New projects on the horizon

After a successful Play in a Day we are busy planning the calendar for our next Postcode Pop Up (powered by Team London):

So far, we have made 250 kindness cards for elderly people from the Age UK Islington befriending network for their Old Music Hall event on the 22nd February at the Islington Business Centre. Together with volunteers from City University and young people from Platform, Islington, we designed, cut, stuck, drawn cards to make the Old Time Music Hall event even better for all the visitors.

kindness cards for OTM

In March, we are baking cupcakes with Good Gym Islington at Jenius Social. Good Gym has been on our radar for a while, we think it is a brilliant idea to get more people volunteering. At Good Gym, they are combining running with volunteering: volunteers run to a space where an Islington-based organisations need help: that might be gardening, decorating or socialising with vulnerable people.

On the 16th March, we recruited 6 volunteers to help us bake Cupcakes at Jenius Social, a Holloway Road based cooking school (this is what I made on one of their cooking courses). Good Gym volunteers will then run to the venue, decorate our cupcakes and run back off to have that well deserved shower, before the next lot of volunteers will come in the next day to serve our delicious cupcakes and coffee to lucky elderly people from Age UK Islington.

Kasia Dybeck, has graciously volunteered once again to design us an amazing poster. And what is more impressive, the muffins on the poster, are ones that she has actually baked on the weekend herself. Thanks!

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Thank you for coming to the Play in a Day

We had a brilliant time at Play in a Day!

On the 31st January, our actors started arriving from 9am to practice the play that volunteers and director Dan Pollendine worked so hard on to devise.

The 13 actors took the roles of the ravens, king, prince, queen and princess, woodcutter, old lady and evil spirit; rehearsed scenes of physical dance theatre and musical pieces. Each scene was helped with the music of Jack Ross (guitar), Daniella Pollendine (guitar and vocals), and was narrated by Dan Pollendine.

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The Play with the working title Nutopia, was a near future fairy-tale that commented on society and their constant need to be entertained. In a land far far away lived a king and queen very high up. They were expecting a daughter, but unfortunately the queen died during labour and left a king so heartbroken that he didn’t know what to do with the sadness he felt over the loss of his beloved wife and the deep love and happiness for the birth of his daughter. So he banned all sadness and happiness from the kingdom, leaving only a numbed sense of contentment.

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The daughter, who grew up to became a young beautiful woman with an adventurous spirit wanted to leave the kingdom to explore the world and feel more, but the king didn’t want to let her go. Bound by walls and entertainment, the kingdom’s society lost more and more of their sense of humanity and instead were striving for more entertainment.

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All of the young and old, who weren’t able to enjoy the entertainment were banned from the kingdom and catapulted over the wall into certain death, a big entertaining occasion for the masses. Among them the princess who saw this moment as a chance to finally flee. When she is catapulted over the wall, the king suddenly remembers all the moments leading up to him being so blinded by sadness and regrets his decisions immediately.

Cast list

Musicians

Jack Ross                             Daniella Pollendine

Cast

Andri Boda                             Helen Raftery

Sally Souraya                        Kalphna Suthar

Rohan Duggal                       Alexandra Fisher

Natasa Jocic                         Gracia Kayindo

Jenny Le                               Thu Nguyen

Monika Niemiec                    Piotr Ochmanski

Front of House 

Taner Huseyin                      Alice Cui

Domenik Koshta                  Tayla Raines

Filippo Battaini

Film maker/photography

Reece de Ville                      Fiona Livingstone

Julio Osorio                          Saira Bhatti

Designers

Harprinder Kaur                    Kasia Dybek

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Thanks to all of our volunteers and guests that were part of this amazing day.

Jo & Helene

Updates from the Play in a Day

Ever since we announced the Play in the Day opportunities on Team London, in boxes are full and telephones are ringing at the Here To office. It’s great, we cannot wait for our show date on January 31st.

So far, we have recruited our creative team that consists of a director, Dan Pollendine, a theatre producer, Jonathan Samuels, support arts practitioner, Jo Tyabji and make up and set enthusiast, Fiona Mountstephen; recruited some of our actors, of which we still need more (sign up here) and have had our first pre- play workshop.

The pre-play workshop on the 6th December happened at Lift, Islington. Eight amazing people came along to get to know each other, learn more about acting and engage in training activities that helped them be more confident and comfortable on stage.

If you are interested in joining the team for the next pre- show workshop and the final performance read more information on our website. 

Here are some pics from the fun day we had:

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Join us for Play in a Day!

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The big show date will be on the 31st January 2015 at Platform, Islington from 7pm.
Get involved!
(no previous acting experience required)Join the audience!
(it’s free!)Share with a friend!
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Renowned youth theatre director and founder of Big Intent Theatre Company, Daniel Pollendine,  will devise and direct the play with enthusiastic Islington residents.We have got an amazing team of creatives on our side including theatre production manager Jonathan Samuels, make up and set enthusiast Fiona Mounstephen and support arts practitioner Jo Tyabji. Thanks to Kasia Dybek we also have a fabulous poster to market the play with.

In the beginning of November, Team London awarded Here To £10,000 to deliver a play in a day for Islington residents, starring Islington residents and to continue with our successful Postcode Pop Ups.

Your Here To Team

(funded by)
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Carlos’ Volunteering experience

Once in while, we get together with some of our volunteers and ask them about their experience. Carlos has been helping out at the Angel Shed theatre and this is his story.

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Background

Carlos has lived in Islington for just over a year, he moved from Spain where he had been working as a cameraman and photographer. He was keen to get more involved in his local community and share his skills at the same time as gaining experience.  After browsing the Here To Islington website,  Carlos was instantly attracted to the voluntary opportunity with Angel Shed Theatre who were looking for someone to film their end of term children’s theatre performance. Angel Shed theatre a fully inclusive theatre charity, providing specialist opportunities for children and young people otherwise excluded from this kind of activity.

Perks gained

Carlos really enjoyed his time making the film with the children, he found the website straight forward and easy to use. He liked that the opportunity was time specific but also relatively flexible around his availability. The brief was to capture some behind the scenes footage and the play itself to create a short promo and a full length DVD of the terms performance.  This year’s production was a trio of 3 plays: Where the wild things are, a Babayaga story and a Caribbean folk story.  An eclectic mix reflecting the diversity of the performers and audience.

Skills gained

Although Carlos has experience of filming theatre, Carlos had to adapt and blend in to be able to get great footage of the unique performance.  He was able to work alongside the Angel Shed theatre team to film and edit something that would work well for them.

 The future

Carlos will be helping to film at  hip-hop festival to expand his repertoire and would ultimately like to become a full time free-lance camera man and photographer but enjoys new opportunities to get more involved in Islington.

Testimonial

Carlos says:

Here To is very useful in being clear and specific, you know a start and end date which makes it easier to get involved. I would defiantly recommend it to friends.  Helping out with Angel Shed Theatre has been a lot of fun.

Joanne from Angel Theatre says:

It’s really hard for us to find willing volunteers and we are such a small organisation, we really rely on our brilliant volunteer teams. Here To is a great way for us to advertise for someone with specific skills such as filming and editing. He was great with the members, punctual, friendly and the final edits looks brilliant. The video will help us promote ourselves and continue our work in this year, our 10th birthday year, and in the future.

 

 

 

Updates from Here To

Here we are, still popping up around the borough this time of the year with wellie boots on and leaves piling up around us- it’s autumn and what a beautiful one at that!

Recently, we did more random acts of kindness with 50 young from NCS The Challenge: Together with Age UK Islington, who have send us some of their best knitters to teach the young people knit, we made lots tiny hats for the innocent smoothie campaign.

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The other groups of young people helped us make nice ‘Thank you cards’ for staff of Whittington Hospital. All together we made 62 funny and amazingly designed cards to take to staff who really loved them!

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Last weekend we went along to Gilespie Park to celebrate Apple Day with Islington Ecology Centre. We made 41 bird feeders with Islington residents that will be hung up mostly around Gilespie Park and close Primary School around Arsenal.

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It is so easy to make them:

We used lots of plastic cups or cut open bottles with holes on the bottom and a string put through the middle. Mixed vegetable fat like TREX with mixed seeds, pressed it down into the cup and let it dry overnight. The next morning you should be able to take it out of the cup and hang it up in the trees.

Last but not least, we have something big to announce….Team London awarded us £10.000 to deliver a play in a day for Islington residents and to do more Postcode Pop Ups around the borough.

To make the play in the day successful, Daniel Palladine, renowned youth theatre director and founder of Big Intent Theatre Company will direct the play. We have got an amazing team of creatives on our side including theatre production manager Jonathan Samuels, make up and set enthusiast Fiona Mounstephen and Youth coordinator Jo Tyabji.

So now that we have our creative team confirmed and all we need now are young people that want to perform. We are ideally looking for around 14-16 young people between the ages of 13-25years old from Islington, that don’t necessarily have no prior acting experience but want to take part in an exciting one day rehearsed play, that they will perform to a welcoming audience of friends and family, elderly people from a befriending network and Islington residents.

So keep an eye out for posters and recruitment adverts on the Here To website and other sites like Team London and Vinspired.

Also have an eye on out Twitter to see where we will be popping up next for fun mirco- volunteering opportunities that you can get involves, no matter your age.

 

Summer fun extended

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Although the summer seems to be over, we are still going along to Islington’s summer parties:

Last Saturday, we went along to Caxton House, a community centre not far away from Archway station. There were lots of nice things to eat and cool things to see. The ever popular smoothie bike had a queue that never ended- we are sad to say that we didn’t get a smoothie. Luckily, we had the chance to try the fantastic food that was on offer ranging from burgers to very healthy wraps.

Right in front of our stall, was a little stage- we had been wondering what was going to happen there later, and much to our surprise, it were some little wild creatures like snakes, spiders and other reptiles we wouldn’t ever dare to touch!

Safe in our little corner, we designed and made cards for birthday boys and girls in a befriending network called Hospitality Action. A befriending network for people that have retired or are facing some life difficulties while working in the hospitality sector. Our birthday cards are designed for people aged 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years old. The Wellcome Trust also helped us design and make cards in their lunch break on two Wednesdays.

In the next weeks, we will be going along to the Cally Fest with creative ideas on how to get you volunteering, we will also make some cards, but will also have some other creative activities on offer. Akasha Innovations, a sustainable business company is coming along to help us.

Akasha Innovations are in the middle of the biggest challenge ever- 50 days of summer, which essentially is one big fundraising party. As part of their fundraising challenge, they are organising lots of interesting events around London- we made friendship bracelets with them, they enlightened guests at a brainy brunch and stunned us with their glitter skills during Hub Islington’s lunch hours while making cards.

Leading us in to the autumn, is Gillespie Park’s Eco centre: On the 19th September, we will be going along to their Apple Day. A day dedicated to the juicy harvest that if you eat one once a day, it’ll definitely keep the doctor away. The day will include a lot of games and information about apple harvest, teach us one or two great recipes on what to do with apples and hopefully will also eat lots of them.

Have a look for the #5in5 opportunities we are sending out every Friday to remind you of what kind of micro volunteering opportunities are on offer and also where in Islington you can find us popping up next.

Here To on tour Summer 2014 in Islington

Summer’s here and we’ve been out and about in Islington with a bit of Community Card Making.

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Firstly we celebrating Islington Giving Week with a ‘Time to Give’ event at the Kindness Offensive free book shop. Check out a video of the event here.  We really enjoyed collaborating with other Islington projects to demo live micro volunteering. People came along and made cards for random acts of kindness, as well as had a go at some lace making with Age UK Islington, smoothie making with Foodcycle and the tweet and bounce challenge with the Saturday Night Out.

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On the 12th of July Here To popped up at the Manor Gardens Summer Fair. The sun was shining and loads of people got involved in creating birthday cards for the members of the Friendship Network. It was lovely to see some many families getting involved in bite-size volunteering!

The Here To on tour event would not be the same without a bit of magic from our wizards. A big thanks goes to Joanna Massie for spending a couple of hours getting creative at the fair with the community cardmaking.  We’ve got lots more events planned so check out how you can become a wizard here.

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Next we’ll be at the Whitecross Street Party on Saturday 19th of July and several more events are in the pipeline over the summer.

We are constantly updating our website so keep an eye out, or let us know of what you’d like to see more of!

Tweet us @HereToIslington 

Check out our Facebook page too!

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