Community Haringey!

Here’s my latest Ham and High column, about some of the organisations I have caught up with over summer recess. You can also read it here.

Haringey is full of wonderful, vibrant and successful voluntary and charitable organisations. They benefit our local area and add such value to our community. I’ve been lucky, as the local MP, to have visited the vast majority of them!

During parliamentary summer recess, I have even more time to revisit these organisations, catch up with them and hear about their plans – and to offer any advice or support.

It started with a visit to Action for Kids – a local charity which helps disabled children and young people towards independence. It was fantastic to join in with some of the activities and see a group of youngsters ready to go on a trip together – all facilitated by this great organisation. It was inspirational to sit with the new chief executive and hear his plans for the future.

Lynne Featherstone MP with one of the children who attends Action for Kids, and a volunteer

A visit to Hornsey Vale community centre was also a great example of how volunteers are contributing much to their local community – by running fashion shows, fitness classes and providing a wheelchair accessible gym. I was so impressed by their outreach programme and the positive impact they are having.

Lynne Featherstone MP with Lynne Brackley, Chair of the Hornsey Vale Management Committee

I also popped in to the Tagore Centre – which is based above Alexandra Park Library. Here, a group of volunteers are dedicated to promoting the work of India’s Nobel laureate poet, writer and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. They manage a vast collection of materials, including hundreds of books, songs and paintings, and hold regular social events to celebrate Tagore’s life and work.

The dedication and passion of the volunteers was evident from the moment I stepped in. They are working hard to promote Tagore and keep his work relevant in the modern day – and I highly commend them for it.

Lynne Featherstone MP with Dr Kalyan Kundu (Founder/Chairman) and the Tagore Centre volunteers at the Tagore Centre

There have been many others – including some more private meetings with organisations like Victim Support, the North London Samaritans and other counselling services. It’s fantastic to see the amount of time given by volunteers to support vulnerable members of the community.

There is, unfortunately, not space to mention all of the organisations – but suffice to say that the voluntary and community sector is alive and kicking in Haringey – I see it first hand all the time! And this really is a great achievement, given the financial difficulties many are experiencing.

I wish all these invaluable local organisations the very best for the future and hope they will continue to come to me for support and advice when they need it.

As an end note – I’d also like to thank everyone who attended the apprenticeship event I organised two weeks ago. It was a fantastic day and already the companies there have been in touch to say they have taken on some of the young people who attended.