Newsletter                                                                                            March 2016
Winners of The Big Lottery Fund!

For those of you who may not have heard, our Youth Club has been awarded £325,000 from the Big Lottery fund, over a three year period, to expand its activities, particularly in the area of employability.

Said Rebecca Mills, Youth Development Manager, ‘We know from our regular surveys amongst young people in Islington that their most pressing issue is unemployment…not surprisingly, since youth unemployment in Islington is almost double the average for London as a whole.  That’s why we’ve wanted to be able to offer careers, apprenticeship and work experience advice, along with CV-writing and interview techniques to as many young people in Islington as possible.  This award will help us to do just that.’

Mary’s Youth Club will continue to offer a wide range of health and fitness activities, drama and dance and life skills sessions to 11 to 25 year olds, but the Employability Hub will be where most of the new development is focused.  The grant will enable Mary’s to increase the size of its dedicated youth development team, providing extra capacity to work with more volunteers and more partners, such as Baker & McKenzie, the City law firm, some of whose staff are providing one-to-one mentoring sessions for our young people, and the London School of Economics.

Want to read more about this?

The Premises Manager

From boilers to air vents, to cleaners, to furniture…Kate Tolson is the one who makes everything work!

“I am the Premises Manager for Mary’s, managing the facilities and maintenance of the Neighbourhood Centre and Crypt so that it can be used by Mary’s Youth Club and Pre-school and by our many hiring groups.  I have worked here for 9 years, beginning as the community receptionist and changing role as Mary’s has grown as a charity.  I work with our caretakers and with all Mary’s staff but also with tradespeople and contractors and with St Mary’s church team.

I know all the nooks, crannies, taps, light-fittings, weak points and equipment warning bleeps in the buildings!  It is difficult to get away from a place which is open 7 days a week and 13 hours a day with bookings even on Christmas day and I do get called outside my working hours.  I had a conversation with a lift engineer last summer when I was on holiday,  walking the south west coastal path; sheltering from the wind but with a glorious view of the sea, I discussed the details of his repair.

I am a member of St Mary’s church and have been since moving to London in 1988 when I got married, so am quite well rooted at St Mary’s and in Islington.  I am also a governor at an Islington School where I chair the premises committee.  I have 3 daughters in their twenties; one is studying in Lancaster (recently flooded out of her accommodation!); one in York; and I’m pleased to have my eldest living with me at the moment.  I am close to my large extended family, most of whom live ‘up north’ but like to use my house as their London hotel’.

Get in touch!
Employability Hub

Our employability hub currently supports young people to develop a wide range of skills that will help them to reach their aspirations and achieve their goals for the future. Over the last few weeks, our hub has been supporting two young people who have a keen interest in basketball coaching through attending our basketball and drop-in session and have now successfully passed the training course and are now qualified level one basketball coaches! This has been possible through our on-going partnership with local secondary school St. Mary Magdalene Academy where we also deliver weekly satellite club sessions to their students. 

Contact the YC to find out more

Follow us on Twitter!

@MarysForGood for a round-up of anything Mary’s related

@MarysYouthClub for all the youth club activities, programs and news

A bit more about us!

Whilst we would usually dedicate this space to one of our regular users, we decided that, this month, we would tell you more about our daily in-house activities.

Fun and activity guaranteed for all of our users. Headed by Sharon, the team is on hand to ensure your child has a fantastic day of fun, mixed with socialising & learning new things. Click here to book a tour or enquire.

Play Scheme
Running throughout each school break (half terms, summer and winter holidays) the Play Scheme keeps your kids entertained whilst you have some ‘you’ time. Your child will have an action-packed day and come home ready to eat & sleep 🙂 Click here to book a tour or enquire.

Kids’ weekly activity programme
Many of the groups that use our spaces each week offer kids’ activities which you can try out and then sign up to. Click here to see what’s going on during the week.

Youth Club
Although highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of our amazing Youth Club, here’s some more information.  Running four nights a week, our Youth Club offers free sessions to young people – ranging from hip hop and dance classes, to basketball sessions and tournaments, to one-off skill-learning sessions, such as first aid courses and driving licence theory and test. No pre-booking is necessary – simply pop in. Click here to find out more.

Adult weekly activity programme
We have plenty of activities running for adults too! From weight watchers to legal help, there is plenty going on.
Click here to take a look at the list of adult activities you could join.

Last but not least all, our premises are available for bookings by the hour or by the day. Prices start from £20ph. If you know anyone looking for a space for a  training sessions / meeting or class, then talk to our bookings team. Click here to enquire about room bookings.

And don’t forget our event on 18th April
This is the evening when we want to celebrate our award from the Big Lottery Fund and invite you, and those in the community who may not have heard of Mary’s, to learn more about what we do, particularly in the Youth Club.  We look forward to welcoming you at the event.  More information to follow.

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