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Finding English (and shelter) at St Andrew’s

01 February, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Mayor of Islington Dave Poysner with the English-learners group at St Andrew’s Church

THE Mayor of Islington paid a visit to an English teaching session at St Andrew’s Church, Archway, last month.

Gloria Chandra from the Whitehall Park church said: “This group has enjoyed learning basic English and communication skills which they were keen to demonstrate when the mayor, David Poyser, came to visit. As the majority come from the Democratic Republic of Congo they were delighted when the mayor spoke to them in French which is their common language.”

• MEANWHILE, as the winter season strikes, St Andrew’s, along with six other churches in Islington, has been involved in the CARIS project – offering food and shelter to the home­less from January to March. Local volunteers are on hand to help prepare meals, beds and keep guests comfortable.

Gloria said: “Volunteers find it interesting and rewarding to learn about guests who come from various countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, even as far as Brazil and Vietnam.”

She added: “The Mayor of Islington’s visit was welcome boost to volunteers and guests and show that Islington cares.”

More information about CARIS and the Cold Weather Shelter at, 020 7281 5200.


Could you support a young person?

Ashar Smith

A YOUNG people’s initiative is looking for volunteers to join their mentor scheme. Creative Opportunities, a social enterprise helping youngsters develop skills needed for success, based in Mildmay, is starting a programme matching up mentees with mentors who live, work and study in Islington and can support them with professional and personal development.

Ashar Smith, founder of Creative Opportun­ities, said: “When you have a mentor, you are learning from someone who has already arrived where you want to be. They know exactly what it takes to get there and have great experience in a specific industry or area. Our mentoring programme is very focused on creating a really strong bond between the mentee and mentor that will hopefully last beyond the lifetime of the programme.

“I have personally benefited from being mentored. I feel that school doesn’t always prepare you for the next stage of your life. Having a mentor at that point who isn’t a typical authority figure allows you to talk about your dreams and ambitions and not feel judged. Knowing that someone is in your corner gives you great self-belief and confidence in both your life and career.”

The programme will run from March for 12 months. Mentors and mentees are required to meet up for up to a couple hours every month.

More information on the scheme at: or contact


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