Sir Lenny backs our BAME vaccination campaign

Sir Lenny Henry sent us a wonderful message of support this week (April 1) for our Covid vaccination centres. He recorded the video after Gospel Oak resident and QCCA friend Michael Palin told him about the first pop-up centre we ran on March 23, particularly welcoming the BAME community. Over 100 people took the vaccine and we're hoping for even more at our second one  in mid-May. You can also see Sir Lenny's open letter to the black community urging them to get vaccinated here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mKYnTZvIUM&feature=youtu.be

Young boxing club a knock out

The second term of our Off the Hook boxing club has just kicked off (March 31) with 12 boys and girls stepping into the ring. The project for 11 - 15 year olds is the brainchild of our youth services team and combines physical training with mentoring, thanks to talks from inspiring people like Team GB track runner Sabrina Bakare and actor Vas Blackwood. It's also delivered in conjunction with the Met police, whose officers train with the young people in their own time, building relationships that we hope will carry over into real life. Thanks as well to our youth services partner GOAL youth club, who are also helping to deliver the scheme. If you know a young person who you think would benefit from taking part, please email frances@qcca.org.uk

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Sir Keir supports vaccination centre for the BAME community

Local MP and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had a Covid Lateral Flow test at our testing centre on 5 March. He also backed the idea of using the Dome as a vaccination centre, making it easier for higher-risk BAME communities to get their jabs.  He told our CEO Foyezur Miah: 'It’s very, very important to have a vaccination centre in the middle of a high BAME community. And particularly one where it’s known and respected and recognised by the community. Because you have more confidence going to the Dome, which you know, with Foyezur, who you know, than you necessarily do going somewhere else. So I’d really like to see this as a vaccine centre'.

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Want to know more about apprenticeships?

If you couldn't make our Adult Apprenticeships workshop (March 2nd) about learning while you earn, here's a taste of what you missed. Joanne Mauton, an employment and training officer at Camden Council, talks about the free careers support you can get. Camden also has apprenticeship opportunities both internally and through other employers - and they're all ringfenced for Camden residents or people who went to school in the borough.  There's more information here: https://apprenticeships.camden.gov.uk/.

Thanks as well to co-speaker Sally Smith from Central YMCA who has a bunch of her own exciting apprenticeships at the YMCA and other organisations. Details here: https://www.ymca.co.uk/apprenticeships.

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Watch QCCA's St Patrick's Day play now

QCCA's 55+ drama and writing group has been funded by the Mayor of London to produce a play for St Patrick's day on March 17. Saints of London is a wonderfully eclectic celebration of London's Irish community, featuring original poetry, songs and stories inspired by members' Irish relatives coming to London in the 50's and 60's. It's part of an all-day online event replacing the traditional parade that attracts 90,000 people to Trafalgar Square each year.  If you missed it live, you can catch it on YouTube at your leisure: https://youtu.be/tYRoCtKPxHw n

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Dame Louise comes to QCCA for the Observer

Former homelessness tsar Dame Louise Casey has been a regular visitor to QCCA in recent months and a valued supporter. But even so, we were touched last month (February) when she chose to get her portrait taken in our food bank for an Observer profile. The article's well worth a read. As she says, when it comes to fighting poverty; 'You can't just tweak old policies. You need big new (ones)'.

Here's the article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/feb/21/louise-casey-homelessness-tsar-food-banks-covid-rough-sleeping-poverty

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QCCA donor takes a trip down memory lane

Amrit Maan’s charity work during Covid has taken him back to his Queen’s Crescent roots.

As the owner of the Punjab - established in 1946 and one of England’s oldest Indian restaurants – he’s been delivering thousands of free meals to charities all over the capital.

But he had no idea that Queen’s Crescent Community Association (QCCA) was one of them until he found himself helping out with deliveries in Camden before Christmas.

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Registered Charity No. 1096655. Registered CLG: 04393769