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Reward for the language of friendship

08 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Rosemary Brown with students Maliheh Amiri and Zahra Rezaei

Rosemary Brown from Canonbury has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship for working on projects teaching English to refugees. Rosemary volunteers with Speak Street, a pop-up language café in Essex Road offering free English classes to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. As part of the Churchill Fellowship, Rosemary will work on projects in Ireland and Greece, and will bring back her knowledge to Speak Street and theIslington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, where she also volunteers. “I got involved to help the plight of displaced people. It seems so unjust,” says Rosemary. “A part of Speak Street is making people feel welcome in this country. It is about creating a better community for everybody.” Churchill Fellowships offer UK citizens an opportunity to travel the world and research cutting edge solutions to vital issues. Rosemary is one of 150 people selected this year from almost 1,800 applicants. “I look forward to returning with inspiring examples that we can apply to our work with refugees in UK communities,” she says. “Knowledge of a host country’s language is indispensable in helping people displaced by persecution, war and poverty to start new lives. A common language fosters friendships and understanding between people of different cultures, and brings communities together.” For more information about Speak Street see For more information about Churchill Fellowships, run by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, see


Getting switched on to science

Bert Lee, Year 5, as a light switch

Getting switched on to science LAST week youngsters donned their glad rags and took to the test tubes for Science Week. Laura Millar, science lead at Ambler Primary, said: “The aim of our week was to raise the profile of science within the school as well as to inspire our future scientists. The week was jam packed full of exciting activities that children got stuck into.”

Albert Kelway, Year 5, as Einstein

The school carried out experiments based on journeys. Year 4 constructed a buzz wire game circuit and pupils took their own journey through the building in search of a science maze quiz. “We ended our week on a high with all staff members and pupils dressing up as an individual in a science profession,” said Laura. “Whole school participation in weeks like these are extremely important. It sparks the children’s interest and engages them in different aspects of science in a much deeper way. The week was hugely successful and we are already looking forward to next year.


Youngsters sing their way to prizes

Jermain Jackman with, from left: Tia Kadir, 1st place over 13 category; Neena Barratt, 2nd place under 13 category; Demi Burges, 2nd place over 13 category; and, centre, singing teacher Cleo Sol

A creative arts and dance group for youngsters in Highbury East performed at the Hackney Empire last month, bagging top prizes for their acts. Dancers and singers from children’s group Amberliegh represented Islington at the annual Boroughs United talent competition, with awards presented by The Voice winner Jermain Jackman, ambassador for Amberliegh. Laurette Josiah, founder and artistic director of Amberliegh, said: “It was a great experience for all the singers. The competition was tough and they all performed very well. “It gives them confidence and self worth. A lot of children get bullied or don’t have confidence but it doesn’t matter who you are, you should love yourself. I love seeing the development of the children. It’s like a family.”

Laurette runs Amberliegh at Chestnuts Community Centre, Highbury Grange, which works with under-5s as well as teenagers, with Akunna Nwanna- Skeete and volunteers. They run singing lessons on Friday evenings for 8-16s with teacher Cleo Sol. For more information about Amberliegh see

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