Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Job Vacancy with the Voyssi Project

The Voyssi Project has been awarded new funding to deliver Community Cohesion work under the Government's PVE Strategy.

We are looking for someone who is interested in supporting the North African and Arab Communities in North Islington and is not afraid of a challenge and developing a new model of engagement of people who are socially excluded.

This is a 6 -month pilot project and depending on the success of our outcomes it could receive forward funding for 09-10.

Job Title: Muslim Outreach Advice Worker.
Salary: £ 20,020.00 pro rata
Hours: 21 hours per week (flexible)
Location: Islington - Finsbury Park Ward.
Key Responsibilities include:

1. Be familiar with the major issues facing Muslim men in accessing work, training and education.

2. Research available services in the Borough of Islington (with a particular focus on the Finsbury Park Area) in relation to Anti- Social Behaviour, Worklessness, Street Activity. The client group may also have complex needs

3. Delivering the contract to Muslim Men and work closely with partnership agencies.

4. Minimum of one- year frontline working with BME Communities and Socially Excluded Groups.

5. Experience of undertaking assessments, care planning and pathways into work.

6. Engaging with a broad spectrum of the Muslim Communities in the Borough.

7. The ability to manage volunteers.

8. Computer literate in spreadsheets and databases.

Closing date for applications: 30.11.08

For Application pack please e-mail adm_piliontrust@hotmail.co.uk or call Tyrone Norris 020 7700-2498

Saturday, 18 October 2008


The Pilion Trust has an on-line shop at www.buy.at/Piliontrust

The on-line shop meets all your shopping needs with a broad range of UK based business. You are also able to access exclusive sales with the business and in addition to shopping effortlessly on-line you help the charity with the commission being paid to Pilion to continue their work with the communities and the vulnerable people that need help.

So, have a look and shop till you drop...............

Banners: buy.at

Banners: buy.at

Banners: buy.at

Banners: buy.at

Friday, 17 October 2008

Saving the homeless from attack during Halloween

Every year around Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night the homeless population are subjected to malicious attacks by youths and drunken yobs such as fireworks shot at them or people setting them alight.

This year with the support of the Safer Islington Partnership, Government Offices for London, Union Chapel and Pilion's Shelter Me! Project, we are going to try and make a difference, we are implimenting shelter for both nights to help prevent such attacks. We will be providing food, drinks and a bed for the night for the vulnerable homeless and rough sleepers within the Borough.

Families reclaim park with a party after crackdown on street drinking

MORE than 200 people enjoyed a day of music, football, face-painting and free massages in the sunshine at Kinloch Park.The community safety day followed a council and police-led drive to tackle street drinkers in the park, which has been a controlled drinking zone since July last year.Islington Council deputy leader Terry Stacy said: “It’s great that so many residents enjoyed a wonderful day out in their local park, which we’ve been working hard to make a better place for families.”Attractions at the event, which took place two weeks ago, included the chance to meet wildlife expert Safari Pete from TV’s The Paul O’Grady Show, football with Arsenal Positive Futures, live bands, a drumming workshop and games of bingo.The day was organised by Islington Council, Islington Police, charity The Pilion Trust and businesswoman Su Forrester-Brown, of Kinloch Castle.

Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 17 October 2008

Friday, 22 August 2008

Hi I’m Precious! I am the eldest of 6 children and because I was poorly when I was born my mother decided to name me Precious. Trust me this was a hard name to grow into. Not only because of the kids at school but also the high expectations my parents placed on me to succeed. I was the first born, the one to lead by example and support my younger brothers and sisters.

I came from a caring, loving family. We went to church and visited all the aunts and uncles and as kids we were all tight between us, brothers, sisters and cousins. Our home had an open door policy, everyone welcome with a pot of food on the stove for one and all.

I grew tall and strong. Very handsome and caring. Good education, loved my sports, good singer and even dabbled with a bit of modeling in my early twenties. Yes I was the bomb! The ‘G’. Hackney boy done good.

Went out a lot hanging with all the hip crowd in Notting Hill and Portobello, mixing with the IT crowd you could say…. What went wrong? When did it all change? It has taken me 20 years to be able to answer the questions and come to terms with all the bad I have done. Not precious at all….. Shame.!

Dropped out of college, disrespected my family, stole money and stuff from everyone around me to keep me in the lifestyle I believed society owed me. 15 years in and out of jail, heroin, crack and alcohol dependent, violent, hurting people, lost my family and friends. But the worst of all was having 3 children to 2 women that I have no contact with because of everything I have done.

Now fast track things, I was released to a bail hostel in October 06, but went on the run as the hostel was full of idiots on drugs and stuff. So one day after meeting with my Probation Officer, I decided to pick up my stuff leave it with a mate and go underground.

Bad choice!!! Hung out at Finsbury Park and hooked up with a girl called Bev who has just left Holloway. She had a gaff, and invited me to stay. In the beginning it was cool, chilling out with her and her mates, smoking spliff and drinking a few cans no bother. Got my benefits,….. threw her a few quid and,... life was sweet. Or so I thought!!

Quickly I started building up debts to her and she wanted more. No sex, don’t get me wrong she is a fit girl but she is a lesbian. Anyhow, from spiffs I found myself smoking some heroin and then onto the crack. The debt grew and she had some bad ass mates that hurt people. So I was given odd jobs to do to pay for my keep and what quickly became my habit.

Thieving, collecting, delivering and a little strong arming people who owed her money and I was out of control. One night while out at Finsbury Park station doing business, I saw her talking to 2 guys (Outreach Workers), she called me over and said that these guys could help me and that I should listen because I was out of control.

‘It is my gift to you’ .. I remember her saying.

I thought about how bad things had gone and how out of control I was so I decided with some persuasion from Bev to talk my stuff with these guys.

One guy called Aston and the other younger called Karris.

They assessed me and arranged to meet with me the next night. I had to think if going to detox might be the right way forward as I was using over £ 200 per day in crack and heroin plus the rest. I had been detoxed 3 times earlier in my life while in prison, but always using again once released.

They came back 2 nights later as we arranged. They bought me some dinner and started to discuss possible plans. I really wanted to go away. Detox and then to rehab for a long time. We looked at options and discussed ways forward and then decided on a care plan that suited me and we all agreed. (sort of, you see I never told them that I skipped the bail hostel and that there is a warrant out for my arrest).

These guys do work quick. Within a week I was attending a local drug service, receiving counselling and being referred to housing. They never let me down. But I was guilty of not being honest. This ate away at me until one night I decided to come clean.

They spoke to their Manager Savvas, who managed to get the police to have a Doctor waiting with medication and for me to be able to give myself up. Well it took 4 attempts and being stabbed in the arm before I saw what lay ahead and one night they came with me to the police.

I was sent back to Pentonville and 4 weeks later moved to Lincoln Prison. I was to spend the rest of my sentence 5 years in this prison. I got so frightened and angry that I nearly closed down. Aston and Savvas kept their promise they took it in turns coming to the prison for visits and writing to me. All the time speaking to Hackney Care Managers and Probation as well as the prison about my treatment.

I was assessed and it was agreed for me to go to a rehab in Cornwall. I did my programme, attended groups and worked while in prison and 6 months later, I was released to Cornwall. Savvas came up and met me and brought me back to London. On our way to Cornwall he arranged for me to see my parents. I didn't want this but it worked out great and I am glad he brought them to the station.

I have completed all my treatment and I have also trained as a Physical Education Teacher. I am now living the dream. I have a flat on the beach, teach part-time at a local school and support others going through the pain that I went through.

I still come to London but only to visit the family, otherwise, the pace in London is too much for me to cope. I have written to the women I wronged in the past and have started building bridges back to seeing my children.

I am now 40 years old and have hope for my future and that of my children. Not only did Pilion help me but they helped my family too. I am so blessed to have met the guys and as always when I am in London I will go back to support the Pilion. I don’t know how else to say thank you.

I am Precious now ! Not only to myself, but to my parents, children and the community I live in. This has been the best buzz that I can remember. I love life now and don’t want to waste or miss a moment!

Do you think its addictive?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


We are calling for business and individuals to help us with raising £ 40,000.00 to open two new premises.

The ZONE is to be a new Centre for support, advice and advocacy for people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless , or people who need advocacy support when dealing with Homeless Persons Units.

The Centre will run 6 days per week, offer a 'chilled' friendly environment where people can express their needs and receive the support they need.

The Hive is a training project assisting people who have been homeless or are returning to the community after being in prison and wish to gain skills in hospitality. We will offer training service, education support and work placements for the volunteers.

If you are interested in supporting us please call 020 7700-2498 for more information or send your donation to The Pilion Trust, 8 Clarendon Buildings, 25 Horsell Road, London N5 1XL


Council Homeless Persons Units (HPUs) are famous for trying to turn away as many people as they can - telling them they don't fit the criteria to be housed. In reality man of these people are entitled to help - and this might include you.

There are 5 TESTS that the Council must look at to sort what type of help you will be entitled to temporary housing and some priority on the housing register for a permanent home. Even if you don't meet all the tests, you may have the right to some help with housing.


  1. Are you homeless? This includes people who will become homeless within the next 28 days or are badly or unsafely housed as well as those who are on the streets (e.g. if you can't stay in your home because you are experiencing violence there).
  2. Are you Eligible? Does your immigration status allow you to be housed by public authority? Do you have recourse to public funds?
  3. Are you in priority needs? Some people are automatically in priority need - e.g. pregnant women, people with children, 16 & 17 year olds, 18-20 year olds who have been in care and people who have been made homeless by and emergency such as a flood. 'others will have to show that their problems make them 'vulnerable' - e.g. someone who has serious mental health problems, or someone who is elderly man be vulnerable.
  4. Are you intentionally homeless? If the council think it is your fault you are homeless, then they man only have to house you for a very short time while they help you find your own accommodation
  5. Local Connection. This is the LAST thing a Council should consider and not the first! If you don't have a local connection with the borough where you are applying and you have one with somewhere else, the Council man tell the borough where you have a connection to house you. But they can only do this AFTER they have investigated your case and made a decision about whether you pass the first 4 tests.

If the council has reason to believe you may be homeless now or within the next 28 days, they MUST take your application and start the investigating the 5 tests. This application is not the same thing as being put on the housing register. At the end of their investigation they MUST house you while they look into the 5 tests in more detail.

"Reason to believe" is not the same as proof or evidence. A recent case in the high court said that if a person goes to a Homeless Persons Unit to get help, this is enough in itself to give the Council reason to believe the person may be homeless.

Councils often do everything they can to refuse to or delay in housing people even if there is clearly a reason to believe they may be homeless, eligible and in priority need. These are some of the things council's say to try turn you away:
  • They can't help until they've done a home visit sometime in the future
  • They can't help until you've actually been evicted by the bailiffs
  • They won't help until you bring in a doctors report
  • They won't help until you've gone through meditation(for example with your parents to see if they will change their mind about throwing you out)
  • They won't help until you show a police report about the violence you've been suffering

Most of these tactics are unlawful. If this happens to you - stand firm and tell the Council that you know your rights and that you won't be turned away! If they still refuse to help, ask for a written decision letter telling you why they won't help and take this to an advice agency or contact us.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


The Islington ECO Service has a full-time vacancy for a Substance Misuse Outreach Worker.

ECO is the lead agency for Islington working with vulnerable people with complex needs. The service delivers outreach and community centre based surgeries focusing on advice, advocacy and treatment support for rough sleepers, the homeless and people in temporary accommodation.

Key requirements for the position are;

*NVQ3 in substance misuse (or prepared to undertake vocational qualification).

* Be familiar with major issues affecting rough sleepers, homeless and the street population in relation to drug, alcohol misuse; housing; benefits etc., within the Borough of Islington.

* Experience in partnership working with statutory, voluntary and community sector agencies.

* Experience of working with drug and/or alcohol misuse and homelessness.

* Experience of front line outreach and street work with vulnerable and choatic individuals.

* Ability to undertake triage and risk assessments, care planning and reviews.

* Knowledge of Models of Care and Tier 2 and 3 services.

* Computer literate Windows 08; speadsheets and databases.

Salary: £ 23,295.00 per annum

Hours of Work: 35 hours per week (flexible rota early and late shifts)

Holidays: 24 days per annum, plus public and bank holidays.

Closing date: 13 June 2008 at 5pm

If you wish to apply please contact Tyrone Norris on 020 7700-2498 or adm_piliontrust@hotmail.co.uk for further information and an application pack.

Thursday, 24 April 2008


The Voyssi Training is running its final seminar for the multi-cultural and diverse groups of Islington. This training has been designed to meet the needs of the local groups to improve their practice and develop their staff and volunteers.

Monday 28th April 2008 the Seminar training seesion is on 'Women, families and youth. The effects of substance misuse on the family network'.

If you wish to attend please call Georgina Gavriel on 020 7700-2601 to book a place. (Lunch is included)

The seminars are free for Islington Groups.

ECO SERVICE- lead provider for homelessness

Islington ECO Service was named by the DAAT and Safer Islington Partnership as the lead voluntary sector provider for the homeless and street population within the Borough.

This brings a holistic approach to the needs of the vulnerable and complex needs people who cannot access services.

The service runs from Sunday to Friday days and nights. Sessions are delivered at the Manna Centre, AAB, St. James' Shelter and St. Johns' Shelter.

ECO also works in partnership with the Street Wardens, DART Team, Angel Drug Service, N7 and New Horizon's WOS.

Friday, 11 April 2008


Pilion's ECO Service received earlier this month a grant from Quakers Homeless Action in support of their work with the vulerable and entrenched people who live and use the streets of inner London.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


VOYSSI PROJECT is running a free training session for the multi-cultural and diverse community services in Islington on Monday 14th April 2008.

The topic is on Mental Health our communities and accessing services.

If you are interested in booking a place for your staff and volunteers pelase call Georgina Gavriel on 020 7700-2601 or e-mail her on gg_piliontrust@hotmail.co.uk

Monday, 24 March 2008

Pilion Trust received confirmation of National Lottery Awards entry.

The Pilion Trust received notification on the 19th March 2008, that the charity has been entered in the National Lottery Awards 2008.

Dolores Steadman (CHAIR of the Pilion Trust)... 'welcomed the recognition from the Lottery Board of the work and achievements over the last 12 months of the staff and volunteers in ensuring a safe treatment pathway for the vulnerable and homeless clients who have complex needs.

We look forward to hearing the outcome later in the year'

Friday, 21 March 2008


The Pilion Trust have been awarded Community Chest Funding in Islington to continue the work of the Islington ECO Project - 'Enhanced Community Outreach' which focuses on vulnerable homeless people and families in Islington with complex needs.

The additional funding will assist the Team in working more days on the streets of Islington and with partner agencies like St. Mungo's, Cranstoun, Turning Point, The Manna Centre, Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Street Wardens, DART and ART teams to advocate and support the vulnerable to access appropriate treatment, healthcare and housing.

VOYSSI - 'A meeting place of many voices'

Voyssi is a new pilot initiative funded by Islington Drug and Alcohol Team to support the multi-cultural and diverse community that Islington has to support its people in gaining faster and more appropriate access to drug and alcohol treatment and mental health services.

Over 32 community organisations including race, ethicity, disabililty, gender, age, youth, women, faith and belief groups have taken part in the initial programme and in April 2008, Voyssi will run a series of conferences to enable, empower and training staff and volunteers from these organisations how to support, advise and refer people into services across the Borough.

For more information please contact Georgina Gavriel - Project Co-ordinator on 020 7700-2498. The conferences are free to all multi-cultural groups in the Borough of Islington.