Find out about the community investment initiatives that our contractors have undertaken in London Borough of Islington.
ST. LUKE’S COMMUNITY CENTRE, SOUTH ISLINGTON
Steeped in history, St Luke’s Community Centre in Islington has been supporting local residents since the sixteenth century. Today, the centre provides a space for local people to gather and socialise and delivers services and activities to the local community.
A team of four ‘cadets’ from Laing O’Rourke, the contractor constructing the new Crossrail Liverpool Street station, project managed the design and installation of a new professional kitchen and utility area for St. Luke’s Community Centre in south Islington. Laing O’Rourke also contributed £7,000 towards fitting out the new kitchen.
Martyn Craddock, the centre’s CEO, thanked Laing O’Rourke and Crossrail: “The recent refurbishment will help us extend the services and support we offer to the local community, and allow us to benefit people of all ages and backgrounds.”
Another Moorgate-based Crossrail contractor, BNK (a Bam Nuttall-Kier Joint Venture), has also pledged support to St. Luke’s. BNK will focus on improving the skills and employability of some of the Centre’s users through a range of initiatives; the first of which was a poetry completion based around a programme of recitals.
STEPS TO SUCCESS, MOORGATE
Bam Nuttall-Kier Joint Venture (BNK) based at Moorgate, volunteered for St. Luke’s ‘Steps to Success’ event.
Hosted at City University in Moorgate, Steps to Success was attended by 150 primary school students from three Primary Schools in EC1 – Moreland (Goswell Road), Prior Weston (Golden Lane) and St. Luke’s (Radnor Street).
The day consisted of a range of activities designed to develop the students’ sense of the world of work and future career possibilities. 12 BNK staff took part alongside volunteers from other key local businesses and organisations.
Francesca Bickerdyke, of St. Luke’s, said: “It was fantastic to see so many diverse organisations coming together to inspire our local EC1 children. Projects like Steps to Success make a huge difference to our local area and the deprived neighbourhoods in which we serve”..
Word 2012, Islington
Laing O'Rourke-Strabag Joint Venture, who were carrying out piling works for the new Farringdon station (to prepare for the main works beginning), donated £10,000 to kick start 'Word2012' in Islington.
Word2012 is a three month programme of engagement, culminating in a three week ‘Word Festival’, encouraging and supporting local residents to rediscover the joy of reading and writing and finding new, creative ways of expressing themselves.
As part of the festival, poetic artworks were created for the public hoardings surrounding Crossrail’s Farringdon station. Writers Sarah Butler and Yemisi Blake worked with local residents and workers to produce poetry inspired by the question “Where are you going?”
Laing O’Rourke-Strabag’s Project Director Mick Lee said of their donation: “As an investor in people, we recognize the value of continued learning and development in helping our employees get the most out of their careers with us. In the same way, we are committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we work – in particular by supporting skills building through educational and employment opportunities. For this reason, we applaud any initiative that reminds us of the many different rewards literature - and literacy - brings to our lives.”
Councillor Paul Convery, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration said: "We're committed to helping residents get jobs, skills and training, and reading and literacy play a vital role. Word2012 is an exciting initiative and at a time when council budgets are under huge pressure we're very grateful for this donation."
Word 2013, Islington
A £15,000 donation from Farringdon based contractor BFK (and Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Kier joint venture) enabled Islington’s ground-breaking ‘Word Festival’ to take place for the second year running (with further support from Arts Council England and Islington UNISON).
The Word Festival comprised more than 50 events taking place at some of Islington’s most inspiring landmarks, including Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and the former Astoria and Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. There were creative writing workshops with Birkbeck University and Mills & Boon, Bollywood Punch and Judy shows, 100 Word Plays and Secret Radio Plays. A showcase of six brilliant new plays by professional and aspiring writers at Highbury Fields, a Spring Ball (a ‘tea dance with a difference’) at Islington’s Assembly Hall, and reading ‘flash mobs’ were further highlights.
Islington Council's executive member for health and wellbeing, Councillor Janet Burgess, said: "The Word Festival is an important part of our ‘Islington Reads’ programme, focusing on how we can help residents get jobs, skills and training through the promotion of reading.”
Crossrail’s Community Investment Programme Manager, Jack Day, added: “The Word Festival is exactly the kind of project that we want to support and we really welcome BFK’s involvement. Crossrail’s Community Investment Programme is an ambitious undertaking; we want to work with our neighbours alongside the Crossrail works to deliver lasting benefits to communities across London.”