Here To… flashback to The Saturday Night Project

This weekend, the Here To team were out-and-about again in Islington!

Here To Saturday Night Project

With the Here To Photomatic Machine in one hand and several Here To goodie bags in the other, we set up shop at The Saturday Night Project to find out what young people thought about the prospect of getting perks by giving their skills/time locally.

Here To Saturday Night Project

Here To Saturday Night Project

Here To Saturday Night Project

An exciting and action-packed event, we found a goldmine of #secretskills, met loads of new people and even cast an all-important vote!

Here To Saturday Night ProjectHere To Saturday Night Project

Are young people interested in helping out at a local organisation?

  • Not really – 7
  • Maybe – 21
  • Definitely! – 49


We also saw our some of our friends from Platform

Here To Saturday Night Project

Here To Saturday Night Project

…and super Here To Wizard Natalie was up to her usual good tricks getting new people involved!

Here To Saturday Night Project

A huge thanks to The Saturday Night Project for inviting us to the marketplace and also to all the young people who made the evening super enjoyable – it was great to hear your ideas!

Over and out.

Here To… introduce myself

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to share the news that I am the new Here To Manager (ta da!). My name is Katherine and I am Here To make sure that as many Islington residents as possible can use their free time better.

Katherine - Here To Manager

Whether you are looking to meet your goals, start up new projects or find helpers with the right skills, I am Here To connect local people and local organisations who can help each other.

Having moved into Islington last year, I have had a really great experience of living in the borough so far. So being able to work in my local area too is a real privilege. I also quite enjoy being able to walk/bus to most locations and meetings!

I am hatching a couple of new ideas for Here To at the moment, so if you have any thoughts on how we can get more people involved, I would be very happy to receive them! Otherwise, my first few weeks continue to be focused on meeting the organisations and people already involved with Here To and getting to know the ins and outs of the project.

I look forward to meeting you!

Here To… have a chat?


For more information about Here To, click here or here!


Here To….. attend the launch event for Here To Islington on the 26th January

With only three days to go until the official launch of the new Here To Islington website at Platform on Saturday, things are hotting up in Here To HQ!

We have sent out invitations, finalised a press release and tweeted like crazy. But we really want as many local residents and interested organisations as possible just to drop in. The launch event looks set to be a really exciting occasion. There’s a Yarn Dance (a fantastic mix of tea dancing and knitting) which our friends at Age UK and All Change Arts have been helping us promote. UnLtd are running sessions for 11-21 year olds to help them find ways to fund their social enterprise projects. And there is £200 available for the best community project.

Our wizards and lovely Here To team will be on hand to show you the new Here To Islington website, support you to get your project up on the website, or if you are an Islington resident, help match you to existing projects or create a new profile.

Spread the word and come along: we look forward to seeing you all at Platform on the 26th January from 1pm onwards. The event is free – and all ages welcome. Details of the event can be found on our Facebook invite.

Jane Chambers from Age UK has been a superstar throughout development, working closely with us from beginning to launch, here are her thoughts on Here To Islington…“Islington has loads to offer all of us and is a wonderful place to do new things and get out and about. The images on the site are wonderful. Age UK Islington welcomes the new approach to engaging volunteers which Here To brings. We want to involve more people of all ages in our events and activities and this will help to spread the message.!!” 

Here To… be a WIZARD

We are pleased to introduce our first Wizard for Here To… Jordan Braganza! We are really excited about welcoming Jordan to the team… read on to find out more about Jordan and what he is Here To help us with. 

Hey guys, my name is Jordan and I’m a first year undergraduate at Cass Business School. I recently attended my university volunteering fair where Here To Islington caught my eye and have even more recently become a ‘Wizard’ for the project.

Jordan the Wizard

Let me just point out that long hours is not something to be worried about. I am a university student so I along with everyone else understand that you may have many other things going on, be it classes or personal. Therefore we ensure you that we will not hunt you down or pester you in any way if you are pressed for time! When you have free time and want to use it well, that is when you come to us, and do something real.

If you are interested in meeting new people from the area, or building your CV, or finding new ways to meet your personal goals, then Here To Islington is the place to be right now. We are all new here as Here To has just commenced so every new-comer will fit in perfectly. It has been proven that 73% of employers would hire someone who has done volunteer work to someone who has not. This is a great reason to join us – it is a win-win situation. In addition, you would be using your time productively and having fun whilst doing so.

I mentioned earlier that I have become a Wizard – this is a name for a member who has a specific role at Here To. For example, I am responsible for social networking (Facebook, Twitter…). However, there are numerous other roles to be filled i.e. photography, organising events. For further information on the specifics, please contact us to find out more or read a bit more here. These roles can be seen as endless – as in they can pretty much match any quality that you have, for example if you are talented in IT, public speaking or just communicating all-round, we have a place for you here.

We are also in the process of organising a ‘hack-day’, where we are trying and have attracted several web designers to design/rebrand a website (among other things) for local charities and community groups in a matter of hours. This would be a great chance for you techies to meet some people a lot like yourselves and to have a great time.

Look out for more information on our Twitter or Facebook and start getting excited for our big launch event on January 26th!


Here To… share the brilliance of student volunteers

It is week two of London Student Volunteering Fortnight, two weeks of volunteer events which take place across the city for students from many London universities. Throughout the fortnight students will be helping local communities, whilst also bonding with fellow students they wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet. Events have ranged from tidying up Islington Arts Factory to rhododendron clearing in Kingston. London Student Volunteering Fortnight has been running since 2008 and is growing year on year.

Here To… recruit student volunteers from City University

We think student volunteers are brilliant, with their varied skills, often large amounts of free time and enthusiasm for supporting the communities they are living in. We don’t want to miss out on all these amazing secret skills and motivations so are looking forward to helping more students around Islington get involved in improving our borough.

London Student Volunteering Fortnight

We were recently at the City University Volunteering Fair where we had over 50 students sign up to Here To. We were promoting a selection of volunteering roles, including support for events at Platform and Lift Youth Hubs and The Sobell Leisure Centre and Gurus for Here To!

You can find out more information about the different roles by clicking on the links above, we are always looking new people to help out, so see if the skills or motivations match yours and get in touch to sign up.

We already have our first Guru signed up from City University, who will soon be writing a blog about how he will be supporting Here To and charities and community groups across Islington.

If you are a student and want to get involved please do get in touch.


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!

Want to be an Islington Maker?

As I write I am watching the Closing Ceremony for London 2012, as we celebrate the amazing achievements of the Games Makers of London 2012!

So the athletes and all their coaches were pretty great too, but if it hadn’t been for the 70,000 Games Makers who gave up at least two weeks of their time to help run the London 2012 Olympic Games, to meet and great people from around the world and support the athletes, we wouldn’t have had an Olympics at all.

Wenlock and Games Makers (Crown Copyright –

To all those who have gave up their time at London 2012 we salute you and thank you for making us so proud to be British!

We want to help continue the amazing atmosphere that has been in London over the last couple of weeks with your help! The Here To team are preparing to get out on the town again and to gather more of your ideas for how you would like to get involved in the Islington community and we would love your support in spreading the word. We will be having stands at different festivals across the borough:

  • Angel  Canal Festival (Graham Street, off City Road, N1) – 2nd September, 11- around 3pm
  • Gillespie Park Festival  (near Arsenal tube station) – Sunday 9th September, 1-5pm
  • Cally Festival (Caledonian Road) –  Sunday 16th September, 12 – 6pm

The Here To Photomatic Machine being built by Tom

We will be taking our fantastic new photomatic profiling machine (above) to events throughout Islington, meeting residents and organisations to find out what you’re favourite thing to do is and how you can use this interest to improve the Islington community. We will also be doing some on the spot volunteering, from planting to painting for local areas and organisations in Islington.

  • Do you want to be part of something new and exciting?
  • Do you want to try out your camera skills in our photomatic machine?
  • Or perhaps you want to hang out with fellow residents and friends (or even members of our team- who wouldn’t?)?

Whatever your motivations we would love you to be involved with Here To and spreading the word across Islington. Let us know what would inspire you to help out at our stalls and we’ll see if we can provide it.

We are looking for people to help out on our stand at the festivals above, whether it is for one hour or the whole day then please get in touch.

Email: to get involved.

Here To… Get Things Started

On the 17th July the Here To team brought together a group of organisations and residents in several workshops to start gathering their ideas and thoughts on how we can make Here To the most beneficial to residents and organisations in Islington.

We hope to increase involvement in both local resident community projects and larger scale charity projects and volunteering roles.


Here To… share ideas

The representatives from a range of national charities, small community groups, council members and residents in Islington came together to discuss what we can do to improve engagement with the Islington community. Lots of ideas, dreams and wishes were put up on post its and discussed around the group.

Here To… find your dream land

It was brilliant to see many positive people interested in getting involved and support the new Islington project.

Here are a few of the things that we learnt from the workshops:

  • Organisations are keen to work together and share resources to provide more benefits and ‘thank you’s to their volunteers, similar to Orange Rockcorps ‘Give, Get Given’ method.
  • There are plenty of people willing to get involved, but organisations say there is often an unmet need for the right skills and commitment levels for the roles.
  • Word of mouth and personal networks is an extremely powerful mobilising tool – mentioned by both volunteers and organisations.
  • Residents are keen to find specific roles at specific times that are in line with their skills, ambitions and passions.
  • There is the need to break down volunteering opportunities in to smaller chunks or tasks, and to highlight what is in the opportunity for the helper, beyond “doing good”.

There were loads of tips picked up from those who came along and discussions that took place and we will be taking everything on board in the development of our amazing new site.

In the mean time we would love to get as many whizz bang ideas and creative thoughts as possible so please let us know if you agree with our key learnings above and any new things you would like to add.

Please add your comments below or email

Here To… Give 67 minutes of our time.

On Wednesday 18th July the Here To Islington team took to the streets of Islington for 67 minutes to see how we could help for a few minutes on people’s doorsteps in exchange for a brief chat about our new project and what motivates Islington residents to get involved in our local community.

For Nelson Mandela Day this year they wanted to celebrate the 67 years Nelson Mandela has been spreading his beliefs in justice and freedom for all and encouraged everyone to give just 67 minutes of their time to be part of the global movement for good. A perfect way for us to spend a Wednesday lunchtime…

Here To… Relax Tea Bags

So Tom, Lucy and I (Jen) gathered up our bucket of helpful tools and started knocking on doors in Islington to see how we could help, handing out teabags for people to have a relaxing cup of tea as they browse our blog.

Here To… Help Bucket

We swept a few doorsteps, trimmed a couple of trees, weeded a garden and picked up rubbish … all while chatting with the wonderful, friendly people of Islington.

Here To… Gather your views

There was the odd person who thought Tom was a door to door salesman, selling his bucket filled with trowels, brushes and window cleaners, however the majority of people we talked to were really willing to talk about their local community, what they already did and how they might like to get more involved.

Here To… Clean up your garden

We met a gentleman who already had a Google group for everyone on his street, another who organised cat sitting and babysitting amongst his neighbours and a young couple who regularly stopped in on their elderly neighbour to check she was ok.

It was brilliant to meet a few new friendly faces of Islington, hear about what they already do in their community and gather their ideas on how we can help the local community become more active. We hope to regularly stop by different streets in Islington over the coming months… look out we may be knocking on your door with offers of help soon.

…Work Together

We’re Here To… find new ways for people do the things that matter to them in Islington. And we need your help!

Over the next few years we’ll be running a project to help people do more in Islington.  Whether it’s meeting your personal goals, or doing something cool in your area, we’ll be making a website and doing lots of stuff In Real Life to get more people doing things that help themselves and their communities.

If you’re from a voluntary organisation that knows what motivates people to get stuck in and help out, if you live in Islington and you want to do something a bit different, or if you know about the difficulties of getting people involved and active, we really want to work with you.

On Tuesday 17 July we’d love you to come along to a workshop for Islington organisations and local people.  We want you to share your ideas and opinions to help us build something amazing.

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