Celebrating our Volunteers, Hackney & More!

Posted by Bhavani Esapathi on 5th September 2017

One of the greatest joys in the work that we do is being part of such an amazing, thriving community of Hackney and we were no less thrilled to join #HackneyMoreInCommon to celebrate everything that it stands for!

Hackney More in Common was set up by Hackney Unites, their aim was ‘bringing our communities together and deciding on specific steps we can take to build even stronger, more inclusive, community networks here in Hackney.’

We set up camp (our allocated stall) directly under the beating sun, we were unaware how hot it was about to get. The day started off warm and got hotter and hotter as the sun beamed down on us.

The Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, was there he opened the day with a minutes silence for the victims of violent extremism worldwide with particular focus given to the attacks of 22 May in Manchester as well as Jo Cox’s mission on bringing diverse communities together. “In the words of Jo Cox MP, murdered a year ago, we have learnt that we have ‘far more in common with each other than the things that divide us’ Tragically she was killed for expressing those views.” – Hackney Unites. Following the opening ceremony two local students cut the ribbon and set the day rolling.

Overall it seemed like a quiet event, but we then realised that most of the action was taking place under the shade across the courtyard and also in the building where workshops and debates were taking place. As the day progressed people who had sought salvage from the sun started to venture out in small bursts. Once in our sights they were curious and wanted to know more about us; we then enticed them to contribute a sentence to our collaborative stories which we planned for the day, although hesitant at first, they needed little encouragement in writing up a bemusing story which included Irish horses, allotments, fertilisers and even the Great British Bake Off to a story closer to home about Hackney and the threat of a nearby Monster the stories provided an imaginative range of unexpected twists and turns. A MoS alumni (now a writer for a radio two comedy) even popped by to say ‘hi’ and added a sentence to the story. We even had an air show fly above courtesy of the Queens birthday celebrations.

We found the day to be a mellow summers mix with a touch of community spirit, everyone we spoke to were keen to embrace the idea of forming connections and bringing communities together; it certainly was a positive and hopeful outcome and one which everyone took from the event.

Nina joined us in the morning, here’s her thoughts on the day:

“I really enjoyed volunteering during this event as it gave us an opportunity to connect with people of other charities, with whom we might collaborate in future, and of course to tell visitors to the stall about the MoS. Most people I spoke to had heard of the MoS or of the Monsters shop, but many weren’t clear about what exactly we do, so this was a good chance to fill in the blanks.” – Nina May

Organisations who were part of the event included: Volunteer Centre Hackney, Hackney Pirates, Ben and Jerry’s, London Gypsy and Traveller Unit. Over 50 information stalls from community groups, food stalls, ice cream, exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops and debates.

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