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Choirs on song for Mayor’s charities

22 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Eclectic Voices and Highbury Youth Choir rehearsing for their concert on Sunday


Let’s get musical – a free choir concert is being held this weekend in Highbury celebrating funds raised for homeless charity CARIS Islington that runs night shelters throughout the winter, and Freightliners City Farm, off Holloway Road.
Highbury Youth Choir and Eclectic Voices will be singing at Christ Church, Highbury, this Sunday. Their voices are heard on The Ballad of Highbury Barn, an album celebrating Highbury’s history through music and lyrics.
The album, produced by Richard O’Brien, has been on sale at independent shops in Highbury Barn, Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, Holloway Road and Upper Street since Christmas, raising money for the charities.

Richard, who used to sing for Eclectic Voices, says: “Thanks to the wonderful community of shops, libraries and museum of Highbury and Islington I am delighted to say that we have now raised altogether more than £3,000 for the Mayor’s two charities, CARIS Islington and Freightliners Farm.

“The Mayor is coming along in his robes so that we can properly present him with a cheque for his charities.” Highbury Youth Choir provides young people age 5 to 18 with the opportunity to perform with world-class professional musicians alongside Highbury- based choir Eclectic Voices.

Eclectic Voices is a choir based in Highbury, now in its 27th year. It is directed by Highbury resident Scott Stroman, American jazz composer and teacher, and sings a wide variety of music, from jazz, gospel and folk to modern and classical.

The free concert will be held at 3pm on Sunday March 24 at Christ Church, 155 Highbury Grove, N5 1SA.


Wild and wonderful at Sunnyside

Sunnyside Community Gardens – a family friendly place; left: Nadine sets up camp for the nature club and, below, volunteer Jonathan digs in

Gardeners in Archway have had a spring in their step since being recognised for having the best frog pond in London.

Sunnyside Community Gardens in Hazelville Road were paid a visit by wildlife charity Froglife this month.

Anna Portch, manager of Sunnyside, says: “They trained up our volunteers on toads and they were very impressed with our pond. They said we have the best frog pond they have seen in London.”

Volunteer Jonathan digs in

Every Friday from 10am-12pm there is a free nature club for under-5s who come with an adult. It is a drop-in session where the children plant seeds, go on nature walks and get involved in forest school activities.

On the first Sunday of every month the garden has a cake stall, a plant stall, a free bike workshop and a chance to get digging in the garden.

Nadine sets up camp for the nature club

Anna says: “Sunnyside is still running in all weather as we believe there is no such thing as bad weather. only bad clothing.

“We always try to get people gardening. It is a family-friendly place and if people want to get their hands dirty they are more than welcome.”

For more information on Sunnyside Community Garden contact Anna on 020 7272 3522.

For more information about Froglife see

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