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Footballer scores a great confidence goal!

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

16 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Ashley Weir and head coach Steve Eusebe 

Footballers from charity Key Changes took third place on Friday in a league for those suffering from mental health issues. The group of nine players, who meet every Thursday at St Luke’s Community Centre near Old Street station, beat 13 teams and were rewarded for their hard work with a shiny silver plate. “It’s great for us – football gives you confidence when you have mental health problems,” says Ashley Weir, a footballer who received support from the charity. “It gives you confidence that you can achieve you goals.”

Key Changes charity football team

Head coach Steve Eusebe said he believed the team could come first next year. Workers for the charity help those with mental health issues by going into hospital wards and producing music including rap, rock and soul with patients. They also offer workshops offering cooking and business skills which help sufferers rejoin society. Find out more about the charity and how to join the football team at www.keychanges.org.uk/ 

Pop-Up parties with ponies in Barnard Park

Sue Byrne makes a pony introduction at Think Like a Pony workshop

Janis Higgie tempts with homemade cakes at Friends of Barnard Park café

Connie Longmate performs at bagpipe serenade

Ponies and a bagpipe player made an unusual addition to Barnard Park last Saturday when the green space was transformed for special Park Pop-Up event. The event, now in its 10th year, was organised by Friends of Barnard Park and saw an agility test for dogs dubbed Scruffs, and cakes for sale. The highlight was two Welsh ponies, Wally and Bertie, who delighted children and babies. The ponies were part of an interactive workshop led by Think Like a Pony, an organisation which helps empower children by teaching them horsemanship skills. “The event is important because it brings people into the park, it reinforces a sense of community and it uses the space very creativity,” says Dianne Browning, chairwoman for Friends of Barnard Park.

There will be another pup-up event at the park tomorrow (Saturday 17th) from 11am which includes a singalong band, bouncy castles and face painting. Music charity Oxjam will provide bands for the day. The weather is forecast to be extremely hot so bring your sunscreen. For more information go to www.barnardpark.org/events.html 

Out of the ring and into the saddle

Boxer Kieran Bukowski in the pink at a previous fundraiser

A former boxer is swapping his gloves for bike handlebars to raise money for Islington Boxing Club on Sunday (June 18). Kieran Bukowski, who grew up just off Holloway Road, is cycling from London to Brighton – a whopping 54 miles.

He previously raised £1,200 for the club in 2015 when he cycled the same stretch of road dressed in pink with star shaped glasses. He said he was looking for a more outrageous outfit for this year’s cycle.

“If the money I raise stops one kid from getting in trouble it’s well worth the effort,” he says. “Boxing gives you discipline and there’s also an important boxing fraternity. I haven’t trained and I’ve had heart problems. Someone just put my name forward, I think to take the mick out of me.”

Kieran said he trained at a boxing club in Alexander Palace where he learnt how important such places are for the community. Islington Boxing Club in Hazellville Road offers competitive and recreational boxing classes for all abilities. To donate to Mr Bukowski’s fundraiser go www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KieranBikeRide

Word on the street is it’s festival time!

Islington’s annual festival celebrating reading, writing and freedom of expression is now well and truly under way. The month­-long Word 2017 festival showcases the talents of residents and features slam poets, illustrators and choirs. More details at www.wordfestivalislington.co.uk

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