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Island Network takes stock – and carries on

THE ISLAND NETWORK is celebrating all that it has achieved during 2020 – and it has produced a newsletter which thanks sponsors, volunteers and members of the community who have engaged with the Network.

The headline achievement is the 20,000 meals and food packs which have been distributed to needy members of the community – mostly elderly and vulnerable residents. As well as material help, the Network has also been able to support those who are lonely, feeling a bit below par or otherwise need a bit of help during the lockdown.

The 2020 newsletter explains that the Network brings together organisations on the Isle of Dogs which are led by Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) residents – to ensure that BAME residents are fully engaged in the local community. It wasn’t always so. Tory austerity in the 1980s helped the extreme right whip up racism – to the point where the first British National Party (BNP) councillor was elected in the autumn of 1993.

It has taken over a quarter of the century, but patient work by BAME residents, their organisations – and many non-BAME supporters – has reversed the situation. The Island Network has supported the whole community – at a time when community groups have struggled to survive because of the Coronavirus and hostility by local landlords.  It is a great credit to the Island Network that the community can put the pat behind us and move forward together.

As he launched the 2020 newsletter, Island Network Chair Maium Miah Talukdar said, “I am delighted and proud to share the wonderful and inspiring work of all the Island Network community heroes. […] I would like to also extend my prayers to all those that have lost loved ones during these difficult times and my best wishes to those who are currently ill or hospitalised.”

We are all relieved that 2020 is over – and so sad that the pandemic is continuing now, in 2021. Maium urged all residents to observe the lockdown and look after themselves and each other. He promised that the Island Network will keep going. “Rest assured,” he said, “we are here to help every single member of our community and support them in their hour of need.”

●Read the Island Network Newsletter here:
Island Network Newsletter 2021

●Read more stories about the Island Network:
Island Network

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