A divided community within a divided city

 

Islington is a borough of striking social extremes. London’s richest and poorest residents exist side by side, living entirely different lives. These small pockets of wealth often mask the levels of deprivation.

A recent report looking at poverty in Islington concluded that those living in poverty inhabit an invisible bubble – able to see but not reach the economic and social opportunities so conspicuously enjoyed by their neighbours.

Islington has the second highest Child Poverty rate in England, and overcrowded housing is a common problem. Islington also has less green space than anywhere else in the country and crime rates are almost double the national average.

Another alarming fact is that one in nine children aged 11 to 16 has a mental health problem — 36% higher than the national average.

Nearly all the young people we know say they don’t feel safe in our community. Many have experienced being robbed or attacked in the street. These crimes often go unreported for fear of the consequences or mistrust of the police.

Despite the many social issues that people of Canonbury face, there are many signs of hope. People are working together to make the community a better place for all of us to live.

The work of Urban Hope is carried out on a foundation of trusting relationships, built across cultural and economic barriers. Volunteers such as lawyers and graphic designers are enabled to get to know members of their community whom they would not otherwise meet, so that they can inspire and learn from each other.

 

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