What's been going on at Islington Giving?

Throughout the year, Islington Giving hosts a whole range of events during the year. These give you plenty of fun opportunities to learn more about Islington, see the projects we support firsthand and raise money for our campaign.

We would be thrilled for you to join us and here is what we have coming up:

June 2017 Inside Islington Tour – All Change, Arsenal in the Community and Saturday Socials at the Word2017 Festival

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 6th July 2017

As part of the successful Islington Word2017 festival, Islington Giving was delighted to catch a glimpse of a day of intergenerational celebrations and creativity run by All Change in partnership with Arsenal in the Community. Over 100 local people of all ages came together to take part in  Home Ground – a behind the scenes history of Arsenal and Islington, featuring spoken word performances and short films from All Change’s Saturday Socials writers group – When Saturday Comes. Working with poet Francesca Beard and photography artist Leticia Valverdes, the writers group gives older people the opportunity to explore their memories of the famous football club and the local area.

Two participants, Tony and Maria, spoke and performed during the tour of the stadium, and guests of Islington Giving heard tales and poems in the changing room beneath the belly of the ground.

Islington Giving’s Saturday Socials programme is run by All Change, Cubitt Education and North London Cares, and supported by Arsenal in the Community, The Arsenal Foundation and City Bridge Trust. Providing free weekend activities such as creative writing sessions, film screenings, and social events, the programme creates a space for older and younger people to connect and spend time with one another.

“There’s a sense of family between the people who do these clubs. You belong.” – Saturday Socials participant and Islington resident.

Arsenal in the Community are a key partner in the Saturday Socials programme. They host the monthly All Change When Saturday Comes workshops at the Arsenal Hub – providing space and refreshments, with team members present to support the sessions. They have also provided access to the wonderful Emirates Stadium for larger celebrations including Yarn Dances and the Home Ground event as part of the programme. Older participants have also enjoyed special stadium tours, tickets to matches and the chance to meet Arsenal legends.

More Inside Islington Tours will be taking place throughout 2017, giving you the opportunity to learn more about some of the amazing work carried out by local community organisations. To hear about future Inside Islington Tours, contact the Islington Giving Team using mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 0207 288 6941.


Copyright Leticia ValverdesCopyright Leticia Valverdes

Copyright Leticia Valverdes

Donation to Islington Giving from Macquarie London Staff

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 26th June 2017

Staff from Macquarie Group’s London office have donated £1180 to Islington Giving, as part of Macquarie Group Foundation’s Staff in the Community Awards. The Macquarie Group Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Macquarie Group and provides support to community organisations globally.

This year’s donation continues its close involvement in and support of Islington Giving. Giving more than money, representatives of Macquarie sit on the board of Islington Giving, providing funding for Islington based organisations as well as volunteers and mentors. The Macquarie Group Foundation is also the principal supporting partner of the BIG Alliance (Businesses for Islington Giving) <link>, helping to bring additional resources into Islington by working to build connections between businesses and the community.

You can read more about the work supported by Macquarie and our other partners in our 2016 Annual Review.


The BIG Alliance

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th June 2017

Islington Giving recognises the role of business in addressing the borough’s priorities. We established the BIG (Businesses for Islington Giving) Alliance with Macquarie Group Foundation as its principal funder in 2012. The BIG Alliance matches business volunteers with voluntary organisations and links young people to the world of work. In 2016, 1,184 volunteers from 13 businesses offered time and skills to Islington voluntary organisations.

The BIG Alliance’s Mentoring Works programme brings the expertise of business volunteers to Islington’s secondary schools and colleges. In 2016, 404 young people aged 15-18 were matched with 271 volunteers. The programme aims to be in 11 Islington secondary schools by 2019. To date, over 700 young people have received mentoring and support through the BIG Alliance.

To find out what the BIG Alliance can do for your organisation, visit www.thebigalliance.org.uk

Image: The BIG Alliance – Pupils from New North Academy at their visit to the Expedia Inc. offices

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Help on Your Doorstep – Good Neighbours Schemes

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th June 2017

When Islington Giving first granted us the funding to run our Good Neighbours Scheme in 2011, I was thrilled. The team and I could see the huge potential to make people’s lives richer by creating self-esteem and reaching out to the most isolated people on the[se] … Estate[s]”.

Ken Kanu, HOYD Director

Help on Your Doorstep’s (HOYD) Good Neighbours Schemes (GNS) are an exemplar of what can be achieved through partnership and collaboration. Four GNS have been introduced in Islington since the launch of the first scheme in 2012.

Good Neighbours Schemes now operate on:

They work with residents to find and own solutions to local issues such as isolation, improving health and wellbeing, and activities for children and young people. A key element here is about increasing the sense of neighbourliness. (Find out more about the schemes here).

We spoke to the team on the Priory Green Estate, where just nine months after its launch, 329 local residents were already involved in activities, with 19 local people volunteering. Considerable support is in place to enable volunteering, because this provides an opportunity for local people to contribute to their community, build confidence and gain valuable skills and work experience. (Hear a GNS volunteer’s story here).

Val Henney, the co-ordinator, has developed relationships with other local organisations to build partnerships that enable them to better support the residents together. These range from the Islington Bangladeshi Association, who work with the large Bangladeshi community living in Priory Green, to Sadlers Wells Theatre, which has added GNS to their Love to Dance scheme.

Val has been consulting within the community to understand aspirations, needs and gaps, to focus and shape the GNS. Key areas include helping people experiencing ill mental health and isolation, providing physical activities for young people, and offering appropriate, specialist support for BME communities and people living with disabilities.

The activities provided have brought the community together, including a weekly coffee session, and special events such as a trip to Southend and a street party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with over 250 people attending the street party and a regular attendance at the coffee morning. On the trip to Southend, one attendee commented that the day had made her feel happy and relaxed in a way that she had not felt in a long time. Many people have come together for the first time, despite being neighbours for years.

To find out how you can help us to support more residents visit http://www.islingtongiving.org.uk/website_/support-us or contact us via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 0207 288 6941.

Image: HOYD GNS – Priory Green Estate celebrates the Queen’s 90th birthday

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Islington Giving Fundraising Brief – June 2017

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 5th June 2017

We are looking to appoint a consultant to work with us to develop and deliver an evidence based review and recommendations to grow Islington Giving.

Contrary perhaps to popular perception, Islington is one of the poorest and most unequal places in the country.

Islington Giving believes that there remains important work for us to do in and that we have not yet realised our full potential.

Please see the attached brief for further information.

Islington Giving Fundraising Brief – June 2017

Islington Giving Partners Event: Working Together To Achieve More

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 26th May 2017

On Thursday 18th May we brought together over 80 partners of Islington Giving to discuss what more we can do to make a positive difference for Islington’s residents.

This event provided an opportunity for residents, voluntary organisations, businesses and funders to share knowledge and ideas for the types of effective action Islington Giving can take and support. With the discussion led by partners, Islington Giving sought to learn what the pressing issues are for local people, and gather ideas as to how we can all work together.

Nick Cohen (writer and journalist at The Guardian, Spectator, Time, and Standpoint Magazine) started the event by giving us his view on activism in the current political climate, emphasising how grassroots action can be a driving force of change.

A collaborative approach

After that, we worked with our partners in a roundtable discussion, asking:

  • What examples of positive social action have you seen recently?
  • What difference can we make together?
  • What is the current key priority for Islington Giving?

Many participants emphasised the importance of collaboration. Though Islington is one of the poorest and most unequal places in England, we benefit from vibrant voluntary and community sectors which help make positive change for Islington residents. A key facet of Islington Giving’s approach is to bring people together to ensure our collective efforts amount to more than the sum of our parts. Some suggestions of to how to do this included a live online directory, more partner events, or a pop-up shop in different parts of the borough.

Local and international businesses, including partners of the BIG Alliance, also discussed how they can bring their resources and expertise to provide additional support for voluntary organisations.

London’s Giving

The event finished with a networking lunch, allowing partners to get to know each other further, and a viewing of the brilliant London’s Giving film made by Creative Opportunities (soon to be released publically). Described by London Funders as ‘ground-breaking’, the work of Islington has inspired the London’s Giving movement. Thirteen other London boroughs, including Camden, Tower Hamlets and Southwark, now run their own ‘Giving’ initiative, increasing the potential for collaboration and idea sharing between like-minded community groups and charities.

Watch this space

In the coming months we will formulate how to bring some of these ideas into action. Watch this space to find out more.

To get involved with Islington Giving and help build on the successes so far, please contact the team via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 020 7288 6941.


Islington Giving: “Ground-Breaking Charitable Campaign Tackles Pressing Issues”

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 28th April 2017

An article by Dr Cat Walker, writing for online financial information platform CharityFinancials.com, identifies Islington Giving as a leading innovator of place-based giving, “a new way of bringing together local people with local funders to effect change and positive development by tackling the specific needs in their communities.” Recognising a growing trend for locally-focused philanthropy throughout London, the article outlines that the uniqueness of Islington Giving is characterised by its focus on places, partnerships, local knowledge and collaboration.

Islington Giving has also inspired the wider London’s Giving movement, managed by London Funders, made up of place-based giving initiatives in 13 London boroughs.

To join this growing local movement, and contribute to tackling poverty and inequality in Islington, contact the Islington Giving team via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk.



Gracie’s Marathon fundraiser

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

On Sunday 23rd April, Gracie will be running the London Marathon to raise money for Islington Giving. Having successfully completed the Brighton Marathon in 2015, and flying the flag for Islington on the south coast, Gracie is putting the finishing touches to her training before the big event.

Gracie has a long-standing relationship with Islington Giving and the borough. An integral part of the team at the Upper Street branch of family-run estate agent Currell, Gracie is also the mother of two young children. Fitting her training around her other commitments is tough, but, as Gracie says, “running 26.2 miles is nowhere near the challenge some people in our community are facing on a daily basis.”

You can show your support for Gracie by visiting her London Marathon fundraising page and making a donation to Islington Giving today. Every penny of your donation will be awarded as grant funding for local voluntary organisations working to tackle poverty and inequality in Islington.

Gracie and the team at Currell have supported Islington Giving since 2014 by fundraising, donating and providing support with our events and publicity. With a close and daily connection with the challenging circumstances faced by Islington residents, their support offers a continuous example of how locally focussed businesses can give back to their community.

If you work in or own a business locally, and would like to discuss how you can support Islington Giving, please call 020 7288 6940, or email mail@islingtongiving.org.uk.

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Easter Activities

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

There are baskets full of activities happening around the borough for children and young people throughout the Easter break.

There are free arts and crafts activities at the Museum of the Order of St John happening throughout the school holidays, as well as plenty of exciting Easter fun at Islington Museum. 6-12-year-olds can learn to cook up something tasty (and healthy), at Central Street Cookery School for just 50p per session.

If theatre is your thing, Sadler’s Wells is hosting a family extravaganza exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s quest for self-propelled flight. On 11th and 12th April, Platform will host workshops for young people who identify as LGBTQIA.

If the sun is shining, why not head along to one of the cracking playgrounds overseen by Awesome CIC, which are dotted throughout the borough. You could also pop in to see real-life chicks at Freightliners Farm. And Islington Play Association have got some eggscelent family activities going on over the next couple of weeks, in and out of doors.
For the grown-ups, how about trying one (or two) of Frederick’s House Cocktails. Each cocktail purchased will trigger a donation of £1 to Islington Giving.

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Njomeza Kartallozi and the Women’s Therapy Centre

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

We spoke to Njomeza Kartallozi, from the Women’s Therapy Centre, about her work as a Community Development Therapist and Project Manager on their Islington Young Mums Wellness Project.

The Women’s Therapy Centre, based in Manor Gardens, has been offering individual and group psychotherapy to women since 1976. It ensures that psychotherapy is available to all women, regardless of background and circumstance. The centre seeks to provide an appropriate service to those whose needs might not otherwise be met, including women from Black and Minority Ethnic groups, women who have experienced violence or abuse, women on low incomes, young women, and women with disabilities.

Islington has high levels of deprivation and mental health problems, with the highest level of diagnosed depression in London. Women face particular difficulties – depression is more common in women than men, with 1 in 4 women requiring treatment for depression at some point in their lives, compared to 1 in 10 men, and women are twice as likely to experience anxiety. Poverty is a known risk factor for mental ill-health and disproportionately affects women.

The Islington Young Mums Wellness Project, funded by Islington Giving through our Mental Health Challenge Fund, works with mums in crisis aged under 26, to reduce isolation, raise awareness around emotional and mental health issues, and offer tailored information and support.

One woman said “I have never spoken to anyone about these issues before, it feels good to get it out”.  She had lost her four-day-old baby, born premature, having already experienced three miscarriages. Having attended sessions run by Njomeza, she now receives a combination of emotional and practical support. Njomeza has helped her secure one-on-one therapy, and a Link worker to deal with her housing and practical needs. Since receiving this support and intervention, the woman said she feels more positive about her future.

Please visit here to learn more about the Mental Health Challenge Fund, and here to learn more about our other programmes. Through our deep knowledge and connections, Islington Giving has over 1,000 years of collective experience in meeting local needs.

Our guiding principle is that everyone can give, whether with their time, expertise, resources, or money. Islington Giving is administered by Cripplegate Foundation, meaning that 100% of donations go directly to funding expertly selected organisations. Click here to find out how you can help, or you can contact us via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 0207 288 6941.

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