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SLT Coffee Morning introduces Befriending Service

Above – Islington Mayor Dave Poyser with, from left: Hannah Kalmanowitz, SLT Chief Executive; Faye Ienco and Lauren Harrington from Macquarie Investment Bank; Friday Evening Event volunteer Julia Howe; Beth Wilkes from British Medical Journal; Frances Whitehouse, SLT Participant Ambassador; Alan Thomas of BMJ; and SLT Volunteer Co-Ordinator Ahmed Qazi.

SLT’s annual Coffee Morning was another bustling affair, attracting dozens of Christmas bargain hunters and raising almost £700.

It was also the occasion to introduce SLT’s new Befriending Service, which will match isolated, vulnerable people with volunteers who can visit them or accompany them to activities.

“It will be about getting people out and avoiding social isolation” said Hannah Kalmanowitz, SLT’s  Chief Executive. “We feel our other services are now well established and we want to grow and do something new and worthwhile”.

The Befriending Project will be launched in 2019.

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Flash vs. Godzilla – and the winner is SLT!

No, it’s not the latest superhero face-off – just good-natured team rivalry at Sunday’s Big Fun Run in Victoria Park!

You’d be forgiven for expecting Kate Giblin, dressed as super-speed superhero The Flash, to have streaked ahead of her fellow Stuart Low Trust trustee Kat Millward – encumbered by an inflatable dinosaur outfit – in the annual 5k event.

But in fact it was our Kat-osaurus who was the first of the five strong SLT team to cross the finish line – possibly the fact that her costume failed to inflate on the day gave her a competitive edge!

“I was disappointed as a seven foot Tyrannosaurus Rex is much more impressive than a saggy dinosaur with a human head!” Kat said. “The bonus was that it was much easier to run in that way! The run itself was great – I got to chase some children, make spectators laugh and chat to some lovely people about why the Stuart Low Trust is so wonderful. It was tricky to make sure my tail didn’t get trodden on at the start though!”

Of her costumed capers Kate said: “I had the most fun in that Flash costume. It was ridiculous – and not at all becoming – but all the little kids on the course kept running past me and then saying ‘I beat the Flash! In the end, the rain stayed away and though we all ran at different paces we finished with smiles on our faces – and we raised more than £1,300 for SLT!”

Our grateful thanks to our other super-heroic team members Rita Fernandez, Joannis Frangoullides and Jonathan Giblin, whose amazing efforts have boosted us to 70% of our sponsorship target.

Please help us reach – or exceed! – our £1,500 goal by making an online donation.  All funds  will be used to continue our popular Saturday Project series of gentle exercise, mindfulness, relaxation and social skills workshops.

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Pre-warm up (L-R): SLT volunteers Julia Howe and Traci Lia; SLT trustees Kat Millward and Kate Giblin; SLT team member Jonathan Giblin, and SLT Volunteer Co-ordinator Ahmed Qazi.
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(L-R): Kat and Kate cossied up, with Jonathan, Ahmed and SLT team member Rita Fernandez.
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Warm up! It’s not clear if the dinosaur head malfunction had been discovered by this point, but Kat doesn’t appear deflated – and neither does teammate Rita!
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“Flash, a-ah, saviour of the universe!”. (We may be mixing up our superheroes here).
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Joannis Frangoullides sports his Finisher’s Medal.
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Kat in rehearsals!

 

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Kat Walks the Dinosaur!

Victoria Park will be transformed into Jurassic Park on Sunday thanks to SLT trustee Kat Millward!

Despite serious running credentials Kat has opted to trail the four-strong SLT team in Sunday’s Big Fun Run 5k by dressing up in a dinosaur costume – opening up the field for fellow team members Kate Giblin – who will also be running in fancy dress, details yet to be disclosed – Jonathan Giblin and Rita Fernandez.

The team is now over halfway to its £1,500 sponsorship target – help them reach it here! All funds raised will be used to continue our popular Saturday Project which features gentle exercise, mindfulness, relaxation and social skills workshops.

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Kat after completing a half marathon for SLT in 2017, in the very respectable time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 49 seconds.
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SLT Marks World Mental Health Day with BMA

The Stuart Low Trust was invited to speak at the British Medical Association for World Mental Health Day, Wednesday 10th October 2018.

Following a well-received presentation by SLT’s CEO Hannah Kalmanowitz, SLT’s participant ambassador Frances Whitehouse explained how Stuart Low Trust has supported her.

Frances presented a collage to BMA staff, depicting her journey from a dark and traumatic place to where she is today.

“Through SLT, I have found the confidence to speak out, when much of being in a dark place with mental health issues is feeling muted and silenced” said Frances. “I am proud that my artwork will now be put on the wall at BMA”.

Frances HK presentation at BMA for world mental health day 10.10.2018
(L-R) SLT CEO Hannah Kalmanowitz, SLT participant ambassador Frances Whitehouse
Frances World Mental Health Day presenting artwork to BMA 10.10.2018
Frances and the collage she made depicting her journey.
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The BMA audience listen to Hannah and Frances’ presentations.
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Run or Stroll Your 5k Goal!

Everyone is invited to join the Stuart Low Trust team for The Big Fun Run 5k in Victoria Park on Sunday October 28th 2018.

5k is a great distance for moderate runners – and for walkers, it’s really little more than a bracing stroll – honest!!

We’ll cover your entry fee, provide an SLT t-shirt and be there to cheer you on! In return we’re asking you to raise a minimum £150 in sponsorship.

All funds raised will be used to continue our popular Saturday Project series of events, which features gentle exercise,  mindfulness, relaxation and social skills workshops.

For more information contact Robert Stuart on 020 7713 9304 or email robert@slt.org.uk

YOU CAN HELP US REACH OUR £1,500 TARGET BY SPONSORING THE SLT TEAM HERE

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Another Record-Breaking Canal Festival for SLT!

A sunny early autumn afternoon was the perfect backdrop to another record-breaking day for the Stuart Low Trust at the Angel Canal Festival on Sunday 2 September.

Sales of jewellery, books, CDs and other bric-a-brac at our stall raised £295.45 – beating last year’s takings by almost £50!

“All in all it was a great day to showcase what SLT is about” said Ahmed Qazi, SLT’s Volunteer Co-ordinator. “We had a lovely team of volunteers who helped us to exceed our expectations – and had a fun day at the same time”.

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(L-R) Stuart Low Trust volunteers Tony Freail, Brian Devine, Cady Stone and Frances Whitehouse staff our stall and chat to passers by about SLT.
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Visitors to the Angel Canal festival peruse the wares on the SLT stall!
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Join SLT for World Premiere of ‘Distance’

The Stuart Low Trust (SLT) will be taking part in post-show discussions with the cast and creatives of Distance, an urgent examination of mental illness making its world premiere at Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, this month.

The discussions will include SLT’s Chief Executive and trustees and will take place after the play’s performances on the evenings of Monday 10th and Tuesday 18th September.

Park Theatre is offering a reduced ticket price of £10 (standard price £18) for all performances of Distance to the Stuart Low Trust community. Just quote the promo code ‘STUARTLOW’ when booking online or in person.

Hannah Kalmanowitz, SLT’s Chief Executive, said:

We are thrilled to be involved in this important production, the themes of which resonate strongly with the Stuart Low Trust’s work with some of the most vulnerable people in the area.

Islington has an above average suicide rate, particularly in young men aged 20 to 40, and has the highest levels of severe mental ill health and depression in London. Social isolation or loneliness is a major factor in this. SLT combats this by providing environments which provide a sense of belonging and community and build confidence and social skills.


Distance runs Mondays to Saturdays from 5th September (previews 5th and 6th September, press night 7th September) to 29th September inclusive. Evening performances commence at 7.45pm (press night 7.00pm). Matinees on Saturdays and Thursdays, commencing 3.15pm.

The matinee on Saturday 22nd September will be a relaxed performance, designed to welcome people who may benefit from a more relaxed environment, including those with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorder or a learning disability. Tickets for the relaxed performance are £10. Essential companion goes free.

Notes

Stuart Low Trust (SLT) was set up in response to a young man who killed himself as he could not find the support he needed to help him cope with his schizophrenia.

SLT is a lifeline for hundreds of vulnerable, socially isolated people, experiencing suicidal thoughts, in poverty and living with mental ill health. We offer safe, inclusive, cohesive, non-judgemental activities, with a core aim of bringing people together and offering companionship. Attendees come from all over London.

Our activities provide a sense of community and mostly happen in evenings and weekends, when people may be at their lowest ebb, with few alternatives. Our Friday evening’s offer nutritious food, entertainment or an interesting talk. We offer Saturday workshops, Philosophy, Choir, Garden Club, Art and outings. One attendee wrote: “Being here has liberated my life”

Attendees can volunteer, with training and support, so they feel valued.

Want to join or support us?

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Thanks to our “big family” of volunteers!

Above, L-R: Anjna Khurana, Labour councillor for Tollington and former SLT volunteer; Robert Stuart, Development Officer; Ahmed Qazi, Volunteer Co-ordinator; Hannah Kalmanowitz, Chief Executive; Robin King, Trustee, and John Thompson, Chair of Trustees.


Staff and trustees expressed their gratitude to a record roster of over 60 volunteers at the Stuart Low Trust’s Annual Celebration and Outstanding Volunteer Awards at Mary’s Neighbourhood Centre, Islington on Friday 6 July.

Mouth-watering canapés were provided by Angel Deli, Chapel Market. Following speeches by SLT’s new Chair of Trustees, John Thompson, and Labour councillor for Tollington  – and former SLT volunteer – Anjna Khurana, SLT Trustees distributed Outstanding Volunteer certificates.

The formalities were followed by exuberant entertainment from ukulele group Katie’s Jumping Fleas – themselves recipients of a volunteer award by dint of their previous performances for SLT during the year.

“The event went brilliantly,” said SLT Chief Executive Hannah Kalmanowitz. “It was a chance for all of our Trustees to thank our entire team of volunteers. We’re all part of a team here and we feel part of a big family.”

As well as our flagship Friday Evening Event, SLT’s regular activities include: Saturday Project workshops, featuring gentle exercise, mindfulness, relaxation and social skills; a choir; art workshops; a philosophy discussion forum; a gardening project, and regular outings.

With a part-time staff of just three we are reliant on our volunteers to assist at, or in some cases run, our events, which in total cater to around 200 participants each month.

“We have a lot of activities going on all the time,” Hannah added. “Particularly on evenings and at weekends. We’d like to be able to do even more. With a growing demand for volunteers, a lot of participants successfully become volunteers after the relevant training and support.”

Find out how to become a Stuart Low Trust volunteer here.

SLT's Chair of Trustees John Thompson hosts SLT's Annual Celebration for the first time.
SLT’s Chair of Trustees John Thompson hosts SLT’s Annual Celebration for the first time.
Labour councillor for Tollington and former SLT volunteer Anjna Khurana pays tribute to SLT.
Labour councillor for Tollington and former SLT volunteer Anjna Khurana pays tribute to SLT.
Exuberant entertainment was provided by amazing ukulele band Katie's Jumping Fleas!
Exuberant entertainment was provided by amazing ukulele band Katie’s Jumping Fleas!
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