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Bubbly mood raises funds in Barnsbury at the Summer Party

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12 July, 2018 — By Luke Vance Barr

MORE than 200 people attended the Friends of Barnsbury Square Gardens Summer Party on July 1, raising money to help the maintain the gardens and fund future events. Thanks to a collective effort from friends, residents and a local scout group, visitors were able to enjoy food, drink, music, a doggy dress-up and also cakes from the Barnsbury bake-off. Committee member Richard Plumb said that the main aim of the day was to “bring the community together”. “I think the best thing apart from the food and drink were the bubbles as they were a big hit with the kids,” Richard said. “There was also the coconut shy run by the scouts and the tombola.”

Resident artist Marianne Fox and, below, musicians Steve and Adam; and Naomi as Red Riding Hood and her pet ‘grandmother’

Artist and local resident Marianne Fox was also in attendance, as she displayed some of her work and produced a painting of the gardens. The organisation was set up a few years ago to help maintain the square, with around 20 local residents now involved. They hold socials every Tuesday and Saturday, offering visitors hot drinks and opening the old park keeper’s hut.

Big thanks to Stuart Low Trust’s team of volunteers

Stuart Low Trust team, from left: Anjna Khurana, Labour councillor for Tollington and former SLT volunteer; Robert Stuart, development officer; Ahmed Qazi, volunteer co-ordinator; Hannah Kalmanowitz, chief executive; Robin King, Trustee, and John Thompson, Chair of Trustees

Workers from The Stuart Low Trust took the opportunity to thank their “big family” of volunteers on Friday, with all 55 receiving certificates during AGM celebrations at St Mary’s Neighbourhood Centre. With catered food from Angel Deli café and speeches from chairman of trustees John Thompson and Labour councillor for Tollington and former SLT volunteer Anjna Khurana, it was an evening for all to enjoy.

“The event went brilliantly,” said SLT chief executive Hannah Kalmanowitz. “It was a chance for all of our trustees to thank our entire team of volunteers. We’re all part of a team here and we feel part of a big family.”

Running worthwhile weekly activities all year round, the mental health charity based at Angel is heavily reliant on additional staff to help with their part-time team of just three. They have around 1,000 participants on their database and see around 200 of these each month.

“We have a lot of activities going on all the time,” Hannah added. “Particularly on evenings and at weekends. We’d like to be able to do even more.” This includes philosophy talks, arts and crafts and even a choir. With a growing demand for volunteers, a lot of participants successfully become volunteers after the relevant training and support.

The SLT also work closely with the Estorick Gallery, a Italian modern art gallery in Canonbury Square. This is a partnership that Hannah says they’re “looking to build upon in the future”.

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