Power to Change

The Big Lottery Fund has recently announced the launch of ‘Power to Change’. This is a community enterprise scheme, aimed at supporting local people to come together and improve their neighbourhoods.

From 2014, the £150 million fund will be invested in community enterprises to help them grow their membership and increase their range of activities.  This fund is available to all community groups, from pop-up shops to local run sports teams, and is designed to make sure they have the funds to start up, and the support to thrive.

These enterprises will have a business plan, and must be inclusive of the whole community within a specified geographical area. Power to Change will offer them financial and administrative support, and will be accepting applications from January.

Haringey has always had a fantastic community spirit, and it is one of the many reasons I am proud to be the MP for the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. We have lots of volunteer-led organisations that give back to their local area, and I am sure that many of them could benefit from the new scheme.

Both existing and planned enterprises are eligible for help from the fund, and so if you think this could be of use to your organisation you can find out more at http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/powertochange.

Haringey's Big Lottery Fund winners

The Big Lottery Fund was set up to give a financial boost to projects that support communities and those in need across the country. For every £1 spent on the lottery, 28p goes to good causes, with 10 – 11p going to the  Big Lottery Fund. To date over £4 billion has been distributed by the fund.

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all the local recipients of a Big Lottery Grant this year. Each one does fantastic work within the community, and they deserve every penny they get.

Without further ado, the recipients in my Hornsey and Wood Green constituency are:

– Family Action– To fund a continuing project that aims to reduce health inequalities in the Congolese, Somali, and Vietnamese communities.

– Ambitious About Autism – The money will help continue support for people with autism and their families in the local area, including specialist education through the Treehouse School.

– The Turkish Women’s Philanthropic Association of England – With the new funds, the Association will purchase computer equipment and provide basic ICT training for their members.

There have also been a number of grants awarded to groups in other parts of Haringey, including Nene Tereza Ltd, The Golden Jubilee Project, Jump Fitness for All, Park View School, Haringey Independent Cinema, Back to Earth Projects Ltd, Smart School Community, High Cross United Reform Church, and MyAfrik International.

Of course, there are many other community groups who haven’t received awards this year, but who may be eligible. Several programmes are currently open for awards of £300 – £500,000, and it is well worth checking to see if a group you know or work for could benefit. Details of these schemes can be found at www.awardsforall.org.uk and www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

Once again, congratulations to all the winners, and keep up the good work!

Exposure’s ‘Fed Up’ Film!

Muswell Hill’s Exposure Organisation is holding a screening of their short film ‘Fed Up’ as part of Parliament Week.

The film explores the pros and cons of the Stop and Search procedure, using humour to bring to light many of the common concerns raised by those affected.

Exposure’s film aims to bridge the gap between young people and the police by showing how both sides feel about stop and search, and by giving advice on how to avoid conflict.

The film will be shown on 21st November from 1.15pm at the West Green Learning Centre, N15. Seats are limited, so anyone interested should contact Flo Codjoe on 020 8883 0260, or flo@exposure.org.uk

If you want more info on Lib Dem policy on stop and search – just contact me.

Support for community Christmas lunches

Are you a local group who plan to organise Christmas lunches for members of our community?

Waitrose in Muswell Hill have said they will support local Christmas lunch events, which are run for the benefit of people who would otherwise be on their own.

A recent survey has shown that 750,000 people in the UK over 65 either always or often feel lonely, and Christmas can be a particularly difficult time. With their business partners, Waitrose is aiming to reduce this number of people feeling isolated during the festive season.

The deadline for applications is 15th November, and Waitrose are looking to support any community group or individual involved. This will include help from Waitrose employees, who will be paid their full time salary for any time they take off to volunteer.

I think this is an excellent scheme. It is so important to remember that, whilst we may be surrounded by loved ones at Christmas, there are many people less fortunate. As such, if you are planning a community Christmas lunch, or know someone that is, please do apply for support from Waitrose.

To do so, please contact the Muswell Hill branch manager, Jay Radia, using the following details:

Waitrose, 390 Muswell Hill Broadway, N10 1DJ

Telephone: 0800 188 884

Help get funding for Haringey community groups!

The Lloyds Group has launched a Community Fund to support good causes around the country. In each community the top two will receive £3,000, and the two runners up will get £300 to fund their activities.

I am delighted that four Haringey groups have been shortlisted. These are:

These are all very worthy causes, and it is up to the public to decide who gets the most funding. To vote, please go here and search for the group you would like to support.

Alternatively, links to the voting sites for the four Haringey nominations can be found below.

This ends on November 1st so get voting, and good luck to all those shortlisted!

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.

Lynne Featherstone MP praises work of Court volunteers

 Lynne Featherstone MP outside Wood Green Crown Court with a Victim and Witness Sport representativeLynne Featherstone MP last week visited Wood Green Crown Court, to hear about the work of Victim and Witness Support volunteers in Haringey.

The Liberal Democrat MP met with three volunteers and discussed how Victim and Witness Support is actively helping Haringey residents – by providing a safe and supportive place for victims and witnesses to feel comfortable, and be given advice and information.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green also had a tour of the court, including the court room, witness box and the video link room.

After the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to meet the volunteers, who provide an invaluable service to victims and witnesses of crime in Haringey.

“Of course – no one want to be in the witness box giving evidence. However, it is at least comforting to know that there is a dedicated support service there who can give advice and information on options like having a screen between victim and defendant, and giving video evidence.”