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Ben Kinsella work open to public

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09 February, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Pupils at a Ben Kinsella Trust school workshop

AN anti-knife crime education charity that runs workshops for schools in term time in Finsbury Library is opening the exhib­ition to the public on Monday (February 12) to give people a chance to see their work.

Sophia Antoniazzi from the Ben Kinsella Trust says: “It may be of particular interest to parents, carers and grandparents of children and young people to gain a greater understanding of what we do around raising awareness of knife crime. We are not normally open to the public and are normally only open for pre-booked workshops so this is a great opportunity for local people to come and see the exhibition and talk with our knowledgeable facilitators.”

She adds: “It’s to help raise discussions and awareness of the challenges our young people have to face, and make Islington’s streets safer.”

A typical workshop would talk about the dangers of carrying a knife, the law and a discussion about the importance of positive friend­ships. They also give advice on who to speak to if young people are worried about knife crime.

The Trust began shortly after 16-year-old Ben Kinsella was murdered in 2008 and was set up by his family to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime.

The Ben Kinsella Exhibition is open to the public at 5pm on Monday February 12, with tours at 5.30pm and 6pm. Booking for tours is preferred, drop-ins are also welcome. Finsbury Library, St John Street, EC1. Please phone 07712 306103 or contact:

Check out the chess of physical sport

Young fencers, from left, Nicole Sandwell, 15, James Michaelides, 17 and Lou Osifuwa, 12, with Soji Aiyenuro

FREE fencing lessons are available for young people at the Platform youth hubs in Hornsey Road and Angel. Fencing coach Soji Aiyenuro says the Olympic sport, which requires a high level of creativity and strategy, isn’t as accessible as it should be.

“Fencing has a bit of a stigma attached to it, everyone thinks it’s for the elite,” Soji says. “I’m not from that background myself so I wanted to bring it to the people where I’m from.”

Soji began fencing 14 years ago when he was 10 years old.

“It’s fast, rapid and physical,” he says. “I’d say it’s the chess of physical sport – it’s so strategic. If someone knows your weaknesses you need to figure out how to avoid that.”

He has been teaching the sport for five years. “Kids seem to do sports when they’re young then there’s a clock-off age at 16 or 17. I think it’s important for a social aspect but also it’s important to do things that you enjoy because that’s what keeps us happy.”

Nicole Sandwell, 15, says: “I like fencing as it keeps me fit and it’s mentally challenging.”

The weekly sessions are run by Access to Sports and equipment is provided. Details at Contact Platform Youth Hub on 020 7527 4468.

It’s just bananas to waste good food

Lunch at FoodCycle – a free meal made from surplus food that would go to waste

AN initiative in Finsbury Park that’s passionate about food waste has celebrated serving up it’s 1,000th meal to the community. Volunteers from FoodCycle provide free meals to guests, prepared from food that would otherwise go to waste.

All food is donated by supermarkets, including slightly brown bananas and food just past its use-by date.

Camilla James from FoodCycle says: “We take it to the kitchen and decide what to cook in a Ready, Steady Cook-style. We served up to 72 guests with our 1,000th meal. We tend to find a lot of people are there for company because they are experiencing homelessness or isolation. Loneliness is a massive issue so the communal effort is important to our guests and our volunteers.”

Camilla says it’s also an opportunity for people to have a good meal if they don’t have regular access to healthy meals.

“We have impressive food each week,” Camilla says. “Last time we had fried aubergine with a miso sauce for starter, a pasta dish for main, followed by a mango and passion fruit cake for dessert.”

FoodCycle serve a meal every Saturday at 12.30pm in the Finsbury Park Community Hub, Corker Walk, N7. For more information contact:
FoodCycle also serves food at the Southwood Smith Centre at 11 Southwood Street, Barnsbury, on Wednesdays at 1pm.


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