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Canonbury pupils help the homeless

Who’s been making the news round your way this week?

03 March, 2017 — By Gabe Evans

Canonbury Primary pupils Maya, Chelsie, Christopher, Kai, Harmony, Ziba, Simona, Thea, Rosie and Sophia sorting out beds for homeless guests at Union Chapel

YEAR 5 parents of Canonbury Primary rejoice! Your children are now professional bed-makers following their trip last week to Union Chapel in aid of the Margins’ Project Winter Night Shelter. Pupils helped make up beds for 12 homeless guests at the church who are provided with a night of shelter and comfort there once a week in the winter months. Canonbury Primary has a long-standing connection with Union Chapel’s charitable wing, holding frequent fundraisers and carrying out food collections at Christmas time. Helping out at the shelter has proved a valuable extension of this relationship, opening the children up to the prevalent issue of homelessness through hands-on experience. “They learn a lot,” said headteacher Patrick Mildren. “It has a big impact for the children. They ask such brilliant questions like ‘why can’t there be a shelter in the summer?’, ‘are they allowed to have pets?’, ‘what happens to the children?’ It is mainly single men who are street homeless as women with children take priority in hostels. “Pupils are able to actually think through the issue and find out about the different kinds of homelessness,” Patrick added. “It’s quite powerful.”

Sing along with the Nag’s Head Choir

Music teacher Angela Reith, left, and Lynne Friedli, right, with Nag’s Head Choir members

THE Mayton Street community in Holloway have added another string to their neighbourly bow in the form of a new all ages choir. Spearheaded by local music teacher Angela Reith and community organiser Lynne Friedli, the so-called Nag’s Head Choir was off to a successful start last week. “People were very enthusiastic by the end of it last week,” said Angela, who toured around Britain with folk trio Anam Cara before settling down in Mayton Street 30 years ago. “From little children, to a couple of teenagers and adults of all ages. I bumped into one lady outside her house a few days ago who said she couldn’t stop talking about it!” Harnessing Angela’s musicality and Lynne’s organisation, the duo are hoping the choir will be ready to perform at Maytons Street’s summer festival in July. Angela is also planning to do some digging in the local archives for some old folk songs about Islington. All ages and abilities are welcome, songs are taught by ear in a variety of genres (suggestions encouraged) and the cost is £2-£5 per session – whatever people can afford – while children go free. The choir takes place on Tuesdays from 5.55- 6.55pm at the Old Fire Station, 84 Mayton Street, Holloway, N7. For more details, email Angela on SingDrumN7&@gmail.com

Divide bridges the rich and poor gap

Rap artist Darren McGarvey, who features in The Divide

THERE was a free screening at Whittington Park Community Centre on Tuesday of The Divide, a recent documentary on rising inequality in the UK and US. From director Katherine Round (The Citizens Network, London Recruits) and executive producer Christopher Hird of Dartmouth Films, The Divide tells the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in modern day Britain and America, where the top 0.1 per cent own as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent. The film certainly touched a raw nerve among the local audience who hissed and heckled as old news footage of Thatcher, Reagan and Blair appeared on screen. The film was inspired by the critically-acclaimed 2009 book The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. The book also inspired Islington Council to set up its Fairness Commission. There are a number of screenings taking place in London until April 19, including another free showing at the Hornbeam Cafe at 458 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, on March 30 at 7pm. For details of more screenings check http://thedividedocumentary.com/screenings

Storm Doris breaks the borough’s 20mph limit!

The scene in St George’s Avenue after Storm Doris

YOU may have thought Islington was left untouched by Storm Doris last week. But as Elizabeth Case, St George and All Saints Church parish administrator, made her way to work last Thursday – preparing of course for their new priest-in-charge to be introduced on Saturday, Reverend Alexandra Lilley – she spotted this lamppost in St George’s Avenue, Tufnell Park, with its notice to motorists, wiped out by a fallen tree. It seems Storm Doris is not a fan of the Islington 20mph speed limit!

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