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Youth centre kids join guerilla gardening group

18 August, 2017

Shane, Milan and Rio from the Rose Bowl youth centre 

Guerilla gardeners transform park

TEN children helped clear up St Paul’s Park on Sunday as part of a new gardening and wellbeing club. The kids from the Rose Bowl youth centre joined Paola, 43, in her quest to clean the park to make way for a yoga class in the afternoon – sadly, the yoga teacher couldn’t make it, but the park looked more serene thanks to everyone’s hard work. The group picked up rubbish, while those with gloves uprooted weeds and marvelled at the bushes bursting with blackberries. The guerilla gardening group was started in February by Paola, who transformed a patch of land by planting flowers outside her home in nearby Ramsey Walk. When her neighbours saw how her green fingers stopped fly- tipping they persuaded her to tackle a large stretch of the road, leading to a grant from Southern Housing’s Gardening Neighbours initiative. “I had been dealing with a lot of issues in my life. Gardening is really good and harmonious. Finding a project that I enjoy has given me so much energy. The children learned to work together and how to make mulch from the dry oak leaves we swept up,” said Paola. To find out more about the group, which is open to everyone, go along to the Rose Bowl summer party on Saturday, where Paola will be signing up new volunteers – we hear there’s also going to be homemade lemonade, dancing, stalls and even a bouncy castle. The party at the centre, which is just off Ramsey Walk, will start at noon.

Paola who has transformed Ramsey Walk 

Musicians celebrate 40 years of housing

Mick Sullivan and Pam Broadhurst as the Rocking Chairs 

TWO musicians who performed at a street party will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their housing co-operative in October. Neighbours Mick Sullivan and Pam Broadhurst, who live off Wray Crescent, performed bluegrass music as the Rocking Chairs last Saturday at the Charteris housing co-operative party in Finsbury Park. While their set was cut short because of a technical issue, the Finsbury Park Housing Co-operative, which they founded way back in 1977, has thrived. “We started it for people in Finsbury Park when conditions were very bad, with rip-off landlords and high rents. There were a number of rough sleepers,” said Mick. The co-op has accumulated 40 homes, for which the rent is around a quarter of that paid in the private sector. All profits go into property maintenance. Mick, 68, the co-operative’s treasurer, estimates they have housed more than 250 people through long and short-term leases. Pam has been the co-op’s chairwoman for more than 30 years. “It was two years of slog and campaigning at the beginning. After the organisation was recognised by the government, I spent 13 to 14 years in substandard accommodation. It took a long time to improve,” said Mick. “The Tory party hate us because we have proved that we can put a roof over people’s heads without huge money being exchanged,” he added.

Learn more about Foxham Gardens

 Cllr Janet Burgess and Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz

EDUCATIONAL signs about the wildlife and history of a Holloway park were introduced this week by the Town Hall. The seven signs, which give information about the plants and animals of Foxham Gardens, were unveiled by ward councillors Cllr Janet Burgess and Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. The signs will change each month, providing seasonal information about the park and the surrounding road, which was bombed during the Second World War. A £700 grant for the signs was provided by the Town Hall to Friends of Foxham Gardens through the Local Initiative Fund, which supports improvements across the borough. Cllr Burgess said: “I am delighted to support this important project by Friends of Foxham Gardens. Everyone who visits the park will enjoy and benefit from it. Islington Council’s LIF grants play an important role in supporting community projects. As a councillor, it is very rewarding to get involved in projects like this – it may seem like a small project, but it actually has a big impact on the community. I urge other community groups with exciting ideas to apply for LIF funding.” To find out more about the fund visit the Town Hall’s website at:


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