Last Monday I went with a few service users to a talk at Islington Town Hall. The talk was called, “What were black people doing in world war 1?”, which was organised by Every Voice and Black History Walks.
The talk was very well informed and used interesting and educational slides and videos to deliver the information. The curator was especially engaging and answered many questions posed by the public.
The few service users who joined me really enjoyed the talk and after there were conversations about their own families experience in the military and also about their heritage in Africa. It prompted conversations that ‘friends’ had never had before and it was great to see people, who have known each other for quite some time, learn more about their shared history.
On Monday 1st October, 11 services and I braved the suddenly cold weather and took a Canal Barge from City Road Dock to Little Venice – and back again.
The round trip look over 5 hours, even though it was cold the sun was shining, and it was fantastic to see part of the city from a completely different perspective. Little Venice itself was lovely and time was made for people to enjoy Rembrandt Gardens on shore.
Out of the 11 people, 9 had never been on a trip with HNG before and while on the trip service users who had never met before were organising meeting up outside of us – which was fantastic to see.
The trip was fully funded by Islington Community Chest – thank you!
On Friday 3rd August, we had a day trip to the seaside - in Margate. At 9am sharp 48 service users and 4 staff & volunteers set off by coach to enjoy a hot sunny day on the beach.
During the day people did some shopping, enjoyed the beach and had a fish and chip lunches. In the afternoon staff and volunteers escorted some service users to the Turner Gallery, which is on the sea front. It was a relief to be in the air conditioned buildings as well as enjoy the art on display!
On the journey back into London, the talk was around what everyone had been up to – including tales of paddling in the sea to cool off!
Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy this day out, making new friends and shared memories. For HNG staff, it’s always worth the hard work to hear the laughter and see the smiles of volunteers and service users. Most importantly everyone made it home safely
Thanks to some Lif funding we were able to offer the trip to over 55’s for £5, opening up the opportunity to attend to all budgets.
On Monday 16th February a group of us ventured out into the cold weather to see the newly opened exhibition at the Museum of London - Votes For Women.
The exhibition was really well set out - with lots of interesting pieces from the Suffragettes struggle, including original medals and jewellery. We watched a few films containing footage of protests and even interviews with family members of the Suffragettes. We also had time to enjoy other parts of the museum, including the famous fat burg from London’s sewers!
In total 9 service users with 1 member of staff (me!) and 1 volunteer went along. It was a lovely day out and we enjoyed a nice lunch and chat together. Many of the attending service users had not met each other – and found out they had lots in common, which was great to see.
We want to make sure that the services offered by Holloway Neighbourhood Group meet local needs. People who use our services at the Old Fire Station and the Stress Project and people who live close to our Centres should have a greater say in how our services are planned and delivered. If you live in the streets around our centres, please help us by coming along to a friendly and informative session and help us to improve our services and make Holloway Neighbourhood Group more inclusive and engaging.
A free delicious lunch is included!
Tuesday 13th February, noon - 2.00pm at the Old Fire Station. For more information please call 020 7607 9794 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holloway Neighbourhood Group, who run the Old Fire Station, has been shortlisted for a grant of £34,950 for an innovative project that will support local unemployed residents who want to become self-employed by providing training, mentoring and networking support.
The Finsbury Park area, where the service will be focused, has the highest rates of unemployment in Islington. If funded, the scheme will engage 75 local disadvantaged residents to develop the confidence, business and personal skills, and networks needed to launch a sustainable business.
The NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund has shortlisted the project, and it is now in the hands of a public vote, which closes on Friday 10 November.
This evening is an opportunity to find out more about the activities taking place at our centre's.
The theme for the Open Evening & Annual General Meeting this year is user involvement. To tie-in with this, local resident – Dr Lynne Friedli – will be speaking about community involvement and the benefits it brings to both individuals and neighbourhoods. We will be offering free complementary therapies, provided by the Stress Project, and home-cooked food and refreshments.
It would be great to see as many people as possible!