During these difficult and unknown times we all find ourselves in I have been somewhat frustrated. Due to my own long-term health conditions I was placed in the Government’s ‘shielded’ group, so I’ve been isolating and have not been out since the middle of March. The frustration was partly that I couldn’t register in the call out for NHS volunteers. However, I was able to help one person - an ex-neighbour and friend who is in her 80’s and sadly has serious chronic conditions.
I registered her with the Government’s & Islington Council’s schemes for vulnerable shielded people. Eventually, she started receiving a weekly parcel of dry and tinned food. However, it took a couple of weeks, and prior to that Islington Council put me in touch with a community group who could help.
At the community group, I spoke with a friendly sounding young lady, and explained my friend was very low on food. She managed to get, and safely deliver, all the food items we had agreed upon, with just one substitution.
A few weeks later, I asked her to get another few items - my friend needed some fresh veg and a couple of treats as was feeling very down. She again managed to get it all. When she rung me to say job done, she told me she had then gone to a nearby shop a second time as she thought that magazines would cheer up my friend. Could I call my friend and ask her to come down to her front door again as she had left a couple of them in ‘our delivery place’?
I am very grateful to this wonderful volunteer who was prepared to go to numerous places for the right things. She was already a star in my eyes, but to think of something extra, and then go and get magazines after delivering the food was an amazing act of kindness, which I will not forget. They certainly gave my friend a boost.
There really are some wonderful people in our community - one of the reasons I love Islington!
Take care and hope to see you all soon.
Wendy – HNG Marketing volunteer
So my big day arrived to try at least one of our activities. I was already pretty sure that Egyptian Dance was a great class from feedback we have received - but there's nothing quite like having first-hand experience.
I am completely unfit and do no exercise apart from walking my dog and a bit of light gardening, my coordination isn't great either so I was interested to see what I could make of this experience. The tutor Petronella balanced the class beautifully to involve people who clearly already had the skills (gracefully and elegantly moving with the music) and people who enjoyed being able to do the few bits they could and complete fumblers like me. There is a warm up and practising the basic moves with some sophisticated additions for those who can manage them - then it's on with the music! Rhythmic, soaring and melodious - inviting you to dance.
The class is screened - so no need to worry about anybody looking in as I have to stop moving my lower half in order to focus on my arm movements - then I focus on what my hips are doing and find my arms doing some strange out-of-control octopus thing. Everyone is very kind - people laugh at themselves trying to get things right, nod appreciatively if someone does well, Petronella demonstrates clearly and dances amongst us advising and praising.
Halfway through I notice I seem to be smiling all the time. This is fun! By the end I want to do it all again!
Just wear comfy clothing, bring a scarf to tie round your hips and it's FREE!
Community Centre Manager