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Holloway community centre on Andrew Jaipaul estate gets £240k funding for first time

PUBLISHED: 12:05 14 July 2011

Theresa Coyle

Theresa Coyle

ian enness photography

»A community centre on a Holloway estate still reeling from the shock of a murder has received a £240,000 funding boost for the first time.

The Finsbury Park Community Hub, based at the Andover Community Centre on the Andover Estate, off Seven Sisters Road, plays a vital role within a community that was stunned by the brutal killing 21-year-old Andrew Jaipaul last month.

The centre, which provides free salsa classes, bingo, IT training and youth groups, has relied on piece-meal handouts throughout its 15-year history.

But following a council meeting on July 4, it will receive £60,000 a year for the next four years – great news for the 500 people who pass through its doors each week.

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Theresa Coyle, director of the centre, said: “This is a lifeline for everyone. This is the difference between a community in turmoil and community cohesion.

“It feels like at last the good work we do has been recognised. This money is for four years, so we finally have some security and we can start planning a bit more – for example, we want to start a proper adult learning course.”

Jean McGuire, 73, who has lived on the Andover Estate for 23 years, said: “We were all frightened it was going to close, so this is really good news. I have arthritis, so it is great to have somewhere nearby where I can go and get involved with things.

“It is really valued by the people on the estate and we are very glad it is not going to close. I would petition if they tried to close it.”

Councillor Paul Convery, executive member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “We have made a deliberate decision to fund and support some of the biggest and more deprived estates in Islington.

“We know in our bones that youth services are essential, but they have to be close to where kids live.”

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