The We are Cally Community Plan
There’s a lot going on in the Cally, including through the council’s We are Cally project. The council has been listening to the ideas local people have to make the area an even better place. Their ambitions have been captured in a set of agreed actions to be taken by local organisations, residents and the council in the We are Cally Community Plan.
We spoke to local resident Safia Ali about her volunteering and what she did for the Cally Plan.
Hi Safia, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Safia Ali, I’m Somalian and I have lived in the area for 27 years, since 1994.
I’m the mother of four children and live on the Bemerton Estate. There’s a good community here, lots of different outlooks and views. It’s safe, welcoming and well connected area. People greet each other and neighbours know one another.
I enjoyed going to the Jean Stokes Community Centre, which is great and has lots of useful services, I cant wait for it to open again. People struggle here but it’s great.
What do you do?
I’m a Computer Scientist by profession. Because of my new family I prioritised my children and started exploring community work and volunteering. I played a key role in setting up the Fit Women Group in 2005 which is a community-based non-for-profit that aims to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged women, and, I’ve been involved in community work ever since.
I’ve also been volunteering for Copenhagen Primary School for the last year and helped with fund-raising and project management.
How are you playing a role in the Cally Plan?
Since working with Barry and Alice from Islington Council’s Community Partnership’s team, I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge how to focus on the skills and assets within a community … Each person has a skill to give – you can draw on existing strengths to build a stronger community through the exchange of skills.
I’ve been involved lots of workshops and sessions with the We Are Cally Plan including renovating the Jean Stokes Community Centre.
I liked being involved. It gave me the opportunity to share my views and recommendations.