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:

National Poetry Day – Poems from The Manna

By Samuel Stensland on 4th October 2018

Today (Thursday 4th October) is National Poetry Day. Poets established and aspiring are sharing their verse across the country. And we are lucky to have some very local poems to share today. 

People who are part of the creative writing workshop at The Manna have kindly shared their poems. These range from optimistic song-like structures to more introspective free verse. All are a demonstration of the welcoming approach of The Manna, which runs at St. Stephen’s Canonbury.

The people who volunteer and work at the Manna believe that no one should be left to struggle on their own. The space is open to all adults, and has become a home to people who are marginalised or vulnerable, including many who face poverty, addiction, homelessness, or poor health.

Paul Andrew Walsh – Three Poems

Stone the Roses

Goodbye To Day Hello To Night

Stay Up To Dawn Everything’s Turned Out Right

Hungover We May Be, Battered And Bruised

Fraught The World And His Wife

Drunk Away All Those Blues

The Feeling Was So Good Wonder How Long It Could Last

Out Of Our Heads Rolling All Over The Grass

Was Standing One Minute Next Thing On Ground

But There’s Always Someone Near To Give You A Hand

Lark In The Park, Party On Way After Dark

Don’t Know How To End, Don’t Know When To Start.

© Paul Andrew Walsh


Take The Time To Sit Down And Stare

At The Flowers That Grow

Around Your Feet Breathe In The Air

Ponder As Much As You Like

On The Wonders Of This World

Answers To Everything That’s Asked

Why The Warm Heart When Your Hands Are Cold

If God Is Great So Should Be The Queen

That’s Something So Deep

But Yet To Be Seen

Could Take Many Lifetimes

But I Guess We Will Never Ever Know

You Can Never Beat The System

Just Go With The Flow

© Paul Andrew Walsh

Untitled: Top of my Head 

On this paper I find it hard to write

How I feel without your touch tonight

It’s not the first time I’ve been this way

It’s the emotions that I have inside today

So much guilt since the moment you been gone

Everything I do is never right it’s always wrong

Time is a healer, or so they say

Do I have the time, the chance to pray ?

Forgiven of the heart, change for the better

Forever lasting love for my sister & my brother.

Sins of the mothers and fathers

We all do bad, but we must learn to love

                                each other.

© Paul Andrew Walsh

Lawrence Blake 

Star-Burning Bright

Starlight – twinkling bright.

Embedded in your black-velvet sky.

Fiery-furnace deep in the void

Casting white heat into the icy bleakness.

I pause to wonder – as I gaze yonder.

Are you still burning so bright ?

The Diamond – sparkle – and glow.

On your journey of light.

Many aeons to get here. I gaze, amazed !

Could you be a burned-out husk ?

Punctuating your shed, outer brilliance.

Like a glowing coat of liquid, molten fury.

Your stardust a cradle for new star-life

Like we all here on this earth one day die –

So the suns of our cosmos one by one now go

A final sun-burst, grand-finale death-glow

Constellations of white dots in our milky-way

No longer visible at the dawn of day –

When our very own star rises.

Our giver of light and life.

Warming the air with your joyous rags.

Putting smiles on our faces.

Putting back winter’s last traces.

© Lawrence Blake

“Living To Die – Dying To Live” (Omega – Alpha)

– A life as yet unknown – unknowable ∙ (Omega∙)

   A life real yet unreal. – unlived.

   Death of all living matter, real, but denied.

Silent mirrors reflect decay, staring out.

Beckoning me to pass through the veil.

Separated from this after-life by heartbeats.

Stranded within empty, cruel, decaying years.

Until these beats cease, and I am gone.

Just my husk left inert to return to nothingness.

As all our eternal life to death “tugs-of-war” go on –

For now I must resist death’s lure and entice.

Patient reaper stalking my short days. –

To take me to a never-to-dawn night. Or 

A never to dusk summer afternoon golden glow.

In a wink of a tired eye – all will be revealed to me.

But not today – today is not my time to leave.

I take my empty life into the dimension of time passing

And a world of living-death, as days erode me.

Never to know joy or peace – consumed by fear.

Sounds, vision, erased in my inner-space universe.

Just a prolonged silent dialogue of shadow forms.

Inside, a confused infant, outside, a frail decrepitude.

Life in front of me, now receding into past’s vortex.

It was my beginning of nothing – now a prelude of an end.

Afterglow – then gone into whatever waits behind time.

So for all life comes the end of its journey, its destination.

Mirrors reflect my hopeless decline, my bitter harvest.

As I stare up from the depths of my bottomless despair.

The long, haunted dreams sink ever down, drowned.

What I am – who I was – where I am now, meaningless. –

My universe of melancholy shrinks, and contracts.

To consume itself but still be ravenous for more sorrows.

In the outside ongoing façade of your living dead society.

My grief and pain will envelop and saturate all it finds.

It captures, pulls-in, and drains all hope, dreams, life –

Crushed, devoured and cowed, we live under darkness. –

Devastated, I see all is nothing – nothing is all – nothing life.

Counting skies passing my window, shadows cast on me.

Day into night invisible within the ruins of my life. –

Petrified by unknown, unrevealed destiny into insanity. –

Only a meaningless demise, alone, forgotten my uncertainty. –

Inner turmoil released to dissolve and dissipate beyond life.

We who never chose this fate await release from a mortal prison.

Escape into my new found dream – leaving behind just a shell.

From the unreal, to the hyper-real ∙ (Alpha). 

© Lawrence Blake

Damian Konior

The Kiss

After the impact

I’m spinning, humming !

I’m reverberating –

Insensible metal

Shivered like a bell !

As to what it means

I’m utterly lost !

I’m simply babbling –

Like a baby babbling !

I must be falling –

In a hole through time

Tumbling & falling !

Wiped out yesterday –

Wiped out tomorrow –

My self from life estranged

I know only this :

The world can be changed

By a single kiss.

© Damian Konior (written in Polish and translated)

Ernest Taylor


How is friendship ?

Friendship means a lot to me

Friends bring good dreams

Friendship means friends for life

Long or short  good times &

            best of friends.

As a dad friendship with 

            mother and children

Should be long lasting.

As a mother friendship with

    children is the best.

Good days and good health

Is long time friendship in

            the family.

Friendship & friends will

            come & go

The truth is to love and to

    last a long time.

Friendship should last

            for ever. 

© Ernest Taylor

Roadwork Band Song

Roadworks band music

Roadworks band song

The boys are singing today

The girls are singing today

Roadworks band today

Roadworks band forever

Chorus :

Roadworks band music

Roadworks song today

The man is singing for the future

The woman is singing for the future

People are singing songs today

Everyone is singing songs

Sing songs forever !

Roadworks band music

Roadworks song today

© Ernest Taylor

Ernest’s Diaries

Ernest has woken up this morning

And has washed himself.

Today is the day

The first thing is a cup of coffee

The other thing is to prepare for the morning.

The morning begins

With a bus-ride or walk to the market

We get the things we need for the day’s cooking

All things are done on this day.

The day brings good food & good memories

Tomorrow is another day & another diary

What will happen tomorrow will be good news.

And all the bad news will disappear

Tomorrow comes & today finishes.

© Ernest Taylor


Today’s the day of sunshine

Tomorrow is the day of the rain

Every day the weather changes, changes to

                        something else

Time comes in different ages (the time

            of the light & the time of the


Time is a ruler, time rules the world

Wake up early in the morning & go to

                        bed in darkness

What you want is what you get !

© Ernest Taylor

On The Day

Today’s the 10th of October

That means today’s World Mental Health Day

If you suffer in mind and depression

Mood swing, today’s the day to celebrate

In mental illness

There is no operation tonight

You only take tablets and injections

Tablets please cure me

To knife or not to knife

We don’t knife in mental illness,

In depression, mood swing and anxiety

To cure or not to cure

Please cure me !

© Ernest Taylor

Distance World

People of all ages

                are different

But they are all people.

They belong to one family

Whatever continents they

            come from

They are one people.

Brothers & sisters &

Their mums & dads are

Nuclear in the same family

Boys & girls grow up to be

            mothers & fathers

Some others are extended family

But in the world everyone

                  is one. 

Countries sing different songs

People of all races are one

The world today is goodwill

                  for all people

The wars are ending & the

       future will bloom.

Prospects in the world today

The human race is learning

          about commitment

& to improve race & family.

Good community brings good 

Prospects for black & white

            & for every race.

© Ernest Taylor


In Prayer

I may not appear to be doing anything

but invariably I’m in prayer 

this practice is demanded of me,

as life is so difficult and challenging,

and also so difficult and challenging

is trying to get to where I want to go,

that I have to draw upon all my

will and energy and strength 

and ultimately prayer 

to try to achieve those things

that I want to achieve.

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

Substance Abuser

Don’t place too much faith 

in people who participate in substance abuse

their only loyalty is to themselves

and their poison of choice

don’t take them at their word 

when they agree to something

they will invariably let you down 

when you try to accommodate them

with your time and energy

the substance abuser will invariably 

only have one god

and they will pursue that god voraciously

usually at the cost of all others.

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

Water Off a Duck’s Back

I was quite a sensitive soul, back then

Now comments don’t seem to

Bother me in the least 

Like water off a duck’s back !

I suppose it comes with age and experience

Not letting unimportant things

Get you down !

Always seeing the bigger picture. 

If I have to take a few knocks

Along the way, so be it !

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

Music is Like Oxygen

Music is like oxygen

There are some of us who feed off of it

We are moved by the tenderness thereof

We allow ourselves to be

Seduced by its emotion

Its excitement

And exhilaration

For a time we are in an elevated world

A richer place

And all the better for it

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

A Bygone Age

Clouds move in front of the sun

And the day becomes overcast.

And I am transported back to an earlier time

A hundred and fifty years before.

Where the same trees you imagine would

Rustle in the wind

And the houses the same, stand here still.

The street lamps do not look out of place

Nor the tree-lined road, save for

The replaced cobbles.

I can hear the silence being broken

By the sound of horse hooves

On stone cobbles

Earlier modes of transport supplant

Vehicles of our time.

But the feeling remains & pervades

The surrounding area.

The sun moves from behind the clouds to

Break the spell and we are here again

In the twenty first century.

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

Reunion (Meeting Up Again)

Who are you most

looking forward to seeing :

people who are familiar

and known friends,

playing it safe & keeping

to your own comfort zone.

Or a person you’ve known

in a past life but dared not

say hello to back then ?

Anonymous (© The Manna Workshops)

Free Autumn activities for children and young people at Angel Shed

By Samuel Stensland on 18th September 2018

Angel Shed Theatre Company is a children’s theatre company that specialises in ‘inclusive theatre’ meaning children and young people from all backgrounds come together to take part. We have supported Angel Shed for two years, to make free, inclusive, and inspiring activities available over the Summer and Easter holidays.

Angel Shed’s Debs Bourner talks about the activities happening at the theatre this Autumn, and about how you can get involved.

Angel Shed’s activities in full swing.

“We deliver imaginative drama, music and movement-based workshops and performances for the community, encouraging children and young people of all abilities to express themselves freely.

We work with 5–16-year-olds, and also Young Creative volunteers aged 16-25. In all our work, we want ensure that each person, regardless of ability and background is given an equal opportunity to participate.

“It really makes my children more confident. Angel Shed has encouraged speaking, teamwork, making friends and collaborating with others” 

Parent of Angel Shed participant

We specialise in supporting children and young people often excluded from other mainstream activities, including those with learning, emotional, behavioural, physical difficulties and disabilities, those from deprived neighbourhoods (we make free places available each term) and vulnerable home situations.  Engaging in our work helps to:

  • improve confidence and happiness
  • build communication skills and connections with others.
  • increase motivation to try new things.

Angel Shed’s Young Creatives

Our Young Creatives project trains volunteers in all aspects of the performing arts and the skills supporting children and young people, some of which are vulnerable in some way. The training will be useful for anyone who wants to:

  • work in the performing arts, or has an interest in it
  • work with children and young people, including those with additional support needs.”

Sign up today

“If you are interested we still have spaces for 5 – 7 year olds (Children’s Theatre 1), 11 – 16 (Youth Theatre) year olds and 16 + Volunteers. 

Our new Autumn term starts after school on Monday 8 October 2018 for 5–7s and Thursday 20 September for 11–16s.

Please e mail info@angelshedtheatre.org.uk or call on 0207 700 8689 and we will send you an application pack.”

Feeling motivated? Get involved using the contact details above.

National Poetry Day in Islington

By Samuel Stensland on 16th September 2018

4th October 2018 is National Poetry Day. We want to show Islington’s creative wordsmiths to the world. Join Islington’s strong tradition of creativity by sharing your poem with us. We’ll then air it to the borough and over 5,000 people on social media.

Deadline: Monday 1st October, 5pm.

Themes: Reflections on home, friendship, or community especially welcome.

Criteria: If you live or work somewhere in Islington, you can submit. Just tell us if you want to be named, or to remain anonymous.

Submit via email to mail@islingtongiving.org.uk

Place-based giving: growing nationwide, thriving in Islington

By Samuel Stensland on 14th September 2018

Islington Giving has been referenced in three important research reports in the last two weeks. Centre for London’s More, Better, Together: A strategic review of giving in London, The Researchery’s Place-based giving schemes: Funding, engaging and creating stronger communities (commissioned by the Office for Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), and Harnessing the capital’s giving: What is the role of the Mayor and Greater London authority in enabling civic philanthropy? by Rocket Science. They all highlight the growing success of place-based giving across London and the UK. 

The reports form part of a national conversation that seeks to understand the motivations and mechanisms behind place-based giving.

In its recent Civil Society Strategy, the UK Government pledged £750,000 to support the development and growth of civic philanthropy and place-based giving schemes. This is a tangible endorsement of local philanthropy that builds on a growing acceptance of its effectiveness.

As referenced in the reports, Islington Giving is involved in a cross-sectoral exchange of ideas, aiming to improve the reach and impact of the place-based giving model. As the first of the “new model” schemes in London, Islington Giving continues to work alongside the public, private, and voluntary sectors to explore the potential of an approach that is embedded in the needs and realities facing local residents.

As emphasised by Rocket Science, London “is a collection of many different places […] encompassing around 50 town centres.” There are now 26 other ‘Givings’ developing across the capital, inspired by Islington Giving, but each reflecting the particular challenges and opportunities of its location. 

According to the Centre for London report, these exemplify how a “new infrastructure is emerging to encourage greater individual and corporate giving at a local level.” 

Innovating with Islington

Islington Giving Programme Director Helen Kersley explains, “the whole essence of place-based giving schemes is that they are very local and very person-centred.” Islington Giving recognises that to have the most positive impact in the local community, we cannot “plant-in” solutions. We must work with a diverse range of residents and continually increase our knowledge of the local area. We must also be flexible and open to new opportunities, as evidenced by the development of the BIG (Business for Islington Giving) Alliance, established with Macquarie Group Foundation in 2012.

Our work, which has reached over 20,000 Islington residents since 2010, is made possible by bringing people, businesses, and organisations together as equal partners, and harnessing the ideas, energy, and resources they each bring. A commitment to innovation, and to sharing learning with others, can help place-based giving schemes across the country to thrive, and change more lives for good.

Read more about our commitment to innovation here. 

Eight years of Giving, eight years of innovation

By Samuel Stensland on 14th September 2018

We know that by bringing people together, from different walks of life, with different experiences, we make a bigger positive change with not for our communities. To celebrate eight years of Islington Giving, here are eight ways in which we innovate:

1. Everyone can give, and everyone’s contribution matters

Our work is made possible by the money, time, ideas, space, and introductions given by people who live in, work in, and care about Islington. We work to inspire people (and organisations, see 4) to give, and to show people the difference their giving can make. Learn more about how you can give.

2. Collaboration and sharing are at the heart of what we do

Islington Giving is a collaboration of people who don’t normally work together but who share a vision for a better borough. Residents, businesses, voluntary organisations, local, regional, national and international funders have come together to help make Islington a better place for us all.

It is vital for our work that we take time to bring different voices together, gather ideas, and celebrate progress. Whether this is by sharing breakfast with over 100 inspiring women on International Women’s Day or by planning new approaches to changing lives for good, alongside people and organisations who care about Islington.

3. We change lives

We alone cannot eliminate poverty and inequality but we can change lives. These are just some of the ways this happens in our borough:

  • Volunteer mentors at the Parent House work in our communities to provide friendly advice and tangible practical support for parents and families across Islington.
  • Our Young Catalyst programme provides smaller amounts of money that can make a huge difference – by paying for a driving licence that helps a young person to get their first job, or covering the costs of a child’s first holiday.
  • Hundreds of older people take place in exciting activities in Saturday Socials each weekend.
  • Events and activities are now happening at times and places that are more accessible for local people.

4. We help businesses become a force for good

We established The BIG Alliance (Businesses for Islington Giving) with the Macquarie Group Foundation and the East London Business Alliance in 2012. It has helped thousands of people working in the borough to contribute their skills, experience, knowledge and networks to help Islington’s voluntary organisations and young people at our secondary schools and colleges. A mentor from a business (MUFG) and mentee from a school (City of London Academy Highgate Hill) taking part in the Mentoring Works Programme share their experiences below.

5. We shine a light on the reality of life in Islington

We have conversations with our communities to improve our knowledge of Islington, and combine this with a range of evidence to show how poverty and inequality can affect peoples’ lives – whether through mental ill health, feelings of isolation, or even reduced life expectancy.

Our discussions with young people (Making the Most of Free Time) and families (A Life Not A Service) are evidence-based calls to action, and inform our approach to creating effective solutions.

6. We’ve got some great neighbours

In each corner of the borough, there are people sharing cups of tea, attending yoga classes, doing a spot of gardening and volunteering locally. This is happening thanks to the Good Neighbours Scheme, launched in 2011 with our partner Help on Your Doorstep. They offer our residents the chance to talk about things that are tough, and share time with new friends.

“It cheers you up when you are feeling down to know you can come down to a group here. For me and others I know it has been a lifesaver.”

Islington resident, taking part in the Good Neighbours Scheme

7. We create new opportunities for young people

We are working with 15 young people to shape the future of local giving in Islington. They are helping us to take a different look at our borough, and have launched their own grants programme designed to bring young people together to feel a bigger sense of belonging, and help them access resources to support their mental health.

8. We are working out new ways to support mental health

Islington has some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the country. Some of this is due to the fact that living here (a dense, constantly changing inner-city borough, where things are expensive, green space at a premium, and housing overcrowded) can be tough for many of our residents. We support innovative ways of helping people to feel happier and in control.

Looking to the future

Both our on-the-ground knowledge and the statistics suggest that life in Islington is still difficult for many of our residents. After 8 years, we cannot stop our work. Reflecting on the last eight years, Jack Morris CBE, Chair of the Islington Giving Appeal, and Islington Giving Board Member, said:

“It is remarkable how far we have come since launching in September 2010. So many more people who care about making lives better in Islington have joined us, and they represent all walks of life. The connections we have been fortunate enough to make over the years have led to some truly inspiring stories of change. This is why we need to bring even more people together to change lives for good in our borough.”

Thank you for your support over the last eight years. None of this would be possible without you.

Team behind Young Grant-Makers launch new short film about life on the Elthorne Estate

By Samuel Stensland on 3rd September 2018

A partnership between Fully FocusedArsenal in the Community and Ambitious Academy held over 25 workshops on a North London estate for 8 months, working with people on the estate affected by the issues the film deals with who had no experience of film-making, acting or script writing. 50% of the cast including one of the leads had never acted before, never been on screen and never been involved in anything like this before. The film involved over 15 young participants from the Elthorne and another 15 of the young team from Fully Focused.

We are working alongside 15 young people involved with Fully Focused to get them involved in decision making locally, and to see together how giving can make a difference.

Arsenal star winger Alex Iwobi said that he is proud of the local young people behind the film. Arsenal’s official Twitter account shared a short video with its 13.7 million followers, in which Iwobi said “I just wanted to say a big well done to all of you making Drawn Out who are doing something positive for your community. We are all really proud of you.”

The film already has over 1.4m views. You can add to this below.

‘Drawn Out’ featured on BBC London

BBC London reported on the success of the film, interviewing some of the main drivers behind its production and release. You can watch its coverage here. 

Free event for local SMEs with The BIG Alliance and Heart of the City

By Samuel Stensland on 15th August 2018

Heart of the City and The BIG Alliance are hosting a free information and networking after-work event on Wednesday 5th September, from 5.30pm – 8.00pm at the Finsbury Business Centre.

The event is a great chance for Islington based SMEs to find out how their business can be a force for good. A new cluster of like-minded businesses are invited to join the London-wide expertise of Heart of the City, and locally proven track-record of The BIG Alliance, in coming together to tackle local issues.

To find out how your business can make a positive difference to the Islington community whilst helping your own business goals, sign up for the event here.

Islington Giving and The BIG Alliance

Islington Giving and the Macquarie Group Foundation established the BIG Alliance in 2012. It harnesses the talent, ideas and skills of people working in Islington’s thriving businesses, from large multinationals to SMEs. The BIG Alliance offers a clear example of how we bring people and organisations together to make positive change possible in Islington. It opens doors for young people, whilst helping to make our workplaces more connected to the community.

Since launching, the BIG Alliance has matched the skills and experience of hundreds of people working for some of Islington’s largest companies, with our schools, colleges, and thriving voluntary sector. Thousands of people have benefited from this. Your business can help thousands more.

The Douglas Scarff Trust donates almost £100,000 to Islington Giving, leaving a legacy of support for young children and families

By Samuel Stensland on 3rd August 2018

The Trustees of the now dormant Douglas Scarff Trust have donated £98,374 to Islington Giving. This continues a legacy of support for young children and families.

The story of the Trust begins at North Islington Nursery School in the 1930s, Islington’s first nursery school. The events of the last eighty years provide an inspiring parallel of the efforts of the hundreds of local people who continue to give to Islington each year.

Community connections

Britain’s first sitting female MP, Lady Astor, inspired Daisy Lynn (a member of the Caledonian Road Wesleyan Chapel) to write to her in 1930. Lady Astor MP, who had proclaimed that nursery schools perform “the most constructive work in the world today”, replied with a cheque. This became the first donation, added to by the Church committee, that helped establish North Islington Nursery School. Lady Astor would become the school’s first president.

Local resident Mr Douglas Scarff volunteered as Honorary Treasurer of the nursery. He helped to bring in new donations such as £750 from the Margaret McMillan, the social pioneer. The same Margaret McMillan gives her name to the nursery school on Hornsey Rise. Following damage inflicted by heavy bombing in the Second World War, local residents and businesses restored the nursery. In 1948, Clement Attlee’s Minister of Education, George Tomlinson, laid the foundation stone for the rebuilding of the school. It was officially reopened in 1949, by H.R.H Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester.

Historic examples of giving

The history of the nursery is marked by other examples of giving. The grand-daughter of one of its founders helped care for wartime evacuees. In the 1960s, thanks to the nursery’s cosmopolitanism and some high-profile supporters, the BBC and ITV made a short film about its Christmas play, helping to raise vital funds. In 1965, Joyce Grenfell (Lady Astor’s niece) took the role of President following Lady Astor’s death in 1964. You can hear Joyce’s famous “Nursery School” sketch below:

Now run by Islington Council, North Islington Nursery and Children’s Centre continues to provide inclusive care for local children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

The Douglas Scarff Trust made grants to improve the lives of young children in Islington. We will continue to honour this legacy.

How you can give to Islington

Islington Giving works with people, like the Douglas Scarff Trustees, who live in, work in, and care about their local area. Whether you are thinking of increasing the impact of your Trust, or would like to make a personal donation, you too can make a huge difference to the lives of Islington residents.

Get in touch with Anne Phipps to talk about your giving, via email: Anne.phipps@islingtongiving.org.uk, or phone: 020 7288 6941

Recipes to generate change: Skip Garden Mauritian Slaw

By Samuel Stensland on 19th July 2018

Global Generation, in its Skip Garden home, has been a partner of Islington Giving for a number of years. With support from us and Arsenal in the Community, the team run Friday Night Out activities to help local children and young people generate change, giving them a taste for fresh, seasonal veg, gardening, and healthy exercise. Here the skilled Skip Garden chefs share one of their favourite recipes for a vibrant Mauritian slaw.

If you try your hand at this recipe, why not share your creation with us (@IsGiv) and Global Generation (@Global_Gen) on Twitter and Instagram?

Skip Garden Mauritian Slaw

The Skip Garden adaptation of the classic Mauritian slaw, ‘Achard des Legumes’ makes use of classic seasonal, British Isles vegetables, but offers the warmth and vibrancy of the East African coast. We serve this colourful and substantial salad as an accompaniment for pies, quiches and toasted sandwiches. The beauty is its versatility. We sometimes substitute grated beetroot, or white cabbage for red cabbage. We have included shaved fennel, grated kohl rabbi and even apple. This salad offers a lot of opportunities to use up bits of leftover vegetables from the fridge and eat seasonally and locally. We gather herbs and greens from the garden so can use carrot tops, fennel tops of baby greens, instead of kale. The recipe offers proportional guidelines but really is as adaptable as you want it to be! This will last in the fridge for about 2 days in a sealed container.

Serves 4

Skip Garden Kitchen, Kings Cross, London


2 large carrots – washed and grated

¼ small red cabbage – finely sliced

6 leaves of black or curly kale washed and roughly chopped

Substantial pinch of salt and caster sugar

For the dressing:

½ tblsp toasted sesame oil

Juice and zest of ½ a lemon

½ tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds or ground coriander

½ tsp dried turmeric


Roughly chop and macerate the kale by massaging a pinch of salt and sugar into it for about 30 seconds. Set it to one side.

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a bowl.

Gather your dressing ingredients and get a good quality, heavy bottomed frying pan hot on the cooker. Once the pan is too hot to touch, add the mustard seeds, cumin, coriander and after about 10 seconds the turmeric. (If you are using ground coriander, add this at the same time of the turmeric, not before.) You will know the spices are toasted when they release their aromas and the seeds begin to shimmy about in the pan.

Add the spices straight to the bowl of carrots and cabbage, incorporate the spices and the kale then dress immediately with the oil and lemon juice. Mix well and serve.

Optional extras include, grated ginger which can be added to the spices during toasting. Dried or fresh chillies which would go straight in with the carrots. Toasted, dessicated coconut or pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds which dress the top of the salad admirably.

Summerversity & Launchpad 2018

By Samuel Stensland on 10th July 2018

There are loads of free activities for young people this summer in Islington.

Summerversity 2018 offers a range of fun, free, and creative opportunities for young people aged 13-16, right across the borough. Whether you want to build a videogame, improve your painting, try out a new sport, or tap into your inner poet, Summerversity has it covered over the summer holidays. Check out the programme here for full information.


Launchpad 2018 packs in plenty of other fun and free opportunities for young people aged 16+. You can try your hand at urban farming, brush up on your musical production skills, gain qualifications and get involved with the amazing local facilities at Central Saint Martins. Full information can be found in the programme.


Loads of our friends in the community are playing a huge part in making these opportunities possible. Taking place in different community hubs, centres and outdoors, these activities are coordinated by Islington Council. You can find out full information on the Izzy Info website.

These activities are very popular and so signing up with plenty of time is essential.