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Your local magazine from Islington Council • Winter 2020

Rebuilding a fairer borough

Here for you this winter

Stay safe, active and connected this winter

Christmas hours for council services





Welcome Message from the Leader of the Council


News Islington launches new bins to tackle knife crime, and get ready to vote in 2021.


We Are Islington How to get help if you need it this winter


Fairer Together Our 4-page spread examines Islington’s mission to rebuild a fairer borough


Community We profile a few of the voluntary groups doing amazing work locally


Local life See who was crowned Islington’s caretaker and concierge of the year!


Council services Find out the council’s Christmas opening times, including bin collections, libraries and Contact Islington


Health and wellbeing Local resident Sandra explains why she gets the flu jab

Thanks to our cover stars Mario, Steve, Jon and Keith, who work in the We Are Islington team, delivering food packages and other items of support to residents in need. Social distancing is observed in the warehouse.

Highlights 11

A cleaner, greener, healthier place to live


Stay active and connected this winter


Shop local this Christmas

Winter 2020



Welcome to the winter edition of IslingtonLife which is packed full of the latest news, interesting articles and useful information for local people.

Cllr Richard Watts Leader of the Council

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

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

As we head towards the end of this unprecedented year, I wanted to start by thanking everyone in Islington who has volunteered, contributed, helped out and followed the rules to keep themselves and our community safe. You can read more on pages 6-7 about how Islington has come together like never before this year, our We Are Islington helpline has been inundated with offers of support and our invaluable Mutual Aid groups have played a huge part in this. We know that this isn’t over and there is much more to do to protect our loved ones from this awful virus, but I have never been more certain that we will be able to do this together. While this is a worrying time for us all, many of our European friends and neighbours will also be concerned about the upcoming end of the Brexit transition period and the uncertainty this brings. I want to assure all of you that you are and will always be welcome in our borough. Please see page 5 for advice and support on the end of the transition period and what you may need to do next.

the togetherness, solidarity and cohesion we’ve seen this year at its heart. You can read more about our plans on pages 8-11. To help make the borough a fairer place, the council is taking bold action to reduce the carbon emissions in the borough whilst creating a greener, safer and healthier borough for all. But we can’t do it alone, we all must play our part. See page 11 for more about Islington becoming a net zero carbon borough by 2030. Unfortunately, there are some in our borough who may lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. If this is you or someone you know, the council is here to help and support in any way we can. On page 9, you’ll find more information on how we are supporting local people into work or training. This Christmas will be different to other years for those who celebrate it, but I hope that you are able to enjoy the festive period, spend time with loved ones in a way restrictions allow and relax after a stressful year. Please remember that this can be a lonely time for many, so try to check in on loved ones, friends and neighbours, and please continue to do your bit to keep our community safe.

As we move towards a new year and, hopefully, an end to the pandemic coming into view, we are committed to rebuilding a fairer Islington, with

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





Six new knife bins provide a safe place to surrender knives Islington Council has partnered with leading weapons surrender charity Word 4 Weapons, to install six new knife bins around the borough. Knife crime blights the lives of people and it is our priority to keep people in Islington safe. Despite a recent reduction in knife crime in Islington, there were 554 offences between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

October 2018, which collected more than 1,000 knives within the first six months of its installation.

The new bins provide a safe and anonymous way for people to dispose of knives, reducing the risk of them being used as a weapon or to cause harm.

Carefully wrap the knife, blade or tool in cardboard (such as an old cereal box) and secure with a strong tape, like duct or parcel tape. Use enough cardboard and tape to prevent the knife from piercing through, and do not handle the sharp bladed side of the knife.

Installation of the new knife bins comes after the success of the borough’s first knife bin at St Mellitus Church in Tollington, installed in

Anyone wanting to dispose of a knife should remember to:

Take the knife, blade or tool directly to a knife bin and carefully place in the hole between the two yellow arrows. Remember, it is a criminal offence to have a knife or blade in a public place, but it is reasonable to be in possession of it when it is securely wrapped and going directly to a knife bin, so please dispose of the knife directly.

The new bin locations are: 1. 1. Central Street, outside Finsbury Leisure Centre

4. Hornsey Road, outside 4.

2. 2. Stanmore Street, outside Cally Pool and Gym

5. Hornsey Road, by 5.

3. 3. Highbury Crescent, outside Highbury Leisure Centre

6. St John’s Way Archway, 6.

Sobell Leisure Centre

the bridge near to the Emirates Stadium close to Caxton House Community Centre

Get ready to vote in 2021 As the impact of Covid-19 on the elections is unknown, we're encouraging residents to sign up to vote by post, meaning you can vote in the safety of your own home, rather than traveling to a polling station.

If you still wish to vote in person, please be assured our Electoral Services team has been working hard to ensure polling stations are safe by taking extra health and safety precautions, including cleaning and social distancing measures.

New knife safety bin near Highbury Leisure Centre

If you do not have a postal vote in place already and would like to vote by post in elections next year, head to our website to download an application at islington.gov.uk/ postalvote If you are new to Islington and not already registered to vote, go to gov. uk/register-to-vote

Winter 2020



Act now to secure EU settled status If you are an EU citizen, you and your family will need to apply for settled status to continue living and working in the UK at the end of the transition period. If you do, you will join more than 30,000 EU citizens living in Islington who have already applied, and who play a valuable role in our community.

Advice for business owners If you own a business and employ people from EU countries or import and export goods and supplies, it is

important that you take steps now to avoid any potential disruption to your business. Visit www.gov.uk/ transition for a tailored list of steps to get you ready.

Although you have until 30 June 2021, if you haven’t done so already, make sure you apply now to secure your rights. A number of applications are taking longer than expected as some people find they don’t have the right paperwork, and Covid-19 is causing delays to application processing. If you or someone you know needs help with their application, get in touch with local support partners for free independent advice: y Citizens Advice Islington can support with the application once you have had your identity verified. Call 0300 330 1197, Monday-Friday, 10am to 4pm.   y Islington Law Centre may be able to assist with complex cases. Email roopat@islingtonlaw.org.uk   y Arachne Greek Cypriot Women’s Group have advisors on hand. Call 020 7263 6261 to book an appointment.    

Travelling to the EU If you are travelling to the EU after 1 January 2021, there may be some additional things that you need to prepare for, including making sure you have the right travel insurance and health cover, and at least six months on your passport.

Priti, who was born in Sweden, runs the Sunday Café in Gillespie Park.

Supporting those who need it most Not every application is straightforward, and some residents face losing access to public services, healthcare and benefits, by not applying on time. In Islington, our teams are supporting residents who are homeless or who have complex needs to secure their rights. In one case, a homeless resident who has been in the UK for over 20 years with multiple health

and alcohol dependency issues, was supported to apply. Since being awarded settled status, he has been able to take steps to transform his life – finding a place to live, taking steps to give up alcohol, and volunteering as a first step into employment.




WE ARE Islington

Community spirit fights against coronavirus Without doubt, 2020 has been a hard and horrible year for everyone. Covid-19 has killed more than 150 people in Islington, left countless more isolated and vulnerable, and driven many businesses to the brink. The figures paint a bleak picture, but if we look back at the year, the shining light of Islington’s community spirit is bright. We have pulled together – and continue to do so – to help fight the virus and keep each other safe when we need it most. Islington has amazing community spirit. We came out on the streets to clap our NHS heroes and amazing key workers. Countless volunteers and community groups reached out to support the most vulnerable people in Islington. Our We Are Islington helpline delivered thousands of food parcels and essential supplies to people in need. Meanwhile people across the borough donated thousands of pounds to the Islington Giving Crisis Fund. This winter is going to be tough for many people. Christmas, like many other religious holidays this year, is

Steve, part of the We Are Islington team, packs food parcels for vulnerable residents

going to be very different and some people will be spending it alone. It is more important than ever that we look out for our neighbours and check in on those who are elderly or living alone. This year staying safe is the best gift we can give – we can do that by remembering to wash our hands, wear a face covering and keep to social distancing.

As we look forwards to 2021, it is with this spirit of togetherness that we will rebuild the borough to make it a fairer place. See pages 8-11 for more on how we aim to do this, investing in housing, jobs, safety and the environment for the benefit of everyone.

Remember those we’ve lost Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one during the pandemic. Coronavirus has taken lives too soon, and prevented so many people from being with loved ones, to grieve, mourn, and take comfort at a difficult time.

There is a story behind every loss – a person, a family, a friend, a life and many fond memories. To remember those we have lost, we would like to invite you to share a message of remembrance in our online Book of Condolence. It

is a place for you to remember and share the memories you have of the wonderful people you have lost, but not forgotten. Share your message at islington. gov.uk/condolence

Winter 2020


WE ARE Islington

Help to stay connected Social connections are so important for our wellbeing and quality of life – even more so during this challenging time. Lockdown left many people in Islington feeling lonely, and the winter ahead will continue to be difficult for residents across the borough. Tackling loneliness and social isolation is therefore one of the top priorities to emerge from the crisis, and help is available in Islington if you need it. The friendly We Are Islington team is here if you fancy a chat. Whatever your age, background or circumstances, the team can

help you find local activities and organisations to suit you. Whether you want to find someone to chat with in English or other languages, volunteer to help others in your community, get help with digital devices or would like some company when getting some exercise – help is out there. If you or someone you know want to find groups and activities which match your interests, please get in touch!

If you need support, or know someone who does, call We Are Islington on 020 7527 8222. Or you can search for local organisations and find support at islington.gov.uk/stayconnected

Do you want to be a Covid Champ? Find out more on page 15

We are Islington support in numbers 1,300 food parcels delivered each week

More than 13,000 requests for help by phone and email Support for 857 families in financial difficulty Support for 255 families to pay for energy and gas

904 people needed medicine collected

458 calls about wellbeing

The impact of coronavirus 159 people

in Islington have died from Covid-19


£2.43m allocated from the hardship fund to 20,958 households

Up to 27,147 residents are at risk of being made unemployed

11% of businesses are at moderate or severe risk of insolvency

The council has awarded more than £3m in grants to local businesses



A Fairer Islington

Rebuilding a fairer Islington

We’re determined to make Islington fairer for all, so everyone, whatever their background, has the same opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life. That mission has become all the more urgent as we make plans to rebuild Islington after the Covid-19 crisis. We will focus on four key areas: homes, jobs, safety, and the environment. Read more about our plans on the following pages.


A decent place to call home

There are many homeless and overcrowded families in Islington, who are in desperate need. Local people need a decent, secure and genuinely affordable home to help them build happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. We are building new council homes and are on track to complete 550 new homes by 2022. We give local council tenants priority on new homes on their estate and are working to maintain our 39,000 homes as efficiently and safely as possible. We are standing up for private renters by tackling rogue landlords and intervening as early as possible to prevent households becoming homeless, and supporting rough sleepers into safe accommodation.

Buying back 100 ex-council homes Over the last year we have bought back 100 of the council homes we were forced to sell under ‘Right to Buy’, to use as temporary accommodation. This means more residents can stay in the borough, in better quality homes, and it’s more cost effective. Mrs A has lived in Islington since she was 18, but moved to temporary accommodation in Hertfordshire with her primary school aged children when her marriage broke up. She has now been able to move back. She said: “I had to get up at 4am with my kids to get the bus to work and get them to school, and we didn’t get home until 9pm. They didn’t get enough sleep and couldn’t do after school activities, or see friends as we couldn’t get home in time. I feel like now I am in a palace, and my children are so happy – Islington is our home and our friends and family are here.”

Winter 2020


A Fairer Islington


A thriving local economy that works for everyone

Islington’s economy has suffered through the Covid crisis, but we are ambitious for its recovery. We want to provide routes for local people into good quality jobs; enable our young people to kick start their careers, and to support small, independent entrepreneurs. Our services, like iWork and Adult Community Learning, are helping local people get the skills and training to get a decent job, and we are using our influence to encourage local employers to pay the real Living Wage. We are also helping children and young people get the best possible start through our 11by11 and 100 hours World of Work schemes, and a dedicated Youth Employment Team for 18-25year olds at most risk of long-term unemployment.

Free careers and job support Jessica Tang works for the National Careers Service, providing free information, advice and guidance on learning, training, career development, and job search. She is usually based in the Barnsbury Job Centre, but due to the Covid-19 lockdown, she is working remotely and is busier than ever, with new changes and challenges every day. “We are a lot more reliant on digital technology now, so supporting our customers in gaining new IT skills is a priority,” she says. “The Skills Toolkit on our website has been really useful for customers wishing to refresh their skills or learn new ones.” “My best advice for anyone looking for work at the moment, or even a career change, is to consider your transferable skills – sometimes your

existing skills can be used in new industries and can be the key to unlocking pathways into new and exciting careers!” To find out more, visit nationalcareers. service.gov.uk or call 0800 100 900. If you are out of work, the council’s iWork service can help. Call them on 020 7527 2706 or email iWork @islington.gov.uk.

Helping people experiencing homelessness in Islington

After Mark's relationship broke down, he lost his job and couldn’t afford to pay his rent, becoming homeless. This is his story: “When I first started rough sleeping, I was scared as I was sleeping in a busy place and I couldn’t really believe the situation I was in. A local resident helped me and arranged for the outreach team to visit. Initially, I didn’t think they were going to be able to help me, as a single man. After about 4 months on the streets, I went for a coffee with one of the outreach workers and just broke down and told them what was going on.

“They helped me get into a hostel with on-site support; it’s helped me get into a routine. I’ve made real progress, including linking in with the drug and alcohol service. I’m now concentrating on my next steps, getting back to work and connecting with my family. “For people who are rough sleeping now, I’d say connect with the outreach team, don’t be afraid as they are there to help you and won’t judge you. There is help available. I even send others in need to them now”.

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of someone sleeping rough, call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914, visit streetlink.org.uk or message them @Tell_StreetLink on Twitter. If you or someone you know is at risk of eviction, contact the Housing Aid Team on 020 7527 2000. If you would like to help people experiencing homelessness this winter, see islington.gov.uk/homelessness




A Fairer Islington

Feeling safe and doing your bit SAFETY to keep others safe too

We are absolutely committed to keeping Islington safe – protecting the most vulnerable from coronavirus and tackling the inequalities that it has exposed.   We also need to continue to prevent and cut crime: intervening early where we know problems exist;

Protecting young people Islington has launched a new, five-year Youth Safety Strategy focused on protecting children and young people from violence, abuse and exploitation. The strategy includes a programme of early intervention and meaningful diversion for those at risk of being drawn into crime – many of whom will be vulnerable themselves. The strategy’s many initiatives include:

ƒ screening a powerful and

educational knife crime prevention film in secondary schools, produced by the Love and Loss group of bereaved families;

ƒ using data to identify families

who may need more support, and targeting robust support at individuals who are likely to reoffend before they start doing so;

ƒ establishing a Youth Safety

Delivery Group, co-chaired by a young person, to keep track of progress and drive improvements, hand-in-hand with community partners and statutory organisations;

ƒ working with the London

Violence Reduction Unit to help parents and carers keep their children safe and improve their peer support networks;

ƒ extending social, emotional

and mental health support services up to 25-year-olds, so appropriate support is available in the transition to adulthood.

The strategy also outlines new ways of working with the whole community to ensure there is both awareness and support where it’s needed – including parents, teachers, health and social care professionals, the police, employers, charities and colleagues in the justice system, who all have a part to play in keeping our children and young people safe and on the right path. For more information, see islington.gov.uk/youthsafety

supporting those affected by crime; working with partners and encouraging our communities to play their part too.    We are proud to be a diverse and welcoming place and want our communities to be connected. We are stronger when we stand together. 

Have a safe Christmas The festive season is looking very different this year, but whatever your plans, we want you to feel and stay safe. Here are some tips:

Safe Havens: If you

ever feel unwell or worried for your safety when out and about, look out for the Safe Havens logo. Find your closest at islington.gov.uk/ safehavens

Plan your journey:

Make sure you use black cabs or licensed vehicles. Never get into an unlicensed taxi or one that’s touting for business. Visit met.police. uk/ and search for ‘travel safe’.

Ask for Angela: If you’re feeling

uncomfortable out on a date or in a pub, Ask for Angela at the bar to alert staff. Find out more at met.police. uk/AskforAngela

Domestic abuse:

Christmas  can bring emotional strain and contribute to a rise in domestic abuse, including psychological and emotional abuse. If you need help contact Solace Women’s Aid on 020 3795 5070 or visit solacewomensaid.org

Winter 2020


A Fairer Islington


A greener, cleaner, healthier place to live

There’s no doubt we’re facing a climate crisis, but we have a unique opportunity to make a difference as we rebuild a fairer, greener, cleaner and healthier Islington. We have made a commitment to a net zero carbon Islington by 2030 and are putting new boroughwide plans in place for transport,

air quality, waste reduction and recycling, energy and biodiversity. We are supporting active travel by creating more people-friendly streets and are cleaning up the air we breathe by tackling traffic pollution and providing low carbon energy through the Bunhill heat and power system.

The council is doing its bit to reduce emissions from its fleet of vans and lorries by switching to electric. We are investing £3 million in a recharging facility at our waste and recycling centre to power 230 vehicles.

Helping wildlife Elderly estate resident Mai Reilly lives in a high-rise block with no garden. She asked our housing team if she could plant “a couple of

Countdown to net zero carbon begins now! We have recently agreed our plan to make Islington net zero carbon by 2030. The good news is there’s a lot of positive work to build on, like the fact that we’ve reduced carbon emissions as a borough by 42% between 2005 and 2018. But, there’s still a way to go. Islington as a place is still responsible for pumping out a whopping 679,589 tonnes of carbon.

We plan to: Make buildings across Islington more energy-efficient Reduce emissions from cars and other vehicles

flowers in pots” in the communal area of her estate. Instead, she created this beautiful, colourful oasis, cheering up her neighbours and earning herself an Islington in Bloom award!

Increase the amount of renewable heat and electricity we generate locally and make energy more affordable Encourage businesses to be greener Reduce waste and do more for nature

We can’t create a net zero carbon Islington alone. We will be doing our bit, but need local businesses, community organisations, schools, London and national government to join us. Of course we also need all our residents to get involved too!




Islington’s amazing voluntary groups The vital work of the 49 voluntary sector organisations funded by Islington Council is helping to make Islington a fairer place.

Company Three

Their staff and volunteers work so hard to support residents by providing a voice for the voiceless, mobilising community action and tackling the causes and effects of social and economic exclusion, poverty and inequality. These organisations adapted amazingly through the pandemic to deliver services and support their communities. Find out more about what they do below…

Community Language Support Services Islington’s Community Language Support Services (CLSS) have supported people experiencing domestic violence and conflict within families due to job losses and poverty. The team deliver advice, advocacy and support services online and on the phone, as well as in person when it is safe to do so. CLSS staff also run Zoom sessions to share health information about Covid-19, so residents can protect themselves and others, and deliver women’s exercise classes to help them stay fit, healthy and connected. To find out more about CLSS please go to communitylss.com

Volunteers and staff at Elizabeth House

Community hubs

– food, activities and community support The Octopus network of 14 community centres has been a lifeline for residents, providing food, activities and support in new ways during lockdown. This ranged from online Zumba classes to telephone services offering a friendly chat and wellbeing checks for residents. Every week community centres distributed around 1,500 food parcels, and 36,000 meals, and dished up 57,135 hot meals. One Mildmay resident said: “I thought I would feel embarrassed coming to a food bank, but I actually look forward to seeing everyone for a chat each week as I am a pensioner and live alone.” To find your nearest community hub go to octopuscommunities.org.uk

This theatre company based in Islington is led by the ideas of its 75 members aged 11-19. It gives teenagers the power and space to tell their own stories, to be listened to, understood and celebrated. Created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Time Capsule captured the lives of thousands of young people living in lockdown around the world. To watch some of the videos created, head to coronavirustimecapsule.com

The Parent House Established in 2000, The Parent House has changed lives in many ways and helped parents into further training, voluntary work and jobs. The Parent House Walking Project was set up to reduce isolation, improve mental health and wellbeing, and it continued through lockdown in a socially-distanced way. Suzanna, a parent, said: “The Walking Project has really helped my mental health and has kept me healthy in my mind and also my body. I am a mother of two young boys and I have been able to meet new people too, which has been

Winter 2020



really lovely. Being at The Parent House feels like my home, because I can speak with them at any time and they always take the time out to help me whenever I need.” To find out more go to www. theparenthouse.org.uk

advice agencies in Islington started to deliver online sessions very quickly. This meant residents were able to continue to get important professional advice around debt, benefits, housing, immigration and employment. An Islington Law Centre client said: “Thanks for the work you put in helping me with my benefits, which after a long time was successful.” To find out more go to islington.gov. uk/advice/free-independent-advice

A receptionist at Islington Law Centre

Advice providers

– including Citizens Advice, Islington Law Centre and Islington People’s Rights To support residents with advice during lockdown, all independent

Forum+ The Forum+ organisation has been supporting the LGBTQ+ community through lockdown, especially people who have been feeling isolated. They have made wellbeing calls as well as putting on a wide range of virtual social events.

Forum+ volunteers and staff

They also support residents who have experienced hate crime. Volunteer Daniel said: “Talking to people that have suffered from hate crime in the local community and helping them overcome or get the proper help was the main reason I volunteered. Small actions can have a great impact in people’s lives.” To find out more about Forum+ go to forumplus.org.uk

ts ants tennan cillte couunnci tonnco Islilinnggto Is From April 2021 Thames Water are changing the way water and wastewater bills are paid This change will affect how all council tenants pay for their water and waste water. Up until now, water and wastewater bills have been included in the rent paid to the council, but Thames Water have decided to change the way they work with local councils. From April 2021 Islington Council will stop charging for water and wastewater and Thames Water will start charging tenants directly. This change will not affect the overall amount you pay. You don’t need to do anything right now. Thames Water will send everyone affected a letter in January 2021 explaining what needs to be done. It is really important to follow these instructions.



Health and wellbeing

Let’s talk about flu It’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine to help you stay well this winter.

Spotlight on a service: YMCA Positive

Coronavirus is also circulating and if you catch flu and coronavirus at the same time it could make you seriously ill, especially if you have underlying health conditions.


Local resident Sandra has been getting the flu vaccination for more than 10 years. She said: “My immune system is rubbish and I don’t want to be ill with flu with the health issues I have. Catching flu is not a risk I am willing to take.

This is a 12-week referral programme for people living with HIV. It is aimed at improving fitness and quality of life, giving people the confidence and knowledge to exercise independently.

“If you need it you should have it, especially this year with Covid-19. I know people are scared. My mum is 84 and is having it for the first time this year.”

The programme starts with a consultation and fitness assessment. You then attend the gym for two sessions a week, including one supported gym session. The programme finishes with a final fitness assessment to measure your progress. At this point you will be offered a subsidised gym membership and ongoing support as exercise becomes a daily part of your life.

The NHS will contact you if you are eligible for a free flu vaccination.  Please contact your GP practice if you


have not heard from them yet. You can also get the flu vaccine at local pharmacies. More information can be found at NHS.uk

Have you been affected by suicide? A new service, run by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, has launched in Islington and neighbouring boroughs, to support people who have been bereaved by suicide. The service can help people who have recently experienced suicide, or who are affected by a bereavement that occurred years earlier. It aims to first support families and friends, but is also available to neighbours, schools, colleges, social groups and healthcare professionals. Support is given on a one-to-one basis, and in groups which will be run by staff and people who have been bereaved by suicide. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, but will also be able

to provide support up to 8pm for people who are in work or education and cannot access support during the day. Contact the service to find out more, or to make a referral for yourself or someone else email supportaftersuicide@ rethink.org, call 07483 368 700 or visit www.rethink.org/nclsupportaftersuicide

Contact the Positive Health team or ask your clinic for a referral: Becky.Ogorman@ymca.co.uk 020 3994 9608 Victoria.Brown@ymca.co.uk 020 3994 9609 Teresa.Waite@ymca.co.uk 020 3994 9609

Winter 2020


Health and wellbeing

Staying warm, safe, active and connected This winter, local community organisation North London Cares is supporting over-65s across Islington through their Winter Wellbeing project. The project, which has been going for 10 years, helps people get vital support, such as housing repairs, advice on health services and flu jabs, practical support like shopping, as well as coronavirus advice. They can also offer small ‘connection grants’, to help people in difficult circumstances.

Orla, 34, and Jean, 86, enjoy a socially distanced visit

North London Cares also host social clubs to connect older neighbours with younger people for friendship. They are currently held online, over the phone, and in-person when safe and permitted to do so. Their friendship programme, Phone A Friend, also matches an older neighbour with a younger

volunteer for regular phone calls and companionship.

Help stop coronavirus

lockdown. Now things are more complex; people are understandably confused and frightened about how to stay safe, and many are isolated. Through the Covid-19 Health Champions programme I’m developing skills to share accurate, local information and to encourage people to ask for the support they need.”

Last year, they held more than 700 conversations and provided support to neighbours across Camden and Islington 845 times. That included helping Sue, 76, with her cold home and housing issues. North London Cares arranged repairs and provided Sue with some warm items of clothing.

– become a Covid-19 Health Champion Could you help share health messages and guidance in your community, and keep an eye out for people who might need help or support? If so, why not become a Covid-19 Health Champion? The champions programme builds on the excellent support that many people in Islington have already been giving to their communities during this very challenging year.

Free training and support is provided and champions are given the most up-to-date information to share, for example about NHS Test and Trace and social distancing. Julia Bard, a Covid-19 Health Champion, said: I’ve been involved with Islington Mutual Aid Group since March. Our main aim, then, was to help neighbours get food, medication and essentials under

If you or someone you know could benefit from this support, visit northlondoncares.org.uk/makea-referral or call 0207 118 3838 (option 3) or email tilly.jeune@ northlondoncares.org.uk

Anyone aged over 18 who works or volunteers in Islington can sign up, and can choose how little or how much they want to be involved. Email CHC@islington.gov.uk to find out more.




Local life

Do you have room in your heart and home? Islington is looking for more people who can make a difference to local children and young people. Hattice says: “Things haven’t always been easy, but when we needed it the support has been there. Our supervising social worker, the children’s social worker and the Adolescent Multi-Agency Support Service, who work with children and young people showing challenging behaviour, gave me strategies. This support has helped me and

my family to work with one of the children placed with us. “Things haven’t always been easy, but when we needed it the support has been there. Our supervising social worker, the children’s social worker and the Adolescent MultiAgency Support Service, who work with children and young people showing challenging behaviour, gave me strategies and a better understanding of how to support the child or young person with their behaviour. This support has helped me and my family to work with one of the children placed with us.

“Fostering has been both complex and rewarding, but if I had a chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.” Find out more online at islington. gov.uk/fostering, call 020 7527 7933 or email fostering@islington.gov.uk

Call us on 020 7527 7933 or email fostering@islington.gov.uk or see islington.gov.uk/fostering to find out more.

Does your child need urgent healthcare? Be sure to go to the right place.

Temporary closure of children’s A&Es at UCLH and the Royal Free Hospital Some children and young people’s services have temporarily changed as part of our Covid-19 response Anyone under 18 and needing accident or emergency care should go to the nearest alternative local hospital: • Whittington Hospital • Barnet Hospital • North Middlesex University Hospital • St Mary’s Hospital • Royal London Hospital UCLH and Royal Free A&Es remain open for adults

For life-threatening emergencies call 999 straight away. For more info go to http://bit.ly/emergency-paediatric

Winter 2020


Local life

Shop local for Christmas Our small, independent businesses give our high streets and communities their own unique identities. This festive season, support your local businesses and shop local for food and gifts.

Spotlight on… Seven Sisters Road, between Holloway Road and the crossroads at Blackstock Road and Stroud Green Road, is home to a multicultural mix of shops and businesses. Eglel Gomaa, chair of the traders’ association in Seven Sisters Road, explains: “The area caters to a variety of communities including Somalian, Eritrean, Japanese, British, Italian and many more. It’s a great location that is at the heart, in my opinion, of Finsbury Park, Nags Head and Holloway.” If you are looking for a few ideas for Christmas, Eglel recommends these businesses in Seven Sisters Road: Girasole Taste of Italy, Maandli Hair Salon, Round Square Restaurant, Finsbury cycles store, Bedford Tavern. Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, offers a diverse range of fashion from designers from all over the world – it’s also home to FC Designer Collective, a fashion co-operative provided by Islington Council and Fashion-Enter.

Eglel in her Italian restaurant Girasole in Seven Sister’s Road

Vickie Christensen, Chair of Fonthill Trader’s and Centre Manager for The London Fashion Centre, says: “Fonthill Road has grown through the decades to be a secret little gem in the heart of Islington. All the shops have exciting finds in them, you just have to look. “We want people to shop local, and we really want to encourage everyone to dress up for Christmas after the year we’ve all had we want to put that sparkle into Christmas.” It is hoped that businesses like these will be permitted by the government to re-open on 3 December – check the business directory on islingtonlife.london Remember when you do go shopping to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser and keeping a safe distance from other people.

Discover what Islington’s neighbourhoods have to offer at islingtonlife.london. We’d love you to share your favourite local ‘go to’ shops, so please tag us in your social using @islingtonlife and #ShopLocal.

A date for your diary

Small Business Saturday


December Show your support by sharing your small business stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #SmallBusinessSaturday or leaving a positive review online!




Local life

Caretaker and Concierge of the Year awards Along with frontline staff, Islington’s caretakers and concierge staff have continued going to work each day. They look after Islington’s estates and blocks but now, more than ever, they have been going above and beyond to make sure vulnerable or isolated residents get the help they need. Their hard work was recognised at the annual Caretaker and Concierge awards. This year’s winners are Lat Singh, concierge at Kestrel House and Francis Oduro, a caretaker at King Square. It’s the second year in a row Francis has won this award! Francis said: “No request is too much or too small to handle, I try to provide the best customer service to tenants.”

Lat is one of Islington’s longest serving concierges and residents described him as “always attentive, always available to help, and always willing to go that extra mile.” Congratulations to the runners -up who are Terry Smith, concierge at Turnpike House, John Lynch, caretaker at Bevin Court, and Darren Ewens, caretaker at the Popham Estate.

For more information on estate services, go to islington.gov.uk/ estatemanagement

Lat Singh and Francis Oduro receive their awards




Protect your friends and family

Winter 2020


Local life

The positive impact of people-friendly streets Five areas of Islington now have people-friendly streets, which are bringing benefits to people who live there, like Neil Kerr, who says the scheme has been a “godsend” for his physical and mental health. Neil, who lives with clinical depression and disabilities due to ataxia, a disorder that affects co-ordination, balance and speech, used to spend the majority of his time indoors due to nervousness about the heavy through-traffic on his street.

“The people-friendly streets have been a godsend for me,” he said. “I spend more time outside and this is great for me both physically and mentally. “Living as I do at the junction with what was a particularly busy road, the reduction in through-traffic as a result of the scheme means that for the first time in many years I can venture out without fear. But, I am still concerned about my street being used as a rat-run by private cars. I wish private car owners could be deterred even further and take more

Neil takes a walk

opportunities to walk or use public transport. “I believe the schemes can and do benefit our borough as a whole. Reduced pollution, fewer accidents, a boost to public health because of the incentive to walk, and much greater freedom for the vulnerable.” Cllr Rowena Champion, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We understand that drivers will need time to adapt to the changes and it will take a while for overall congestion to reduce, but it’s great to see that the schemes are already making a positive difference for residents like Neil.”

Find out more at islington.gov.uk/ peoplefriendlystreets

Islington’s streets belong to everyone. They are where life happens and the community comes together, no matter what individual circumstances or daily routines look like. We want to make Islington’s streets safer, healthier, greener and a fairer place for everyone.




Local life

Are you missing out on free childcare? Did you know that two, three and four year olds can get free early learning and childcare at a local nursery or with a childminder to play, learn and make friends? Two year olds can get free hours if parents are unemployed or earning

a low wage, or if a child has a special educational need or is looked after by the local authority. All three and four year olds, regardless of household income, get 570 free hours a year and if parents are working, they can get additional hours of childcare. Free early learning gives children a great start, enabling them to learn key skills, like listening and communicating with others.

ect1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 13:02 Page 1 roject1_Islington ad 05/09/2018 13:02 Page 1

Your Your FREE FREE local local newspaper newspaper

News News Letters Letters Theatre Theatre Films Films Food Food Sport Sport

Out Out every every Friday Friday islingtontribune.co.uk islingtontribune.co.uk Tel:020 0207419 7419 9000 9000 Tel:

Studies have shown that children who have experienced free early learning develop skills, which help them right through their school years. And while your child is benefitting from the free hours, you get some much-needed time, which could enable you to work or study. For more information contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or visit www.islington. gov.uk/fis

Have your say Give your ideas for improving Jean Stokes Community Centre and a new employment hub for young people in an unused first floor room at West Library.


Both projects are part of the council’s ‘We are Cally’ programme aimed at creating opportunities and improving the shared spaces in the area. We want to ensure that these exciting new projects reflect the needs and hopes of local people and would like comments from as many people as possible. Find out more at: islington.gov.uk/wearecally

Winter 2020


Local life

Student wins national award for returning to learning One evening last year, Liz Collins was watching a documentary about three people who had turned their lives around after return to education. Inspired, she searched online for adult learning opportunities in Islington. Now, Liz has just won the national Returning to Learning Award at the 2020 Festival of Learning for her own incredible learning journey. Liz didn’t have a great experience of school, but says the Introduction

to Adult Social Care course with Islington Adult Community Learning (ACL) has changed her life.

needs in a residential care home in the borough. “I absolutely love it!” she said.

“The impact this course has had on me is almost too hard to put into words. It has saved me and given me a real gift of being independent and so fulfilled,” said Liz.

On winning the award, Liz said: “I never would have thought that at 55 I could win anything, let alone an award for learning! This has given me a lot of confidence and I feel really excited for the next stage in my life.”

Since completing the course, Liz has been working as a support worker for adults with high-level complex

Go to festivaloflearning.org.uk for Liz’s story and video.

Start a new course this New Year Islington Adult Community Learning has a range of free courses to boost your skills this New Year. If you are interested in starting a new course or looking for information, advice and guidance get in touch. Call or WhatsApp us on 07734 777 466 Visit our website at www.adultlearning.islington.gov.uk If you are looking for work contact our iWork team on 020 7527 2706




How you can reach our essential services this Christmas The information was correct at the time we went to print. Please check www.islington.gov.uk/christmas for the latest information.

Rubbish and recycling Refuse and recycling services will not be provided on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If your waste is due to be collected on either of these days, it will be collected the following day instead.

Recycle your Christmas tree Please help our frontline workers. 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:

Housing repair service 24 December – 8am-8pm 25-28 December – emergencies only

24 December – 9am-4pm

29-31 December – 8am-8pm

28 December – closed

1 January – emergencies only

29-31 December – 9am-4pm

2 January – 8am-5pm, back to normal service

1 January – closed

Outside of these hours, an emergency only service will apply.

Housing aid team The housing aid team will be unavailable from 4pm on 24 December until 9am on 2 January, when they reopen.

Barnard Park, Charlotte Terrace

Paying your rent

Elthorne Park

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, 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 and are concerned about being evicted, please contact Advice. Housing@islington.gov.uk or telephone 020 7527 6371.

Highbury Crescent, next to playground entrance King’s Square Gardens Rosemary Gardens Paradise Park, Lough Road/ Mackenzie Road entrance Spa Fields, off Northampton Road Tufnell Park, Campdale Road Wray Crescent, park end 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. You can also recycle your tree at the Reuse and Recycling Centre, Hornsey Street, N7. There will be designated collection points on council estates, contact your caretaker for details.

Contact Islington - 020 7527 2000

Anti-social behaviour line The ASB Reporting Line (020 7527 7272) will keep its regular hours of Sunday to Thursday, 5pm-midnight and Friday and Saturday, 5pm-2am, apart from these dates: 24 December – 12noon-8pm 25 December – closed 31 December – 12noon-8pm

25 December – closed

4 January – open as usual Our contact centre at 222 Upper St is open only for emergency cases. Please do not visit if it is not emergency as we will not be able to help you face-to-face.

Libraries Archway, Central, Finsbury, N4 and West libraries are open. Their planned hours are: 24-28 December – closed 29-31 December – 11am-4pm 1 January – closed 2 January – 11am-5pm

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 & St Pancras and Trent Park Cemetery Both cemeteries will operate normal opening hours aside from the following dates:

Winter 2020


Council services

Islington & St Pancras

25-28 December – closed

25 December - 10am-2pm

29-30 December – 9am-4pm

26-27 December - 9am-4pm

31 December – 9am-3pm

1 January - 9am-4pm

1-3 January – closed

Trent Park Cemetery 25-26 December - 10am-4pm 1 January - 10am-4pm

Registry office The register office festive opening hours by appointment only will be: 23 December – 9am-4pm

Open as usual from 4 January Please book an appointment at islington.gov.uk/registrars or email registrars@islington.gov.uk

Children’s centres Children’s Centres will be closed to term-time children from 19 December and to all children from 23 December.

Bright Start services at Children’s Centres will be closed from Wednesday 23 December, except for Hornsey Road and Hungerford hub where services will be closed from 25 December. Online services will be closed from 25 December. All services reopen on 4 January. Check islington.gov.uk/ childrenscentres for more information.

Leisure centres Check opening hours at www. better.org.uk

24 December – 9am-3pm This year because Covid-19 restrictions are in place we encourage you not to use these vouchers for family and friends visits, unless safe and permitted to do so. We are still providing them for people who really need them, like carers and volunteers. Happy Christmas!

2020 2020 Free all day 2020 parking voucher valid on: 2020 Tuesday 2020 2020 2020 December 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 Valid all zones 2020 Valid all day in resident permit holder on-street parking places only 2020 2020


2020 2020 Free all day 2020 parking voucher valid on: 2020 Wednesday2020 2020 2020 December 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 Valid all zones 2020 Valid all day in resident permit holder on-street parking places only 2020 2020


2020 2020 Free all day 2020 parking voucher valid on: 2020 Thursday 2020 2020 2020 December 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 Valid all zones 2020 Valid all day in resident permit holder on-street parking places only 2020 2020



Sign up for email tips and deadline reminders at www.islington.gov.uk/ stayupdated

Apply now for Islington primary schools if your child was born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017

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 www.islington.gov.uk/admissions

Profile for IslingtonLife

IslingtonLife winter 2020  

Read about Islington’s plans to rebuild a fairer borough, how you can stay connected this winter, plus information about the council’s openi...

IslingtonLife winter 2020  

Read about Islington’s plans to rebuild a fairer borough, how you can stay connected this winter, plus information about the council’s openi...