Nicola/Legal and Centre Development Volunteer
Nicola's Tesimonial is as follows: -
"Q.M.M.A.C is a fantastic organisation, I feel privileged to be a part of it. From the first day I started it has become my second family. This place represents the heart of the community and is a valued source of empowerment. It's diversity appeals to all ethnicities, ages and religions creating a sense of belonging and unity. As an Islington resident I do not agree with the cuts that have been made to this centre and will offer all legal support to this organisation where it is needed and I fully back the campaign to keep this valuable centre open within my Borough. This campaign started in July when the cuts were made in Islington with only a few hundred but has now entered into the thousands. This is my first experience in seeing a campaign of this size and I now understand how vital it is from talking to the clients that this centre is saved. I will give up all my personal time so that it is saved! Even as a graduate in Criminology who has now got a job starting at the end of October I would recommend anybody looking for work to come to Q.M.M.A.C."
"Assisting the Director,Trustees and Barrister/Mavlyn involved a huge task in the re-structure. I realise why it has taken so long with the consultation meetings and agreements with all parties concerned, united as one. This has resulted in a fruitfull solution for improving prospects for the survival of this centre".
"I think it's a good idea for the centre to have a radio station to further promote the groups thoughout this organisation and have a real people centre ie Q.M.M.A.C where local residents, clients, organisations and the community can voice their views and concerns. The Legal team of the organisation have agreed to screen all media footage prior to release for legal purposes".
"I am presently working on a Anti-Gun and Knife Crime project for QMMAC as I am specialised in this area. In addition to offering services to prevent crime we want to research the reasons why people commit crime. I am presently working on fund-raising for this development. I was very impressed with QMMAC when the riots took place, this centre suddenly involved many families, staff, volunteers and trustees who came together to ensure our children were safe from influence and prevented any involvement in crime. Due to some clients who have had a history of crime and have now changed their lives for the better they will naturally be involved throughout this development. The fundrasing of this development will remain confidential as this is a large poject which will involve many partners".
"I was asked if I could do a testimonial for this website and media coverage and I have never done one before so I have only give my own personal honest account of my involvement".
Selina/Fund-raiser & Job Coach for Employment BridgeProject Volunteer
In the last two years of volunteering at QMMAC I have become a lot more confident in myself and have had the opportuntity to meet a diverse range of people that I would not normally get a chance to meet.
I have attended a number of Training Courses organised by QMMAC and through their referrals from outside bodies. I have had the opportunity to do a leadership seminar, fund-raising, bid Writing and so much more. I live in Archway and devote my time to supporting this vital resource within our community.
I was shocked to hear about the cuts to this organisation as it is an important resource for me and many local residents across the London Borough of Islington.
The fact that QMMAC is a very respectable organisation, myself as a Muslim woman can feel safe and have a sense of belonging with many other multi-cultural and multi-faith communities.
Over the last two years I have acquired much experience in Job Coaching and Fund-Raising and I hope to further develop these areas with QMMAC.
I have had the opportunity to see the poorest people from very difficult backgrounds who have had the opportunity to contribute in their personal growth and development. What I have learnt at QMMAC I have never had anywhere else in my life. QMMAC is real and it is for everybody and no matter which faith you belong to, cultural backgroup, history, QMMAC opens a door to everybody and helps those most needed in our community.
As a muslim woman, my husband would not usually allow me to attend a community centre but QMMAC is different because it has the strong foundation of respect and values that people don't usually understand. The format and layout of courses are inclusive. If you are unemployed they will refer you to work, but first deal with your barriers to work and then help you sustain your employment.
I have never ever come across a place like QMMAC with such a mixed group of people and with so much talent.
I fully support this community hub and it's purpose and me and my husband will always be supporting QMMAC in any which way we can.
Lynda/Arts and Crafts Volunteer/Highbury West
I have been at QMMAC for several months and from day one, I felt welcome by everyone in here. Dorrie, the Director is for the people and extremely hard working and dedicated to the community centre. She’s great at bringing us all together and is appreciative of all the work done by volunteers.
I think this centre is a very worthwhile centre that helps the community, with a large majority that are unemployed. The centre also helps those most disadvantaged and I have witnessed this myself. I am proud to be associated with this centre. I come to this centre whenever I am free now from Highbury West. My husband is more than welcome to come here when I’m at work and can get support with Jobsearch and Volunteer in Administration as a professional Administrator, with the support of the state of the art Computers with fast internet access. We both fully support QMMAC.
I have only just started my new job last week and I still come into QMMAC to help me into employment. The place has given me the chance to see some great performances and it's great to see people we meet in the centre performing on a live stage. I fully support this organisation and as residents both me and my husband feel very let down by these cuts.
I hope QMMAC will be open for years to come and all of my life. This is the type of centre that is real and breaks down barriers and is fully transparent. We will devote any time we have to to support this place.
Junior/Community Centre Volunteer
I have known of this centre for over a year now. I have not been working for three years.
I walked into QMMAC today just to let them know I have got a job and I start on Thursday.
This is a great place. Luckily I got everything at QMMAC. It built my confidence for work and offered me life skills to better myself. I learnt a lot about team work due to the large number of volunteers at this place. I also learnt a lot about multi-cultural and multi-faith communities. There's alot of people here looking for work. It is especially hard for those in the creative arts industries.
QMMAC has a lot of contacts who can maybe offer you part-time or full-time work. I have seen this project grow over the last year as a client. The computer equipment for Jobsearch is just the best. There are many reference fact sheets and tools available to help you as you progress towards a job interview and there are many people that can give you practical hands on volunteering experience that can help you into a job. I am sorry to hear about the cuts to my community centre but will offer some of my free time to help out where I can. This is a No.1 Centre for me! Congratulations to QMMAC, you have the people with you all. Good Luck, you deserve it and not deserve this unfairness you have received.
I have been coming to QMMAC since they were located in Queensland Road on the site of the new Arsenal FC Stadium. I attend two of the music workshops at this centre and my older kids have attended some music workshops and Jobsearch in this centre.
QMMAC brings together people of all ages, cultures and much more to list. There is a very strong sense of unity within this organisation and you can recognise the grass roots, bottom up approach in the manner in which everything is offered and monitored. There is excellent feedback from the Director and Trustees directly to all clients of this centre with very effective systems in place. I have witnessed this by my own volunteering at the centre in administration. My husband has also volunteered on a number of occasions.
I once put a message in the Comments Box in reception just to see what would happen. I was amazed, I got a response in writing and an email. Furthermore I was even more surprised to see that outcome in just two weeks.
I participated in the last two Urban Arts Exhibitions with performances and exhibited some of my work of art. I learnt to paint over the last few years and have found this very therapeutic. I have came across such talented people from all over Islington and representing a variety of countries across the globe with amazing talents.
QMMAC is truly a wonderful organisation and is well sited and positioned for services of this organisation and you have the full backing of myself and my family and friends.
I along with my family strongly oppose the cuts to our community centre. Please let us know how we can help in your campaign in the cuts against these coalition government cuts.
My name is Mr X. I came to QMMAC two and a half years ago with my mum who attends one of the music workshops. I didn't want to come here at first because nowhere has ever listened or respected me as a person. I have a history of crime and drugs and my parents did everything to try and help me. A lot of my history was to do with the company I was keeping. I valued my friends like my family but I realised I needed to grow up and have the Police off my back.
QMMAC put me through a regular routine at first. But what I realise now was they knew me too well and they helped keep me off the streets and helped me in finding myself and being respected meant I gave respect.
My family never gave up on me. I still live with my family today. That's the other thing about this place, it has strong family values which taught me a lot. I was always in trouble. Now I refer QMMAC to other people like me.
I remember the day I got my first certificate. I have never ever received any form of a certificate in my life other than my birth certificate. It was a Certificate of Appreciation for Volunteering. I was so shocked that I actually got a Certificate with my name on it. Some guy in the centre made a frame for me and its still on my bedroom wall today. I helped other young people trying to keep them out of crime and it actually helped me alot in the long run. Telling them my story that I'm lucky to be alive today and talking about stuff freely makes a big difference.
From the day I came to this place, I never went back to crime or drugs. I was already undergoing treatment and this added to the support I needed. I even cut out the alcohol and started rapping and I got the chance to learn music theory. I even now write my own lyrics. Recently I had a go at playing a Saxophone. I haven't laughed so much. I never knew it was so hard to get a note out of it. I think I'll stick to rapping but it was a great experience.
I like mixing with older cool guys as they have been a great influence on me and helped me grow. I have learnt so much about myself and I know I discriminated against people before who looked different but this place helped me deal with that. Now I have learnt so much about different types of people. Many worse off than me. I like this place, there are so many poor and different beautiful people from all over the world all in one place. Sometimes they compete against each other in dance and music and it's just so much fun. I live locally and I wouldn't go anywhere else. I like the fact that I can say what I want, and I can complain about anything if I am unhappy. It's just a cool place to be.
If I ever felt down I would come here and help myself to a cuppa soup in the kitchen cupboard or a cup of coffee and have a giggle with the people in here.
I have never done anything like this before, writing things up about a place. I can only speak about myself and what I been through and how this place has been so important and a life-line to me and always will be.
I am deeply sad to hear about the cuts to this place. I feel very strongly against these cuts. Due to the support this place has given me in the past and present, its only right for me to be here and help out too where ever I can. My parents have also said they will happily help out too.
Thank you all at QMMAC, You are my No. 1. Community place for me!
Note: The Legal Team of QMMAC have deleted the residential location of Testimonial No. 6 Mr X, within this transcript for professional purposes.
Carmen/Work Experience Volunteer Admin
Awaiting Signature prior to publication.
Nadia/African Drumming Volunteer Tutor and Performer
I am only saying that I am totally against the cuts to my community centre. I will do everything I have to in saving QMMAC. I recognise we all been through this heavy re-structure that took some time with us all agreeing. Thats the beauty of QMMAC, we operate as one and can contribute in whatever the future holds. I have been coming to this place for 10 years. It has helped me grow and develop so much in music and dance. Some people in here have been coming to this place for eleven years. Most of us come mainly from all over Islington.
QMMAC takes an holistic approach and not just a place that completes a bit of paper and says we will come back to you or a place that says they promote equalities which is just words on paper. It's a place where the organisation and everyone is real, valued and we all have a voice. QMMAC listens and they act immediately. It is so different to anywhere I have ever been to in my life. The fact that all the groups are kept up to date on all of the management of this place and have trustees representing us all means our voices are heard and fedback on everything. The fact we have a devoted Director that stands strong for our beliefs and understand everyone, including the groups in development is just the cream on the cake. Our Director and Trustees have the support of us all.
This place is like web that attracts the most poorest and hard to reach people that would not usually walk into any place. For artists, its so hard, its hard to find work in the creative arts industries. QMMAC's contacts help out alot with possible jobs and promotion.
QMAMC prepares you for the hardest challenges ahead and offers you progressive support thoughout your time. I love QMMAC, I stand by QMMAC forever. I love the friends I have made in this place that has helped my career and myself within. These cuts have brought all our groups even closer for the first time ever.
We all at QMMAC work together and we all stand strong against these cuts.