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 Syeda Huda about her work with the Islington Bangladesh Association and her involvement in the Cally Plan.
Hi Syeda, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello my name is Syeda Huda, I’m a family Community Outreach/Project Worker for ‘You’re not Alone’ with Islington Bangladesh Association (IBA)
What do you do?
I have been working with diverse communities since 1993. The Islington Bangladesh Association work in partnership with Peabody, Newlon, Mary Ward, The British Museum, Islington Health Watch, Maya Centre, Islington Council and Nafsiat offers support with counselling.
Our main aim is to help with people’s mental health and well-being. Supporting people in being less isolated and to gain confidence and be more active. I work with ladies only. We have six exercise classes, three supplementary classes for young people three times a week. This includes befriending calls, virtual coffee mornings, and virtual workshops. We also offer sessions that are health related, like online safety, digital exclusion help. In collaboration with Health Watch we trained staff, volunteers and clients.
We have a gardening project that is more than 5 years old, in partnership with Newlon Housing Association at the Barnsbury Community Centre. At the moment volunteers are leading this but IBA acts as a supervisor. We used to take clients for educational trips or just to have ‘me’ time. We also offer art and craft classes to help their mental wellbeing but because of lockdown we are not doing this – in the summer we have plans to do something with the clients but being mindful of social distancing.
Islington Bangladesh Association’s back bone is to offer welfare and benefits advice and guidance to everyone even throughout lockdown and we have had all classes running since June 2020 on Zoom – even gardening with social distancing!
How have you helped with developing the Cally Plan?
We work a lot with vulnerable people distributing food vouchers, gift vouchers and iPads to connect people at this difficult time.
Our partnerships through the We Are Cally Plan are important to us. We work with Islington Council, the Children’s Centre, Islington Play Association and Museum of London who gave gifts for children’s art activities. Global Generation are a partner too with gardening advice and children activities through zoom.
We’re delighted to be working with other partner organisations in building a stronger Cally.