Archive for 2014

Celebrating Five Years

Ken Help on your Doorstep turned five in the summer of 2014 and we have been celebrating this milestone with our Partners, Funders and Supporters.

I would like to reflect a short while on what it is that we have been celebrating. We have celebrated our achievements, such as  the people we have reached who would otherwise remain isolated with their problems and the difference that has been made to the lives of residents through the work of our Partners. It is rewarding to reflect on our part in these successes.

What we cannot celebrate is the fact that we live in a society that needs a service like Help on Your Doorstep as much as the communities that we serve clearly do.  It is one thing to support aspirations, particularly when they are aimed at more satisfying employment, better skills and education or even a greater connection to ones community.  It is an entirely different matter when the  prevailing needs that we address day to day  relate to basic human needs that we should take for granted such as food, shelter, warmth, healthcare and dignity.  This is the reality for many of the people we work with.  It is no exaggeration to say that Help on Your Doorstep and our Partners come across a new human tragedy every day and that is why we cannot be complacent.

What we are grateful for, is that we are part of a collaboration of like minded agencies that are not willing to accept this state of affairs in Islington and work determinedly to tackle these disadvantages.  So we think it is worth celebrating the coming together of all the various parties that have supported the service over the last five years.  This is a celebration of partnership and of innovation and of a shared commitment to social justice.

I say innovation because this service approach does not exist anywhere else.  There is no equivalent anywhere of this  Islington conceived model.  The combination of door to door outreach, the extensive range of partners and responses, the degree of ownership and stewardship of each client’s referral journey delivered by a team and the majority of whom have lived most of their lives in the communities that we work in.

We celebrate the fact that we work with Referral partners who make the Connect model possible by taking that leap of faith in trusting us as a gateway to their highly subscribed services and allowing us to represent them on the doorsteps of Islington.

We also celebrate the funders many of whom have been with us from the start, who made all of this happen; by having the vision to see that a small innovative regeneration pilot operating in the EC1 post code could have wider a more prominent role across the borough.

Which brings us to the staff and volunteers at Help on Your Doorstep, they make the service work because of who they are, and what their neighbourhoods mean to them.  Our good fortune in being able to recruit a significant proportion of our team locally means that the people that we serve are not just clients; they are neighbours with whom we have a shared organisational understanding of what it means to live in our communities.

I hope that one day the services that Help on Your Doorstep provide will not be needed, or at the very least will be less focused on tackling desperation and more involved in supporting aspiration.  Until that day we are grateful for your continued support.

Ken Kanu