On 5th July 2017 over 100 people representing the diversity of Islington came together to celebrate and showcase the work of some of the amazing grassroots community organisations that enrich our borough. Formally opened by Mayor of Islington, Una O’Halloran, and compered by Chair of the Community Chest Panel, Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, the event brought together past and current recipients of Islington Council’s Community Chest (ICCC) funding, and Islington residents of all ages, at the famous Islington Assembly Hall for an evening of entertainment and networking.
Some of the organisations funded by ICCC were invited to showcase their work through a variety of stalls enabling them to display how they support the community in many different and creative ways.
- Jannaty put on a colourful (and tasty) display of some of the fruits of their creative activities, from food to clothing and design.
- Bags of Taste shared tips for healthy cooking on a budget, offering a delicious range of Indian inspired dishes for guests to sample.
- St Luke’s Community History Group gave visitors a sample of their deep local knowledge and research, displaying photos of the streets and people living in and around Finsbury over the last 100 years.
- Let’s Get Talking, Wipers CIC, Bridging the Gap, Voluntary Action Islington, Islington Council, Help on Your Doorstep and the Islington Advice Alliance (a coalition of the Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and Islington People’s Rights) displayed their materials throughout the evening to demonstrate the support they offer, particularly in relation to meeting the advice needs of local residents, but also offering the chance to start or continue conversations with local people about opportunities for support, socialising and volunteering
Highlights of the evening included amazing performances by young people from the Fisher Drama Group, who danced their way through decades of London’s iconic musical history, from Oliver Twist to the Spice Girls. Audience members also heard from BIRD founder, Neil Philimore, who introduced some of the inspiring songs written and performed by the young people who have taken part in BIRD’s music mentoring project. Lifting everyone off their feet and shaking up the Assembly Hall, MoveMeDance led a lively dance class through a routine involving the funky chicken – with smiles, clucks and shakes all round!
At the end of the evening, Frances Carter, Cripplegate Foundation Governor and Vice-Chair of the Community Chest Panel, reflected on the long and productive relationship between Islington Council and Cripplegate Foundation that has enabled such a diverse range of community activity to continue to flourish in the borough.
Islington Council’s Community Chest awards £200,000 each year to grass-roots community organisations through grants of up to £5,000 per project across three application rounds per year. Click here to learn more about Islington Council’s Community Chest.