The Tottenham-based charity celebrated its first year as Hope in Haringey in a celebration at the heart of Westminster, inviting 170 of its core partners to the House of Commons. In marking this new milestone, Hope in Haringey also announced the launch of the Haringey African Schools Partnership, an international, collaborative project between schools in Haringey, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Somaliland/Somalia.
By Omar Alleyne-Lawler, Communications Manager
Hope in Haringey welcomed guests to the House of Commons in a celebration of its charitable work and accomplishments. Invited to the Palace of Westminster by Wood Green and Hornsey’s MP, the Rt Hon Catherine West and supported by Rt. Hon David Lammy MP, HiH filled the Terrace Pavilion with strategic partners, family and friends.
Taking on the role of MC for the evening, Co-chair of Trustees, John Stevenson updated audiences on Hope in Haringey’s latest work across their counselling, mentoring, youth work and police engagement programmes.
This also meant HiH’s commitment to sharing its platform was on full display, with the best speakers being the charity’s service users and charitable partners.
One of these guest speakers would be Dukes Aldridge Student, Toby Osuala. First encountered during the 2023 Haringey Youth Summit, Toby captivated the 400-strong audience of his peers with an-off the cuff speech on confidence. Toby would once again be on fine form, using his time to discuss how his confidence has been further developed following HiH’s support over the past 6 months.
Toby’s enthusiastic support would be a shared theme amongst the guest speakers, with Headteacher of The Willow Primary School, Dawn Ferdinand and former Chair of the Black Police Association Chris Excell also being vocal endorsers of Hope in Haringey’s charitable work.
However, it would be another service user, Antwone Martin who had the most to say about the Tottenham-based charity. Currently a mentee, Antwone was paired with his mentor, Paul almost a year ago. In that time Antwone reports that being a HiH Mentee has seen his self-confidence increase to the point he is now at work, self-supporting himself through his university studies.
For attendees, stories from service users would put faces to the numbers listed in the annual report. Forming one of the four gifts attendees would leave with on the night, the annual report gives a slick overview of Hope in Haringey’s working portfolio.
The 27-page report detailed HiH’s work, with each manager giving voice to their service delivery area and outlining how their programme enriches the lives of young people in Haringey between 2022 and 2023.
For some supporters, this was their first opportunity to see behind the veil, getting to better understand HiH’s four core programmes of Counselling, Mentoring, Police engagement and youth work in greater detail; but also learn how Projects and Communications support the core programmes and what role finance plays in enabling ongoing and future projects.
With the festive element of the evening well celebrated, the question of future projects would neatly segue into the second half of the evening: Launching the Haringey African Schools Partnership; ‘HASP’.
Welcoming people to this second half would be Nigerian-born Reggae Musician and Humanitarian, Ben Okafor. As a surviving victim of the Biafran War in which he served as a child soldier, Ben’s music reflects “a heartfelt plea for justice, truth and love.” Having collaborated on projects with Amnesty International, The Anti-Apartheid Movement, ‘War Child, Make Poverty History and The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Ben represents the best of Africa’s future with an awareness of the past mistakes which make collaborative projects like ‘HASP’ necessary.
As previously reported, the Haringey African Schools Partnership seeks to bring together collaborative efforts between young people in Haringey schools and their peers in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria and will soon include a school in Somaliland/Somalia.
To date, the partnership has engaged 10 schools, trained each of the young women and girls forming the Youth Advisory Board in Haringey, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria and has delivered PCs and MacBook Airs to Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
On the project, Haringey African Schools Partnership Officer, Rose Oruma said “The project has been very informative and overall, I think it is successful. It is lovely to see our ambassadors and [to]see good bonds build [between schools] through conversation. In the near future, I hope we are all able to work closely together to support the youth advisory board members [develop]their leadership skills. I also hope we can strengthen the links being created.
To capture the event, local videographer Rubio Films, created a short film of the event you can watch below.