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.

 

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.

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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 hello@hereto.org