Here To… Test our thoughts

The Here To stone is certainly not gathering moss at the moment as we move forward with testing and iterating the way the service works and will work in the months and years to come. In many ways we are at the most challenging stage of development, but it’s also the most exciting as we work with Islington’s organisations, groups and motivated residents to shape Here To.

We’ve had some fantastic feedback from our initial workshops and meeting many of you on the streets and festivals in recent weeks, and as well as taking all this on board we’re looking to work with several motivated people in the borough to test our thinking in more depth. This could take on many forms – you could join us for a workshop where we run through sign-up processes or perhaps you’d be up for starting a prototype project in the borough with us?

If this sounds interesting then please do get in touch. We want Here To to be as amazing as possible, and we can only do this by working with you – the people it will serve.

Exciting times!

Here To… Meet the Mayor

On Sunday we passed a historic milestone for Here To, we managed to push the total number of people profiled by our Photomatic to a massive 104! But how on earth did we manage this, I hear you cry! Well, we went to the lovely Gillespie Park Festival – where we met over 60 lovely Islington people who were all keen to share what they really enjoy doing.

This was the second outing for our fully automated Photomatic Profiling Machine, after the Angel Canal Festival last week. The Photomatic’s inventor Tom, put in a star appearance at Gillespie Park this week, and showed us how to put the machine in to full profiling mode (and which way round the bendy tube at the top goes).

We profiled all sorts of skills, from dog dancing all the way through to playing the banjolele (apparently it’s a cross between a banjo and ukulele). And to top it all off we even bumped into the Mayor of Islington, Cllr Jilani Chowdhury; Youth Councillor, Elliot Colley; Jeremy Corbyn, the MP for Islington North and plenty of councillors – all of whom had nothing but good things to say about Here To, and were more than happy to show off their skills in the photo booth.

Mayor Jilani Chowdhury is Here To Work with the People

Youth Councillor Elliot Colley is Here To Represent Young People

Jeremy Corbyn MP is Here To Listen

We also took the opportunity to spend some time with the other stall holders and talk to them about how Here To can help the fantastic work which they’re already doing. Armed with homemade cookies and a clipboard, we set off around the stalls to meet some new friends and find out how Here To could be of use to them in finding people to help on their projects. We had some really interesting conversations, not least with the unpaid organisers of the festival, who, I think you’ll agree, did a fantastic job of organising the day.

We can’t wait to help more people get involved with great stuff like this already happening happening in Islington.

You can see all the Photomatic’s photos in this Flickr set – and if you still haven’t managed to have a go, we’ll be at the Cally Festival, on Caledonian Road, next Sunday – come and say hi! And of course, don’t forget that we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so do say hello there too.

Here to… discover your secret skill, at the Angel Canal Festival

The Here To team were out in full force at the Angel Canal Festival on Sunday asking local residents to share their secret skills.

The Here To stall included a purpose built Photomatic Profiling Machine that we used to take photographs of 39 people with a sign displaying a talent of the sort that the we can help them put to good use in the Islington Community. These included playing rounders, quizzes, roller skating, DIY, speaking Mandarin (from the leader of the council, Cllr Catherine West), cooking soups (from St Peter’s ward councillor, Alice Perry) and reading (from Hillrise ward councillor, Greg Foxsmith).  You can see all of the photographs from the day by visiting our Flickr set here.

We also gave people the opportunity to get involved and learn a new skill on the stall there and then by planting seeds and taking them away to give to someone who might be cheered by such a gift.

Over 40 people filled in our postcards letting us know what they would like to see happen in Islington, telling us when they are at their happiest and whether they prefer tea or coffee (it’s the attention to details that makes people feel appreciated!)

We will be at the Gillespie Park Festival, near Arsenal tube station, on Sunday, so if you would like to come along and share your secret skill with us, plant some seeds, or sample some home baked cookies, please come and say “hello” from 1-5pm.  Where better to spend what promises to be a gloriously warm day than in this beautiful nature reserve.