Category Archives: Sharon

Chats Palace Hope Funders Recognise Popularity

Pic: Sean Sales: Sarah McLoughlin, Director at Chats Palace hopes to organise more events for the ommunity

Pic: Sean Sales: Sarah McLoughlin, Director at Chats Palace hopes to organise more events for the community

By Sharon Payne

Chat’s Palace is a community space situated in a wonderful Victorian library built in 1913. The building is used for an amazing variety of events and activities designed to appeal to all ages and interests. Manager Candy Horsbrugh, the only full time member of staff, is full of enthusiasm for the building and its role in the community since the library closed in 1976.

Despite funding difficulties the space, which took on charity status in 1981, hosts barn dancing, exhibitions, workshops, youth projects, club nights for teenagers, live music, comedy nights, darkroom hire and tuition, karate, traditional music tuition, dance classes and even a knitting group for older people that they are hoping to encourage younger people to come along to. Continue reading

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EOTO, providing kickstarts for a lost generation

Pic: Sharon: Each One Teach One's director, Sarah McLoughlin, hopes to empower young people to get on with their lives

Pic: Sharon: Each One Teach One’s director, Sarah McLoughlin, hopes to empower young people to get on with their lives

By Sean Sales

It seemed apt that the weather should be so wondrously bright, positive and full of promise as we approached the offices of Each One Teach One (EOTO), AKA, The University of Alternative Learning. The brainchild of  Plan B, the musician Ben Drew, was born out of the bleak riotous times of 2011; it is a real tribute to change, self-help and positivity.

The registered charity’s aim is to empower young people (14-25), by providing courses to impart useful skills and give students a better chance in the workplace. So far the trust is supporting training in hair dressing, boxing, drama, media and music. Future training projects include football and environmental studies. As well as providing new skills the trust hope the training projects will help to boost the students self confidence and make them really feel their self-worth. Continue reading


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Redevelopment puts Dalston Curve Garden under threat

Entrance sign

Plans are afoot in Dalston for property developer Criterion to modernise the shopping centre in Kingsland Road.  This will be a housing-led development and will also include offices and approximately 500 flats. However, the improved retail complex and extra housing will come at some cost to the area with the loss of the only significant green space, the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.

The area has seen massive amounts of regeneration in recent years, with improved transport links and new blocks of flats and bars and restaurants appearing.  While many of these improvements are welcome they have changed the whole demographic of the area and sent property prices and rents skyhigh.

The projected site for the build is owned jointly by Criterion and Hackney council and the latest images of the new development show the new shopping centre situated at the bottom of blocks 14 storeys high with flats and offices above.  The Curve Garden itself is to become a wide paved somewhat shady thoroughfare edged with greenery, trees and plants.

Although many local people seem not to know about the proposed development Sorrel Challands, said: “I haven’t seen the proposal for the new development but it will be a shame to lose the garden.  I have been bringing my little boy here for two years.”  A similar reaction was given by another local woman Claire Kent, who has been using the garden since it opened in 2010.  She told The Big Issue Online Journalists that: “The new development is not necessary at all and a property developers’ idea of an affordable flat is definitely not most people’s idea of affordable – it’s all about money.”

Curve Garden manager

Curve Garden’s manager Brian Cumming

Surprisingly the Curve Gardens manager Brian Cumming is not against the redevelopment of the shopping centre itself, but feels that the proposed green space will not be an equal replacement for the current garden.  The linear pathway with planted edges will be accessible 24 hours a day and therefore prone to vandalism.  He wants the plans changed so that the new green space is enclosed and managed like the present one.  Brian said: “The current garden is enjoyed by all classes of people, especially our workshops.  These activities will no longer be available.”

When asked about the proposed plans for the shopping centre Steve Masterson, who is part of the local residents association, said he was worried about historic buildings being lost and also about the impact of the development on local people.  He said: “The extras bars and pubs that will be opened will cause noise nuisance to residents and there are a lack of services for such a large influx of people.  There has been no thought to planning or outcomes.”

So local feelings are mixed, but on the whole it seems that this development is not welcome in the area although it is questionable how much the opinions of local people will count in the end.

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Week 2: Sharon and Sean’s photo portraits!

IMG_3874IMG_3876Sharon and Sean'sSharon and Sean'sIMG_3880

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February 21, 2014 · 4:04 pm

Week 1 – New intake of Big Issue Online Journalists in Dalston

A new session of The Big Issue Online Journalism Course started on 13 February 2014 at the Elise Centre in Dalston with nine new students, including myself.  On the first day we had an introduction to the tutors Charles, Glenn and Zoe and also an overview of what we would hopefully be learning on the course.

In the morning we all paired up and interviewed each other to find out basic personal information such as where we come from, what experience we have in writing and photography and what we hope to get out of the course.  We also covered methods and mediums of communication and feedback and looked at some examples of successful and not-so-successful communication.

We then had an introduction to the Answers From The Big Issue site which promotes social enterprise, and were told that hopefully by the end of the course we will be capable of writing articles for the site.

In the afternoon we learned the basic tenets of a good news report and how to write a concise NIB (news in brief).

On Friday afternoon we all worked on our individual NIBs and downloaded them to the course blog and also received our schedules for the six week course.

More news from the course next week!

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New Help For Youngsters in Cardiff

A new venture aimed at helping young people succeed opened in Cardiff last week.  The Choices project is part of the Welsh arm of the St. Giles Trust and will give help to ex-offenders and disadvantaged youngsters through tailor-made practical support via a personal caseworker.  Using advice, guidance, education and training, the project hopes to enable young people to move on in their lives and build sustainable futures. 

Choices is supported by HSBC’s three year Opportunity Partnership, which helps to tackle youth unemployment across the UK.

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