About Sinead Emery

I struggle to know what to label myself as in these little boxes.... A once was Theatre and Development Practitioner, an in the past Arts Development Consultant, an all round enthusiast for creative community engagement processes..... I am delighted to be currently working with Isledon Arts, heading up Here To and community engagement initiatives across the organisation. It's super refreshing to be a part of a buzzing and forward thinking organisation who speak the same language in terms of youth and community engagement. I am currently writing a paper on Applied Arts and Appreciative Inquiry techniques, challenging the deficit mode when working with young people to engage, empower and educate. I also love curry and cake and am enjoying exploring offerings of both in and around my new dwellings.

Here To Summer Splashing’s

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Ahhhhhhh Summer has arrived hasn’t it? Crazy temperatures of last week aside, I’m feeling rather invigorated by a rise in sunshine levels aren’t you?

Speaking of Summer…. community events and Here To fun get all the more magical when the summer vibes kick in don’t they? Well we are donning our sun hats, digging out our sandals and dusting off our shorts to connect with you all over the next coming months.

In collaboration with green space guru’s Global Generation and Isledon’s latest lovely youth hub Rose Bowl, we are searching for Islington residents itching to get in to the great outdoors and help us make things happen in our garden spaces.

Follow the link below to find out more about….

The Big Dig –  24th of July,

The Pergola Plant In – 31st of July

Any Thing Grows – 19th of August.

http://www.rosebowlislington.org.uk/events/programme-at-a-glance

You can also find us Popping up in our usual fashion at….

Kings Square Garden Event on the 31st of July

Islington Green on the 4th of August between 14:00-17:00

and St Paul’s Park on the 6th of August from 14:00-17:00

Come along to get stuck in to some crafty random acts of kindness or simply to say hello and enjoy the park and some sun (fingers crossed)

Hope to see you at a Summer event soon.

Love from the Here To crew.

 

The Smallest Of Things. A review of Here To Kindness Cards Initiative by Rivkha Churney

WP_20150610_002The Smallest of Things

“Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference,” one student of City and Islington College said. That was certainly the case at “Here To”’s pop-up kindness cards event on the 1st of June 2015, upholding the spirit of national volunteering week. The seventeen year old hit the nail on the head. Sometimes it’s not about big gestures, or Bill-Gates-sized donations; sometimes it’s just about bringing a ray of positivity into the world.

This tiny bubble of positive energy expanded as the event went on. Soon it had enveloped even the most reluctant of passers-by. With increasing enthusiasm, students became excited by the prospect of volunteering- one student even expressing a desire to make kindness cards events a permanent fixture at their college. What had started out as the smallest of things had become huge in the space of two hours.

For a generation too often perceived as self-obsessed, the students of Islington and City College certainly showed that the volunteering spirit is alive and well. A spokesperson for NCS, an organisation for 15-17 year olds promoting voluntary social development, expressed her delight in the level of interest they had experienced, with every eligible student signing up. Yes, some may do it for UCAS points or their CV, but many believe volunteering is a rewarding way to implement their skills and show dedication to hard work. Whatever the reason, this phenomenon is encouraging.

“Here To” now has a remarkable opportunity to harness this energy. Unlike other organisations, it offers micro-volunteering, so that young people can try out different types of volunteering without sacrificing huge amounts of their time or making big commitments. As this event has demonstrated, the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

Here To BiteSize PLUS

Happy Friday all…..!

Just a little hello to tell you all about our up and coming BiteSize plus opportunities here at Here To.

Having listened to you all over the course of some of our recent Pop-Ups and events we have learned of many people interested in extending their Islington contributions from ‘one offs’ to giving of more hours to longer lasting opportunities.

Thus…. Here To BiteSize PLUS is born.

Sharing and supporting through skills swapping.

‘Sharing and supporting one another through skills swapping’

Here To BiteSize PLUS will act as a specific skills matching brokerage. Pairing skilled residents up with projects in need of their super special skills and so on. Those offering their skilful services to Here To will benefit from in house training by leading Isledon youth engagement practitioners, as well as references and recommendations from Here To upon completion.

Volunteers engaging with Here To BiteSize PLUS will offer a few hours at a time, perhaps once a week, perhaps once a fortnight perhaps once  a month for some spectacular session they think they could run, using skills from their professions, passions and life long learning.

The joy of committing just that little bit more time to supporting our young people and the community is that you get to start to see some of the results, your skills being passed on, manifesting in front of you in the actions of others.

Our first exciting recruitment drive for Here To BiteSize PLUS will be for our latest youth hub, Rose Bowl. We are seeking skilful souls in areas such as Arts and Crafts, Nature Play, Creative Writing, Cooking, Hair and Beauty/Nail Art and people simply willing to impart some of their oodles of acquired knowledge on our young people in a home work club, helping with reading and writing and supporting studies. In becoming a Youth Engagement  Volunteer at our Youth Hub you will work alongside our Youth Support Workers to create a nurturing and supportive environment that enriches, educates and inspires our young people. As a Here To Youth Engagement Support Worker you will act as a positive role model to all the young people who access our services, supporting positive activities and play.

http://islington.hereto.org/projects/488

Basically if you have some skills (which lets face it…YOU ALL DO) and a genuine interest in supporting positive progression of young people….. then we want to hear from you! Get in touch and get involved.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Sinéad

Post Cards From The Past – Looking forward to Cally Fest

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As we near our Post Cards From The Past debut we are getting excited about the levels of interest from you lovely people.

We are looking forward to showcasing the work of some awesome new up and coming designers who have been putting together some fancy banners, pretty postcards and creative bits and bobs to make our stall positively pop in our next Here To Pop-Up.

Having thought long and hard about how best to collaborate with our friends at Age-Uk, we decided what better than to celebrate all the wonderful stories their clients will have to offer, collecting, collating and celebrating memories of Islington past and present.

We are still on the look out for blog writers interested in documenting our fun goings-ons at Cally Fest, as well as a photographer to capture the special moments and even more excitingly a collection of actors to bring these stories to life in and around Caledonian Road. Anybrilliantbody out there?

Expect pretty postcards, silly and serious stories, washing line art and a Here To Pop-Up Buzz…

Sinéad

(Ps…looking forward to all of the other awesome offerings at the festival)

 

Forward Thinking For Here To

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Greetings Islington.

Following on from all the wonderful work Helene did whilst running the good-ship Here To, I am excited to have taken over the position of Here To manager. Hello Here to, hello Islington!

Joanna, I and the rest of the Isledon team have been locking ourselves away with tea and cake and brain food, to plan the forward thinking of Here To and get moving on an exciting development stage. After hitting and exceeding all sorts of targets and aims we are excited to be expanding and exploring additional services that Here To can offer Islington organisations and residents.

As we move forward we will be spending more time focusing on direct collaborations with organisations to increase the frequency and number of enticing opportunities on offer to all you ready and willing volunteers. Equally as important though is our continued efforts to connect with people in Islington and find out just what would qualify as their ‘volunteer dream come true’, what makes their interest levels sore and what gets their volunteer clocks ticking. We intend to be picking a brain or two near you throughout the coming months at one of our many playful Pop-Ups across the borough. Keep them eyes peeled for a Pop-Up Near you…..

Also Watch this space for Bitsize Plus opportunities for residents to pursue longer lasting skills matching opportunities across our Isledon Hubs….

Looking forward to meeting some of you soon.

Sinéad