Precious Pearls Women’s Event Review

High Town Methodist Church was the location for GRASSROOTS’ annual Precious Pearls event celebrating International Women’s Day. The gathering, held on Thursday 9th March 2017, saw over 140 women from different faiths and cultures taking part, under the theme of Sharing Traditions and Cultures with a wide range of entertainment, information-sharing and activities taking place.
Presentations relating to local projects were given under the themes of Hard Pilgrimage, Lourdes Pilgrimage, Military Life for Women, National Trust and Waddesdon Manor, Community Crafts and Luton Irish Forum. The evening also included dances, poems and piano recitals with food and conversations. For more information on this or other projects that GRASSROOTS are involved in, please visit www.grassrootsluton.org.ukcall 01582 416946 or email admingrassroots@btconnect.com
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High Town Community Clean Up & Gardening Day

You may have spotted some yellow jackets out in High Town on the first Saturday in March working on the Community Clean Up and Gardening event around the Paths Estate, bottom of Kingston Road and Edward Street. Local organisations Friends of High Town, High Town Gardeners, High Town Community Worker and Luton Borough Council worked together to organise a couple of hours of some much needed cleaning up of litter and cutting back shrubbery. Volunteers from Signposts also got involved at the Hitchin Road spinney. This was part of the Great British Spring Clean weekend and the first of a handful of Clean Ups the group or organisations will be organising this year. Around 50 volunteers came out of all ages to contribute to the effort where over 100 bags of litter were collected. Everyone involved agreed it was good to get to meet others from the community and do their part in Keeping High Town tidy. The next event will be Saturday 10th June. Get in contact with us if you are interested with info@friendsofhightown.org

Watch this short video recapping the event!

Photos from the day:

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Click here to view a full set of photos on Facebook

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Multi-Use Games Area for St Matthew’s & the Community

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In February St Matthew’s Primary School launched their online fundraising page for the building of a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) to be situated on their current school field. The launch event was attended by representatives of a variety of community groups as well as personnel from Luton Town Football Club and Luton South MP, Gavin Shuker.

They are planning to build, an area that can be used all year round to facilitate a variety of sports and activities not only for their students, but also for the whole St Matthew’s and High Town community. The surface will be multipurpose, meaning that it will be able to accommodate a wide range of sports including football, netball, hockey, tennis and cricket to name a few.  The MUGA will be surrounded by a ‘cage’ so that all the games will be safely contained within the area, and no balls going over the fence!

The overall target is £500,000 to bring the MUGA to life for the children and community. To move towards this target they will seek to raise £100,000 through crowd funding. Their crowd funding page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stmatthewsmuga

If you think you can help them reach their overall target please get in touch with Daniel Chaplen, Sports Development Manager at St Matthew’s on muga@stmatthews.primaryluton.co.uk

For the most up to date information check out their twitter page @ActiveStMatts twitter account. More information can also be found on https://smpsmugablog.wordpress.com/

Daniel spoke to Roberto Perrone from BBC Three Counties Radio about the project. You can hear the interview using the link below:

 

Short Film Shot In High Town

High Town is a hotbed for creativity and only just the last weekend in January a team has been shooting a short film here in Marjorie’s Cafe on High Town Road. The film named ‘Blueberry Muffin’ is a story about human interaction and how we can connect and find common ground over the simplest things. The plot is about a Muslim man and a Jewish lady who work in the same office and go to the same cafe but never speak, because society dictates that there is too big a wall of difference between them for that to be possible. An act of kindness in the form of the man paying for her meal, as she left her money at home, sparks an amazing connection and relationship between them as they bond over a blueberry muffin.

Writer and Producer for the film Ben Cyrus-Clark in regards to filming in High Town said “We realised that High Town doubled with Marjorie’s afforded us so much character. It is just so visually interesting to look at and that is something usually quite difficult to come by.”

Ben, who had worked previously with Director Brian Hutton on short ‘Preacher’s Boy’ (which can be seen by clicking here), had both brought together a team of primarily local talent including Joshua Hodson, Phil Dickson-Earle, Chris Bone and Riaz Ahmed plus many more.

“Luton is a big enough place to find virtually any sort of backdrop that you need, but it is small enough that the creative community are all linked with one another. So finding the appropriate crew for what you might need is so much easier than trying to do it London. Plus, it’s always great to show another side to Luton that is completely positive and innovative.”

Brian told us that the next stage in the process will be editing and that’s where the film can be moulded and shaped. He hopes they can get the film out to festivals around the world in a couple of months.

This isn’t the first time films have been made in High Town and it definately won’t be the last. Ben commented “What we have achieved individually and as a group shows that there is an amazing creative underground in Luton. But for it to grow ever bigger it needs help and support from both locals and the council. It’s a beautiful thing now but it could be phenomenal.”

Photos Credit: Phil Dickson-Earl & Brian Hutton

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Fairtrade goods now on sale in High Town!

Approximately 70% of small farmers in poorer countries produce food for the western civilisation, and yet sickeningly 50% of them are dying in poverty. We can all play a small role in combating this. Buying Fairtrade products helps to ensure that farmers receive fairer prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

In High Town, GRASSROOTS is now stocking a range of Fairtrade and other ethical fairly traded products to the local community including teas and coffees, biscuits and spices, a variety of homeware goods, candles, incense and many other gifts.

In recent years, GRASSROOTS has also supplied custom-made hampers as presents for birthdays, mothers day, valentines day etc, as well as for faith festivals including Christmas, Diwali and Eid. These are now wrapped with 100% biodegradable cellophane and provided on a compostable leaf plate, making these perfect environmentally friendly, ethical gifts. You can make your own hampers or we can do it for you!

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 27th February – 12th March 2017 and Grassroots are also hosting an event at Luton Town Hall on the 28th February as part of this. Find out more by going to their website: http://grassrootsluton.org.uk/news-events/fairtradefortnight2017

You are welcome to come and visit GRASSROOTS at 47 High Town Road to see their Fairtrade range on display, but you must make an appointment beforehand. If you are interested and/or would like more information, please do get in touch:

We will also be at the High Town Festival on Saturday 1st July 2017 so we hope to see you there!

This story was shared with us by Ciaran O’Brien from Grassroots

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