter 2019


Christmas Information

Christmas opening hours Rubbish and recycling There will be no collections on 25 December and 1 January. Collections will therefore run a day late with Friday collection being on Saturday instead.

Recycle your Christmas tree Please don’t dump your used Christmas trees on the pavement. You can take your real trees to the following temporary drop off points for recycling: y Barnard Park, Charlotte Terrace y Elthorne Park y Highbury Crescent, next to playground entrance y King’s Square Gardens y Rosemary Gardens y Paradise Park, Lough Road / Mackenzie Road entrance y Spa Fields, off Northampton Road y Tufnell Park, Campdale Road y Wray Crescent, park end You can also recycle your tree at the Reuse and Recycling Centre, Hornsey Street, N7. Resident’s trees will be collected on 11 and 18 January, on council estates, contact your caretaker for details. Residents in street properties can leave their Christmas tree at the edge of their property along with their regular green waste on their normal collection day.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) line 020 7527 7272 The ASB response team will operate the following hours: 24 December – 12noon-8pm 25 December – closed 31 December – 12noon-8pm On other days the service will run between 4pm and 2am on Sunday to Thursday nights, and 5pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Contact Islington 020 7527 2000 The festive opening hours are: 24 December – 9am-4pm 25 and 26 December – closed 27 December – 9am-4pm 30 December – 9am-4pm 31 December – 9am-4pm 1 January – closed Open as usual from 2 January

Libraries and Museum Islington libraries will close on 24 December at 1pm and will remain closed until 27 December when they will be open as usual. They will close on 31 December at 5pm and reopen as usual on 2 January. Islington Museum will be closed on 24 December until 2 January.

Parks The gates on all our parks will remain unlocked from 24 December until 5pm on 27 December and again from 31 December until 5pm on 2 January. There will be no park keepers in

attendance during these times and all sports areas will be open and free to use. Parks are open as normal at all other times.

Islington and St Pancras and Trent Park Cemetery Both cemeteries will operate normal opening hours aside from the following dates: Islington and St Pancras 25 December - 10am-2pm 26-27 December - 9am-4pm 1 January - 9am-4pm Trent Park Cemetery 25-26 December - 10am-4pm 1 January - 10am-4pm

Registry office The registry office festive opening hours will be: 23 December – 9am-4pm 24 December – 9am-3pm 25 and 26 December – closed 27 and 30 December – 9am-4pm 31 December – 9am-3pm 1 January – closed Open as usual from 2 January

Children’s centres Individual centres’ hours will vary. Please check uk/childrenscentres for more information.

Leisure centres Check opening hours at



Children and young people

Get a Healthy Start

Free vouchers for milk, infant formula, and fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables are now available for pregnant women and their families in Islington.

Healthy Start Vouchers aim to improve the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their children by providing vouchers to spend with local retailers. Vouchers for free vitamins are also available too. You could qualify if you’re on

benefits, or if you’re pregnant and under 18.

y plain cow’s milk

Pregnant women with children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one-year-old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week that can be used to purchase:

y infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth.

y fresh or frozen fruit and veg

More details are available at www.

Winter 2019


Children and young people

Support for parents

Islington Parent Champion Laetitia is one of the many mums, dads and parents-to-be who have been logging on to new online parenting courses provided free by Islington Council.

Laetitia, mum of three children, said parents would benefit from doing any or all of the four courses, which cover pre-birth to 18 years and are based on promoting emotional health and wellbeing. “You can do it in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. It helps you understand how children develop, and helps you boost your child’s confidence. The targeted YouTube videos makes it easier to understand,” she says. Laetitia also encouraged mums and dads to find out more about Bright

Start Islington early childhood services. She said her three-yearold child benefitted from 15 hours a week free early learning from the age of two. “It helped him improve his speech and fine motor skills by learning through play and allowed me to do courses to boost my qualifications,” she said. Search the online courses at parentingprogrammes or call the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 to find out more.

Stronger together as Adopt London North Islington Council’s adoption team is joining forces with Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney and Haringey adoption teams to create a new regional adoption agency, called Adopt London North. The new service will be made up of staff from across the north London area and will focus on finding families for siblings, children with a black African or Caribbean background and children aged over three years old, who all often wait the longest for a loving family.

If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, visit www. or call 020 7527 4777.



Health and wellbeing

Top tips for staying well Winter It is important to stay healthy all year round, but when the weather is very cold people are more susceptible to becoming ill. Here are our top tips.

Don’t wait – if you feel like you might be coming down with something don’t wait for it to get worse – speak to your pharmacist or call NHS 111. Plan ahead – make sure you have any medication you need for over the Christmas period when some surgeries and pharmacies will be closed.  Get the flu jab – if you are over 65 or have some underlying health conditions you should have the flu vaccine.

Key contacts 111 is the number to call when you need medical help fast – but it’s not an emergency. Visit for more details. SHINE provide advice on keeping your home warm and support with

support for neighbours over 65

Contact your GP practice to book it today. Keep warm – it is more important that you keep 18 C warm and heat your home to at least 18c in winter. 

Look after yourself and older neighbours – rest, stay hydrated and eat regular hot meals. Don’t forget to check in on your elderly neighbours during cold snaps, especially the more vulnerable ones, such as people living with dementia.

energy bills, as well as help you to access other wellbeing services in the borough. Alzheimer’s Society has useful resources on how to take care of your loved one and neighbours with dementia this Christmas. christmas

The annual Winter Wellbeing project, run by North London Cares, is underway and supporting residents C 65 and over. 18 aged 

Volunteers knock on doors and meet people in the community to make sure older people can stay warm, active, and connected during the most isolating time of the year. Residents are offered small items of warm clothing and put in touch with partner organisations that can help them heat their homes, get a flu jab, arrange small grants, or find out about social activities throughout the year. If you know someone in your community who you think might benefit from this project, or would like to know more yourself, contact Juliet McNelly on 020 7118 3838 or email juliet.mcnelly@

Winter 2019


Health and wellbeing

Get ready for a new you in 2020

With the New Year just around the corner, a lot of people will be starting to think about how they can make some new healthier habits for the year ahead. Whether it’s drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking or getting more active, there’s plenty of local services and support available to help you achieve your New Year goals. provides an opportunity to join millions of people in resetting their relationship with alcohol. Taking up the challenge with friends or work colleagues can help give you the extra boost you need to stay on track and reach your goals.

Cutting out the cigarettes The New Year is a great opportunity to take a breath of fresh air and stop smoking. Breathe is Islington’s stop smoking service which offers confidential advice to people who live, work or study in the borough. Breathe advisors offer tailored support to help you find best way for you to quit for good.

Get active There are over 60 sports and other types of physical activity on offer in Islington at more than 100 clubs, leisure centres, parks, community centres and other venues. There is something for everyone, whatever your level of fitness, age, or whether you have a disability. Like Izzwalks (pictured), a weekly walking group that also runs free fitness sessions

at Highbury Leisure Centre on Tuesdays at 9.30am and at Sobell Leisure Centre on Saturdays at 9am. Everyone is welcome.

Drinking less alcohol Drinking a bit too much alcohol can sneak up on you, especially during the festive period. Dry January

Take the How Are You? Quiz If you are unsure about where to start with making new lifestyle changes, why not take the One You, How Are You? Quiz and see how you score. It provides some tips for you to start developing healthy lifestyle changes.



Local life

New look First Steps to learning

Adult Community Learning (ACL) has a new home within Central Library

that provides learners with a modern, well equipped learning facility. The First Steps Learning Centre has recently moved into a purpose-built area located on the second floor of the recently refurbished reference library.

Learners are already benefiting from the high quality facilities. Colin Gardiner, ACL tutor, said: “The new learning centre is great – it’s a really motivating learning environment that has everything we need under one roof. It feels fresh and welcoming too.” To find out about courses at the First Steps Learning Centre, visit www.adultlearning.islington. or pop in and speak to a member of staff.

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 8 or Thursday 9 January 2020.

Arsenal learning Centre First Steps Lerning Centre Arsenal Hub 56 Benwell Road N7 7BA 020 7704 4500

Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent N5 1PF 020 7527 7002

Winter 2019


Local life

Rediscovering the beauty of Central Library Central Library has undergone an amazing transformation that has helped preserve the borough’s oldest and busiest library. Now boasting a new learning centre and renovated reference library, the 112-year-old building is equipped to meet modern day demands.

First opened in 1907, the library has a rich and interesting history. It’s home to statues of philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon (15611626), and poet Edmund Spenser (c1552-1599). During the First World War, some rooms including the lecture hall, were commandeered for recruitment, and after the war it

was used as an unemployment registration centre. The lending library was kept open during the Second World War despite sustaining bomb damage during an air raid in 1941 that forced the reference section to close. In 1972 the building was recognised as being of national importance and received a Grade II listing.

Today, Central Library remains the busiest in Islington – it’s open seven days a week and provides a wide range of library services and a free study space for people who live, work or study in the borough. Come along and see for yourself. Central library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, N5 1PF



Local life

Sign up for email tips and deadline reminders at stayupdated

Apply now for Islington primary schools if your child was born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 Everything you want from a school, right on your doorstep: highly skilled and enthusiastic teachers fun and inspiring classes high quality learning free school meals for all from reception to year 6 outstanding extra curricular activities

There is no automatic entry to reception from nursery. Apply by 15 January 2020 for the best chance of a reception place at your preferred school. Visit

Winter 2019


Local life

A club for all women and girls If you’re female and want to play football, regardless of your age or ability, Islington Borough Ladies FC has something for you.

The U16 squad

U12 team celebrate a win

The club, which has been going for 12 years, trains and plays at Whittington Park and has sessions for girls aged six and over, and women of all ages. “It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that starting to play football with the girls on a Tuesday has changed my life,” said one member of the beginners’ group. “Before I started playing, I wasn’t in a good place with my mental and physical health. Playing in a team has helped me recover from surgery, given me more confidence than ever, and I’ve made some amazing new

The beginners team

friends. I’m so glad I came across the poster on Highbury Fields and came along.” Another player said: “It is such a friendly, supportive group of people and always great fun, come rain or shine. It’s the absolute highlight of my week and I’m so glad to be part of it!” Pete Samways, Chairman, says: “We try to cater for women and girls of all different ages, abilities and backgrounds. The aim for us is to make our sessions as fun and enjoyable as possible, so that the players keep coming back.”

Women’s beginners Tuesdays: 7-8pm Thursdays: 10-11am

Women’s 7v7 teams and league Tuesdays: 7-8pm, 8-9pm or 9-10pm

Team training and games

Fun session for 5-9-year-olds: Wednesdays, 5-6pm U11 team training: Wednesdays, 5-6pm, Saturday games U12 team training: Wednesdays, 5-6.30pm, Saturday games U16 team training: Wednesdays, 5.30-7pm, Saturday games Women’s team training: Wednesdays, 6.30-8pm, Sunday games




What’s on

Sing your heart out

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What’s on at Islington Assembly Hall

It’s official. Singing is good for you. It takes your mind off the day’s troubles and boosts your mood. The Singing Well Community Choir is on the hunt for new voices. Led by voice coach Guillermo Rozenthuler, the choir is made up of singers from across Islington and from all walks of life. “It’s a really friendly group that offers real companionship,” he says. If you want the chance to learn a new skill, meet new people and have fun, then drop in to rehearsals every Monday at Loraine Estate Community Centre from 2pm to 4pm.

Your FREE local newspaper

The Sweet

Wednesday 18 December Remember Wig Wam Bam, bubblegum melodies, key changes, harmonies and fuzzy guitars? The Sweet have never compromised their sound. Head to Islington Assembly Hall for a hefty dose of nostalgia and breezy rock anthems. Support comes from The Novatines.

Sonny Landreth

Thursday 23 January American blues icon, Sonny Landreth, is headed to Islington. If his admirers are anything to go by (think Think Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins and Mark Knopfler), this live show will be a 2019 highlight. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a show from his signature resophonic steel-body guitar. Support comes from Son Of Dave.

Tickets at

News Letters Theatre Films Food Sport

Out every Friday Tel: 020 7419 9000

Winter 2019


What’s on

Islington People’s Rights turns fifty Islington People’s Rights has been offering free independent advice to local people on welfare benefits and debt matters since 1969. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, a free exhibition is being held at Islington Museum.

‘Islington People’s Rights: Fifty years of tackling poverty in the borough’ is already underway and runs until Tuesday 21 January 2020.

the 1990s, and to austerity measures in the 2000’s, the exhibition charts the organisation’s work to support the needs of local residents.

From the cuts to welfare spending in the 1970s, to the deep recession in

To accompany the exhibition, free advice sessions are being held

on Thursday 9 and Saturday 18 January, from 2-4pm, at Islington Museum. No need to book, just drop-in to speak to a specialist caseworker about welfare benefits and debt issues.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 A special exhibition borrowed from the Wiener Holocaust Library will be on display in the foyer of Islington Town Hall to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2020. ‘Rescues of the Holocaust’ features the remarkable stories of people

who risked their lives to save Jews from Nazi persecution. It is free and on display between Monday 20 to Thursday 30 January. The council is also hosting an official service on Monday 27 January 2020, 10am-12.15pm, at Islington

Assembly Hall to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with talks from Holocaust and Bosnian Genocide survivors. Email imogen.resnick@islington. to reserve a place.



What’s on

DIY courses to empower women Over the last three years, more than 280 female tenants have attended Islington Council’s Adult and Community Learning DIY courses. These courses encourage women to carry out basic repairs in the home and open them up to the possibility of working in construction.

Fruant Fretzie is shown how to use an electric drill by Charmaine Brouard, repair training manager

“DIY sessions are a proven stepping-stone into construction,” says Charmaine Brouard, Repairs Training Manager. “Some Islington women who attended the taster sessions applied for

apprenticeships with the council and were successful.” Visit www.adultlearning.islington. to see what courses are available to you.

Sign up for our Things to do e-newsletter at www.

Winter 2019


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London Transport’ invitation at Islington Town Hall

‘Art Deco Patterns’ order of service

Upper House

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IslingtonLife winter 2019  

Featuring festive news and information from Islington Council. See photos from our Christmas lights switch-on events, get our top 10 tips on...

IslingtonLife winter 2019  

Featuring festive news and information from Islington Council. See photos from our Christmas lights switch-on events, get our top 10 tips on...