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Community garden in Angel bags first place prize

08 October, 2018 — By Brittany O'Neill, Helen Chapman

Culpeper’s Mandy Graham, Rosanna Moore, Paul Formosa, Julian Allen and Nuray Omma


Culpeper Community Garden won first place in the Community Gardens category at the Islington in Bloom competition last month.

“It was a fitting testament to the hard work that the volunteers put in day in, day out to create a fantastic space. It feels good that all of the hard work has been acknowledged”, said Paul Formosa, garden worker.

More than 300 volunteers help at the garden situated on Cloudesley Road.

“We have people on board from all walks of life. It is an environment where everyone feels inclusive”, said Paul.

Mandy Graham is one of the garden workers and responsible for managing the volunteers. She said: “The first thing I did when I found out we won was put it on the Facebook group so that the volunteers could see. We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Culpeper Community Garden began as a patch of wasteland in 1982, until locals got together to transform the area that now boasts frogs, butterflies, edible plants and even a “bug hotel”.

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Wheelchair aid wins design award

From left: Ian Hosking, who was on the judging panel and works for Wheel Chair Rugby Experience, with Kristen Tapping and Raquel Siganporia

A design student has won an award for a wheelchair that pays attention to the needs of people with spinal cord injury. The Getting Back on Track com- petition encourages innovation and raises awareness of the day- to-day challenges facing people with such injuries.

Kristen Tapping, 36, second year design student at London South Bank University produced the winning design named Moveo which is designed to propel the user forwards by them pushing backwards – exerting less force and effort than a normal wheelchair.

Raquel Siganporia, who lives in Holloway and is head of team at Bolt Burdon Kemp law firm based in Angel, said the winning design paid attention to the small details of spinal cord sufferers. Raquel, who has spinal cord injury, said: “I can feel so cold and equally during the heatwave I can feel very hot.

“Sufferers complain about the weather but they don’t mean to, it’s because their body won’t cope. Kristen’s design pays attention to temperature control with materials to keep you cool when warm and warm when cool.

“In my role I see lots of people who have suffered life-changing spinal cord injuries – from an accident or as a result of clinical negligence. In these instances, my client needs to adjust to their injury, their new mobility needs and get back to their new normal as soon as possible – innovations like Kristen’s Moveo can really help.”

Kristen won £3,000 prize money plus £2,000 for her university.


On course for mental wellbeing

Jana Dowling, founder of the 888 Collective

Jana Dowling, former TV producer, founded The 888 Collective, a social enterprise helping tackle mental health issues, after falling ill two years ago.

She said: “I started to treat my mental health as a job and would track what would affect my mood. After three months of tracking I felt I was ready to go back to work.
I went from feeling suicidal back to producing and directing videos in seven months.”

Jana’s course at the 888 Collective, Personal Development and Mental Health Management, starts on October 10 and is free.

She said: “I want to give people the opportunity I had. I have been working on my mental fitness and now I get to live my best life because I am mentally fit. Everything becomes easier.”

The course is free to attend and takes place at Omnibus Business Centre, 39-41 North Road, N7 9DP. To book a place go to:

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