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Elthorne Estate youths appeal for gifts for residents most in need

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 December 2015

Shawdon Smith (centre) with youths from the Elthorne Estate and a canvas painted by Philips Stasopoullos

Shawdon Smith (centre) with youths from the Elthorne Estate and a canvas painted by Philips Stasopoullos

Archant

Young people on the Elthorne Estate in Archway are appealing for donations for gift hampers which they will deliver to needy residents on Christmas Eve.

The initiative, called Elthorne Shines for Christmas, was organised by 23-year-old Shawdon Smith.

He, along with five young residents and other local volunteers, will deliver the hampers to residents on the estate considered to be most in need, including single-parent households, low-income families and the elderly.

“We are looking for toys in good condition, scarves, hats and slippers for adults and children – because it’s getting cold – as well as non-perishable goods, canned food and household essentials,” he said.

“We will be visiting at least 30 households so we would rather have more than less, to ensure

everyone we intend on helping will get something.”

“We have linked up with local charities so we can ensure nothing will go to waste.”

Shawdon said: “The main reason we have decided to do Elthorne Shines for Christmas, is to give back to the local community as it is clear to see that the area is in need of a new level of unity, community spirit and engagement.

“There is a lot of negativity surrounding youths on estates and we would like to show that the youth of today can be positive assets to the community and believe that there is a wealth of knowledge throughout the community that can be accessed.”

The initiative already has the backing of a church-run charity, Arsenal in the Community, Big J’s Kitchen and Nisa Local Bakery.

In the New Year, Mr Smith hopes to set up a youth academy to reach out to local young people and provide positive role models for them.

“There is no set youth club at the moment. However, this is a strong element within society that needs to be reviewed as a variety of traumatic events have occurred within the borough of Islington and a change needs to happen.”

Donations can be left at Nisa Local, 89-91 Holland Walk, N19 3XU.


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