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.



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.


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.




Here To… thank you for attending the launch event!

Here To Islington launched on Saturday at Platform and what a day it was! Thank you very much to all the local residents and local organisations who came along to find out more about Here To Islington and celebrates its launch with us.

We had a fabulous dance performance by CocoJam, workshops by UnLtd, VAI, and the Estorick Collection and lots of older Islington residents dancing the afternoon away in a Yarn Dance (thanks to All Change, Cubitt and Age UK Islington).

The Here To team (looking lovely in their grey Here To Islington t-shirts) were able to show many people the website, and even managed to create some new projects and opportunities there and then – check out the latest opportunity on the site – ‘Centre in the Park’.

Cllr Barbara Sidnell said as part of her speech ‘it will attract people who might never have been interested before’, and that is exactly our aim! If you are one of these people, then please do check out the website or drop us a line at and tell us what we can help you with.

Lots of lovely photos were taken at the launch event and you can find them all by clicking here.

Here To Islington is running a workshop in partnership with Creative Islington tomorrow (30th January) at Lift on White Lion Street (near Angel) – if you want to find out more about Here To please do come along. Full details can be found here.



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.


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