All posts by Helen Holmes

Decorate your windows for Ramadan

Local artist, and William Morris Big Local partnership member, Rezia Wahid has come up with the great idea of putting a picture of a mosque in your window during Ramadan.

Rezia says, “One of the most important parts of Ramadan is the tarawee (night) prayer, which is traditionally performed in mosques. This will be immensely missed by those who observe it.”

Putting a mosque in your window is a small way of marking Ramadan, while visits to an actual mosque are not possible. Rezia has created a template for you to download, which can be coloured in or cut out, and otherwise decorated. The one above was designed by Rezia’s talented daughter, Halima.

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New grants available to help during the pandemic

Are you already helping others during this crisis, but could do with some support? Do you have a great idea for a morale-boosting, community-spirited activity that can help keep everyone connected? We’re launching a new version of our Community Chest fund, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Community Chest fund is a small grants scheme available to local people, groups and organisations. Right now we want to support the amazing neighbourly volunteering already going on – especially where it’s helping those who are finding it difficult to access other support. We also want to encourage positive activities that help keep people, healthy, happy and connected despite the challenges of social distancing. 

You can apply for up to £1,000 per project, and we’ll be assessing applications as they come in. For more details and an application form go to our dedicated web page.

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What we’re doing and how you can help

Gabriel, with leaflets for volunteers

We wanted to update on what we’ve been up to over the past week. Mostly, we’ve been supporting the brilliant teams of local volunteers who have sprung up to help our community during the crisis. We’re also gathering information about available services and wider support so we can share this with volunteers and residents. If you’d like to get involved with helping your neighbours at a street level please contact us, and we’ll put you in touch with other people helping in your area.

We particularly need people to cover:
Bedford Road, Blackhorse Lane, Darndale Close, Dudley Road, Eastleigh Road, Jewel Road, Kinross Terrace, Lisbon Road, Luton Road, Omnibus Way, Palmerston Road, Phoenix Close, Priory Court, Queensland Close, Russell Road, and Sherwood Close.
So if you’re on any of those streets and can help out – or you’re already helping, but we don’t know about you – get in touch!

We’re also thinking and talking to people about how we can best support the mental and physical health, and the community spirit, of our area over the weeks to come. We’ve had loads of great ideas come in (keep them coming!) and we’ll be updating with news and plans as soon as we can. If you’d like to be involved in this part of our work – again, contact us, and we’ll keep you in the loop.

We’ve always known that Walthamstow is special, but it’s amazing to see our community uniting in a crisis, and hopefully together we can keep our spirits up, and make sure that everyone that needs help can get it.

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Events and activities over the coming months

Sadly, due to the current public health situation, we’re going to have to cancel or postpone our face to face events and activities over the coming weeks. This means that the William Morris tea party on 24 March and the St George’s Day event on 23 April won’t go ahead, and our Green Fair, scheduled for 30 May, will be postponed until later in the year. Our regular activities will also be put on hold for the time being – there are more details on our events page.

Instead, we’ll be focusing all of our efforts on supporting the William Morris community through this crisis. We’ll be looking at how we can support the amazing community help that’s already being organised, and we’ll also be looking at how we can develop some online or phone based activities and spaces where people can stay connected and have some fun in difficult times – watch this space for updates. If you’d like to get involved and help out contact us.

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Grants are open for applications

We currently have several different opportunities to apply for funding to improve our local area. Our grants are based on our three main aims:  improving outdoor spaces, strengthening the community and supporting enterprise.

We have grants available for large and small projects that share these aims, so whether you’re part of a local organisation with big plans, or you’d like to make your street a bit more attractive, or get to know your neighbours better, we can almost certainly help you to do it. Find out more about the money available on our grants pages.

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