Tottenham charity receives royal stamp of approval

Volunteers receive Queen’s Award for work in the community by Giorgio Gasbarrini

Urban farmers start seeing results - Credit Living Under One Sun

Urban farmers start seeing results – Credit Living Under One Sun

Tottenham’s much-loved Living Under One Sun (LUOS) charity has received a prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of its work in the borough.

The “MBE for voluntary groups” was launched by the Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002 and is the highest accolade awarded to volunteer groups in the UK.

LUOS has been working in Haringey since 2005 and is committed to reducing social isolation, sharing skills and improving neighbourhood spaces.

Leyla Laksari, coordinator at LUOS, said: “Tottenham has a rich history and it holds our stories and our heritage. We want to help build on our communities’ aspiration and skills, and together face the challenges ahead.”

During the last decade, the charity has set up an award-winning community allotment for organic food growing and social activities, and has trained hundreds of residents – with many being placed into jobs. In the last year alone, LUOS supported more than 7,000 hours of voluntary work.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober said: “Huge congratulations to everyone at LUOS – a fantastic grassroots organisation that has supported so many local people and helped create a tremendous sense of pride in Tottenham.”

Earlier this year, LUOS won a competitive tendering process run by Haringey Council for the chance to transform the disused Down Lane Bowling Club in Tottenham into a vibrant community hub and café.

Tottenham’s Café Connect, to be delivered in partnership with local mental health organisation HAIL, will feature a community café with food from the charity’s allotment, a ‘global oven’, a greenhouse for organic food growing, a performance space and a pop-up community marketplace, as well as space for events and meetings and opportunities for training, volunteering and arts and crafts.

Cherry Clark, chair of LUOS, said: “We love what we do for the community as volunteers. This award is such a boost to our confidence and we hope others join in and support our Tottenham’s Cafe Connect project.”