The independent London newspaper

Quiz night answer for school funds

28 February, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

The Lollies Team – winners of Ambler’s fundraising quiz night

Ambler Primary School in Blackstock Road raised a whopping £1,400 at a quiz night. The money will go towards workshops on the theme of journeys as part of Science Week, and on school trips. The school’s parents gathered in the hall, scratching their heads over questions about sport, local knowledge and guessing the music to pop songs being sung by the children.

Barbara Rainbird with quiz master Tom Price

Barbara Rainbird was the lucky parent who won the raffle. She took home six bottles of prosecco donated by Highbury Vintners based in Highbury Park, up the road from the school. Headteacher Julie Benis says: “It was a great night. The Friends of Ambler team worked together like a finely tuned machine who made the night fantastic from start to finish. I love my school’s parents.”


Fears for future of community shop

Riza Yavuz at Arsenal Supermarket, Blackstock Road

A family-run off-licence in Highbury is making calls to save the “sense of community” in the area. Sainsbury’s has put in a bid to the council to open a “local” branch in Blackstock Road, a few doors down from the Arsenal Supermarket. It’s the fourth appeal in a battle dating back to 2015.

But Riza Yavuz, 34, who works part time at the Arsenal Supermarket, said: “It’s more than just serving a client, we have an interaction with the customer. Whereas in a chain you are in and out like robots, here you get a hello. We carry out service with pride and listen to our customers’ needs.

His father, Halil, owns the shop that has been on the high
street for 15 years.

“When we first moved here there were kids that were six or seven years old and now they are in their twenties. There’s a sense of community.”

Sainsbury’s have confirmed that they have appealed the council’s decision to block plans to open the branch. A planning inspector will now decide on the application.

Being mindful of managing stress

Philip Smith, mindfulness practitioner, says meditation leads to “light-bulb moments”

Breathe in… and out. We are told that taking a pause and focusing on our breath can have a wondrous impact on our physical and mental health. Mindfulness practices help manage the stresses of everyday life and more specifically anxiety, depression, even chronic illness and pain.

Philip Smith leads the mindfulness lessons at The Stress Project in Holloway. “After the meditations we have a space where a number of people make comments and offer insight,” he says. “Quite often people have light-bulb moments. We listen to what people’s expectations are and adjust things a little to better cater for their needs.”

Philip is leading an eight-week evening course that started last Wednesday and runs until April 10, from 7.15-9.15pm. The course costs £250 or £80 for people who are unwaged, and will go towards low-cost daytime mindfulness in the future, with dates to be announced.

The garden of The Stress Project

Philip said: “It facilitates a shift in how people relate to their thinking and this gives them better helping strategies and helps improve their resilience.

“If people sign up to a course they are far more likely to carry on through with it, rather than if they are learning from a phone app or a book… I think it is easier for people to get motivated in a group.”

The Stress Project is at 2 Shelburne Road, Holloway, N7 6DL, and offers low cost therapies and free mindfulness drop-in sessions on Thursdays at 4-5pm.

They also offer a low-cost drop-in session on Tuesdays 10.30am-1pm and Thursday 10.30-2pm where there is a chance to access counselling, physical therapies and take part in therapeutic gardening sessions, and a free creative writing course runs every other Thursday from 1.30-3.30pm.

For more information see or contact 020 7700 3938 or email

Share this story

Post a comment