Engage London is about putting writing skills into action. Here Favour Ekengwu reports from the Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation Clothing give away (5 June 2018). Favour is also joining the Engage London team for the Brussels workshops.
Favour Ekengwu (c) Hugh Gary Photography
The Pilion Trust’s first clothing give away day for the local Islington Community was hosted at our Ringcross Community Centre. Here we provide help for people within the community who are struggling with multiple complex needs from housing problems and homelessness to family issues; as well as drug and alcohol dependences; mental ill health problems; different levels of learning problems or struggling with many kinds of poverty.
The event was a collaboration; between The Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) who put out the call to the community for the clothing donations.
The Pilion Trust is a multiple complex needs registered charity so we are always focused on what we can do to reach out to all people within our community/neighbourhood. That way we can create a caring neighbourhood, which is why our charity helps people within the local and wider communities.
We run community activities for all age groups within the community. We also run a registered food bank between 12 – 4pm Monday – Friday where all within the community are welcome. We have found that many people within the community are quietly struggling and can’t afford to feed their families also many are street homeless.
The main purpose of the clothing give away was to help people within our community that are not able to help themselves and are overlooked by the government. Unfortunately I don’t think that the councillors are doing enough to help the least privileged within the community. Most of the clients are people who have lost hope that the council are unwilling to help them feel safe within the neighbourhood. This is where we come in. We become the pillar that they can lean on; you can say that we are their representative in a lot of cases.
We believe that everybody within the community deserves an equal chance to live a better life.
We received donations from families that lived within the borough of Islington, and from companies who were aware of the issues that homeless people have and wanted to support our cause. Most of the donated clothes came from Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF). Like us they are a charity and they work with young teenagers who live in poverty they work to ensure that no child is left without a passion for life due to their circumstances
It was the first time that I have ever been involved in a clothing give away day. I came into work very early on that Tuesday morning and found our hall full of clothes. I was amazed when I saw our hall full of clothing; it showed that people within the community want to help each other. We received a lot of help from the Volunteers that came to help us within the community.
They helped us set the clothes in place so that people could easily locate the things that they needed without any difficulties. I thought it would be impossible due to the amount of clothes we had to set in order.
Fortunately my opinion was wrong; we worked together like a family; even though we hardly knew each other. We complimented, helped and laughed together which made the place feel like home. I then realised that’s what it means to be a community.
The outcome was good, a lot of people showed up, we were also able to meet the needs of most of the clients, with the massive support that we got from the donors our clients left with smiles on their faces. From my point of view there were lots of clothes that they could pick from I picked a few myself. I was intrigued on how much awareness we raised within the community, it was so effective that after that day everyone wanted to get more involved with what we are trying to achieve; which moves us a step is closer to achieving our purpose.
We received a lot of things, different sized clothes for men, women, kids and babies. Bedding, shoes etc., things that people would need and can use in their everyday lives.
Despite the fact that it was a long tiring day; everyone looked happy, especially our volunteers.
They were amazing.
I believe that that day was more than a clothing give away, I think that it was a day we got together as a community that wanted to know each other, and offer help to their neighbours. That day brought people of different cultures, races and ethnicities together. I think that people developed a new mind-set of what a clothing give away was about.
It’s about unity, caring and helping those around you that need it. That way no one is left out.
- Ringcross Community Centre is open all week. Find it at 60 Lough Road, N7 8FE. The food bank is for all. It’s open from 12 noon – 4pm daily and a place to get fresh fruit and veg as well as bread.