Islington Giving Inside Islington Tour: Help on Your Doorstep and Abianda

Last week friends, supporters and local residents joined Islington Giving to meet Help on Your Doorstep (HOYD) and Abianda. These two innovative organisations have received national recognition for their work (Abianda; HOYD).

Help on Your Doorstep

On the New River Green Estate in Canonbury, John and Nicky talked about the launch of the Canonbury Good Neighbours Scheme (GNS). Its success has led to three new schemes being launched on the Priory Green Estate, Kings Cross, Andover Estate, Finsbury Park, and Bemerton Estate, on the Caledonian Road, through support from Islington Giving and partners. HOYD staff work with residents to build a sense of neighbourliness. They find solutions to isolation and improve health and wellbeing. Residents help to design these activities. This builds a sense of community that has often felt lost.

Nicky first became involved with the scheme as a volunteer. She now runs the Canonbury scheme, with weekly coffee meetings, a gardening club, yoga and mindfulness sessions, and trips to the seaside. For some, these trips are a rare chance to leave the bustle of the city behind for the day.

Our tour saw a women’s group in action. We visited the community vegetable garden created by HOYD and residents and gained a sense of the community connections being built on the estate.

 Abianda   

We also heard from Abi Billinghurst, who founded Abianda in 2011 to support young women affected by gangs.

Abi talked powerfully about young women who are often hidden when it comes to reporting of gang activity. Many fear formal services, so decide to deal with their issues alone. Abianda wants to change this.

Abianda shifts the central question asked of women affected by gang-involvement from ‘what is she doing wrong’, to ‘how has she managed to survive?’.

With the support of Islington Giving, Abianda runs the STAR project for 16-24-year-old women. Abianda staff work with the Islington Integrated Gangs Team (IIGT), bringing in a specific gendered understanding of the issues around the young women that they are working with. The advice and knowledge of the Gangs team provide additional formal support to build the resilience and long-term prospects of the women.

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By supporting Islington Giving, you can help organisations such as Abianda and Help on Your Doorstep reach more Islington residents. One of our supporters who came on the tour said “It was great to see first-hand how my donation is put to use, and how much the hard work and enthusiasm of Islington Giving and local organisations is helping residents.”

If you would like to change lives for good in Islington, and help us improve the lives of thousands of local residents contact us at mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or call t 0207 288 4941.

To make a donation today, in the knowledge that 100% of your donation will go towards changing lives, click here.