Photo: (l-r) Cllr Flora Williamson; Christopher Collins, Islington Council park ranger; Lawrence McDonnell, Becky Graham; Cllr Anjna Khurana
Photo: (l-r) Cllr Flora Williamson; Christopher Collins, Islington Council park ranger; Lawrence McDonnell, Becky Graham; Cllr Anjna Khurana

Local councillors are supporting an exciting project in Tollington which will see grot spots redeveloped through gardening with homeless people.

The councillors are supporting a project run by Single Homeless Project’s Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden (FLIC) service, part of a national Big Lottery Funded project that supports vulnerable people with Multiple Complex Needs to build fulfilled lives within their communities. The project will be working with homeless people and vulnerable individuals to transform the grot spot on Evershot Road into a miniature garden for residents to enjoy.

The gardening will initially take place at the open space on Evershot Road and may be extended to those in neighbouring Eveleigh Street and Dullas Street. The project marks the beginning of the local councillors’ work to identify parts of Tollington ward which are underused and transform them. Over the past year they have worked with council officers and local and national organisations to develop some ambitious yet simple solutions to beautify Tollington.

The gardening will benefit local residents and homeless people, including those with mental health issues. It is being organised locally by FLIC, which supports some of London’s most vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

£1,000 has been awarded to FLIC through Islington Council’s Local Initiative Fund (LIF), a small grants scheme that supports activities and improvements across Islington. The funding will cover the cost of removal of rose bushes, tools, plants, bulbs and gardening materials.

Cllr Flora Williamson, Labour Councillor for Tollington Ward, said:

“These public spaces may be small but transforming them from grot spots into attractive gardens will have a big impact on the local community.

“I am pleased to be supporting this project, which will help to improve the look and feel of Tollington. Councillors are able to support important community projects like this because of Islington Council’s LIF grants scheme. I look forward to seeing other local community groups with great ideas applying for LIF funding.”

Becky Graham, Engagement Coordinator of FLIC, added:

“It is great to have councillors’ support on this new project. We are working hard to provide wrap-around, intensive support to people experiencing Multiple Complex Needs to help them grow in confidence and rebuild their lives. This project, while small, will make a great difference to them.”

Lawrence McDonnell, FLIC client and volunteer, said:

“I wanted to do things to help the community, and the feel good factor from helping on a project like this can’t be bought. I think if one person sees me helping, it encourages others to get involved. I try to do every job as if it was my own house, and I’ve really enjoyed using my skills in the Evershot Road garden.”


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