The independent London newspaper

Get set for a April Fool’s Day fun run – it’s no hoax!

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

22 March, 2018 — By Emily Finch, Helen Chapman

Ready for the Regent’s Park fun run: Joannis ‘Jo’ Frangoullides, Stuart Low Trustee Kate Giblin and founder Virginia Low

PUT your glad rags on and get on your marks… the Stuart Low Trust is taking part in a Fun Run on April Fool’s Day in Regent’s Park. The Trust, which works to support people suffering from social isolation or mental distress, raised a whopping £1,200 in the Victoria Park fun run last October. Any runners, walkers, amblers or ramblers are welcome to join in the 10k event on April 1. The Trust asks that those taking part aim to raise £150 in sponsorship and are calling on the local community as well as corporate teams to join in.

Robert Stuart, development officer at the Stuart Low Trust, says: “The money raised will mainly go towards our Saturday workshops. They usually take place once or twice a month but we would love to make them weekly. We have singing, dancing, mindfulness sessions and workshops about getting back to work. They fall into three categories which are social skills, mental wellbeing and self-expression.”

Any takers for the 10k Regent’s Park Fun Run on April 1 should call Robert Stuart on 020 7713 9304, email   Potential sponsors should please see the team fundraising page: Here (

Borough loses out in a 52:48 vote

IT was the clash of two boroughs which dominated the Twitter feeds of councillors this week as Lewisham and Islington were pitted against each other in the semi final of the World Cup of London Boroughs. The lighthearted contest on social media saw users vote for their favourite borough and even Islington South MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry got involved to promote the contest to ensure Islington came out top.

Council leader Richard Watts also urged people to vote for the borough as “the best” but his actions were eventually proved futile as Lewisham came out top with a 52 per cent/48 per cent split – the same result as the EU Referendum, but thankfully there were no calls for a second vote which may have prologued Islington’s suffering.

Islington was paired with Greenwich in the third place play-off on Wednesday night. Of that contest Cllr Joe Caluroi said: “Shades of England v Italy in 1990 about this game. Both were robbed in the semis; play-off fell a bit flat. But vote Islington anyway obv.” Islington lost to Greenwich by a 10 per cent margin. To find out more about the contest and to take part in future votes go to:


Street crime with a rare happy ending

AMONG the spate of phone snatches in recent times, this is a case which ends well with the help of good neighbours. Shahbaz Ahmad, who lives in Walthamstow, was taking a Sunday stroll down Old Street when his phone was taken from his hands. He was making his way towards Goswell Road to see some friends when someone sped past him on a motorcycle and snatched his phone.

Between January and September 2017, there were 3,587 reports of “moped-enabled crime” in Islington, which is among the worst-affected boroughs with an average of more than 10 offences reported each day. Yet Shahbaz’s tale ends happily, having had his phone returned to him the same day with the help of local Pete Muswell.

Shahbaz said: “Someone stopped in a car to help me and called the police. I think if we have more people like him in the world we can reduce crime. He then gave me a lift and we spent 20-25 minutes trying to look for the man on the bike who took my phone. I described what the man looked like to the police and I got my phone back the same day around 5.30pm.

“I’m astonished in this era of time we have people who can help someone like me. I’m grateful to the man that helped and to the police. Often people are against migrants and Asian people. It’s a great thing for me and it’s great they are going above and beyond to help people in their community. I didn’t know him and he never met me but I appreciate that he was there to help.”


Share this story

Post a comment