‘Take 5’

5 Places to Volunteer

Welcome to my new regular feature where I outline my own ‘top 5 suggestions’ for events, activities, and opportunities in Hackney South & Shoreditch. This week: ‘5 Places to Volunteer’.

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Medical professionals across Hackney provide top quality care, from the Homerton Hospital to GP surgeries and the East London Mental Health Trust.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards recognise NHS frontline staff for their continued hard work.

I invite individuals and local health and care organisations to contact my office with suggestions of teams or individuals for me to nominate so the hard work of Hackney health care professionals can be recognised.

I can submit one nomination per category. The nominations close on Friday 26 April 2019.

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It is not good enough that London Overground services are still missing Hackney stops. I have already received a commitment from the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, that TfL will investigate this matter and apply pressure to the train operator (ARL) to prevent continued disruption and inconvenience. However today I’ve written to the Freedom of Information (FOI) team at TfL to find out exactly how often Hackney commuters miss out.

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I recently met a group of volunteers in Hackney to hear about the excellent work they do accross London to welcome refugee families to the UK.

The group hopes to welcome a new family of refugees into Hackney South and Shoreditch in March.

To find out more about the work of the group visit their twitter here or email them at northhackneywelcome@gmail.com

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We have a 'No Second Night Out' shelter in Hackney, funded by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 'No Second Night Out' focuses on helping those who find themselves rough sleeping on the streets of London for the first time.

If you see a rough sleeper alert Street Link via their app or website here. Street Link will help connect people to services and get them support. 

You can donate money to the London Homeless Charities Group on the GoFundMe page here


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Media this month has included BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions.

Sky’s Sophy Ridge programme to discuss the impact of a no deal Brexit on the UK and various other press and radio.

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I visited local mental health arts charity ‘Studio Upstairs’. The Hackney-based charity runs art therapy sessions which support people with mental illness to explore their creativity. It’s celebrating its 30-year anniversary in December.

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I visited Berger Primary School to judge the pupils Voice Box entries. Voice Box is a national joke competition run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, created to raise awareness of the importance of key communication skills.

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Last week I visited Blue Hut Youth Centre to listen to young people in Hackney talk about their fears, worries and aspirations. 

A big concern of the young girls was youth violence and knife crime in London, they talked about how they want the Government to listen to younger generations and budget for more money to be spent on youth centres like Blue Hut. 

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Colleges in Hackney and their staff deserve better funding and fair pay so they can continue to support local people and the national economy.

This week I met with students from New City College, which now runs Hackney Community College, to talk about the Love Our Colleges campaign. The campaign highlights the vital importance of Further Education Colleges.

Cuts to further education funding have led to courses closing and a significant reduction of free learning hours for adult learners. Further education colleges cannot afford any more funding cuts.

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