Page 3 - HGS Suburb News 147 - September2021
P. 3

The Suburb is a truly remarkable place and its community spirit second to none.
      Here is a remarkable example of the Suburb community pulling together and literally
      saving a life. This is Kay’s story in her own words...

    Garden Suburb Theatre

    saved my life

    KAY GRAHAM                   From the start of Lockdown  the screen! Luckily, the other GST
                               back in March 2020, until quite  members realised something must
      have been a member of Garden  recently, GST members got  be very wrong and while one person
 Rain stopped play at Northway Gardens Tennis Courts (Photo: Tony Brand)  Suburb Theatre (GST) for nearly  together on Zoom, often twice a  dialled 999, another (coincidentally...
    I50 years. Back in the last century,  week. The Wednesday evening  and luckily) knew the phone
    we performed in the Institute  meetings were occasions when a  number of my neighbours who
    theatre and in Little Wood. After  topic was chosen and any members  had keys to let the ambulance
    the demise of the Institute, we put  who wished to could join in and  team in. Very soon, I was on my
    our plays on at The Gatehouse in  contribute a poem, some prose,  way to the Royal Free Hospital.
    Highgate, The Bull in Barnet and  an original piece of writing or even  I knew nothing of this for the
    The Phoenix in Golders Green.  a song. On Wednesday April 7th,  next 16 days which I spent in ITU,
    Sadly, we can no longer perform  the topic chosen was ‘Water’ and  and several more in HDU, where I
    indoors in Hampstead Garden  I was the first person to speak.  slowly recovered enough to listen
    Suburb but we do still hold our  I started to introduce my reading  and talk. I had suffered an AAA
    summer shows in Little Wood.  and then, quite suddenly, slid off  (Abdominal Aortic Aneurism)
                                                         which has a very low chance of
                                                         survival. I needed an initial six         Kay Graham in her garden (Photo: Carolyn Graham)
                                                         hour operation to repair the aorta,
    Project ImpACT’s                                     and shortly after that, a second  Royal Free Hospital, and 3 more  have received a prosthetic leg and
                                                                                      After a total of 7 weeks in the
                                                         major operation to amputate my
                                                                                                             learned to walk again, I hope to
                                                         right leg as the blood supply to it  weeks of rehab at Finchley  return to a relatively normal life
    Supermarket Sweep                                    had been compromised by the  Memorial, I came home and am  and go back to my hobby of glass
                                                                                   now learning to manage my new
                                                                                                             fusing and selling pieces in aid of
                                                         first operation. This second
                                                         operation had an even lower  existence. Thanks to my family,  the North London Hospice.
                                                         chance of a successful outcome;  my neighbours and many friends  If it hadn’t been for the quick
    THE PROJECT IMPACT TEAM    the initiative and reserved a  my children were consulted and  and ex-colleagues, I have no  actions of the GST members on
                               checkout just for them. Other  said I was ‘tough, fit and  shortage of company, shopping  the Zoom call that fateful night, I
        roject ImpACT, a programme  shoppers were also really  determined’, so they went ahead  and advice! Once I have installed  wouldn’t be here now. They really
         offering impactful youth  supportive, with a number giving  and I did, indeed, survive.  a lift so that I can go upstairs, and  did save my life!
    Pvolunteering opportunities  the teens donations on the spot
    and a registered DofE provider,  including a doctor who said he
    participated in the first ever, teen-  had been helped by a food bank
    led ‘Supermarket Sweep’ for food  when he arrived as an asylum seeker       XUL Architecture is an  33 Belsize Lane
    banks at Tesco supported by  a few years ago.                               imaginative architecture  London NW3 5AS
    Food Bank Aid.               Naomi Russell, who set up the                  practice inspired by
       While the teens didn’t quite  Hub food bank in response to the           natural light
    ‘go wild in the aisles’ they were  COVID pandemic, said, “donations
    very excited to finally be able to  have ‘fallen off the cliff’ as things
    volunteer in-person with their  return to normal. Unfortunately,
    friends after over a year of virtual  people are forgetting about those
    volunteering from their homes.  who the pandemic has hit badly
       They spent over £1,000 from  and who remain in dire straits.
    charitable donations, filling  Your support is therefore
    numerous shopping trolleys high  appreciated more than ever at
    with basic groceries, including lots  this time. We love that teens are
    of fresh fruit and vegetables  participating and thinking about
    desperately needed by families  those less fortunate.”
    that rely on food banks.     Lisa Zeital from Project
       They were also challenged to  ImpACT said “we were thrilled at
    spend an additional £1 on items  how successful this event was and
    that would help a family in need  the way the teens really embraced
    and provide maximum nutrition.  this really meaningful challenge.
    Items chosen by the ImpACT  We are looking forward to running
    teens included tins of tuna, baked  more exciting hands-on
    beans and cereal bars. The Tesco  volunteering opportunities with
    staff were delighted to support  partner charities.”

     Photo: Project ImpACT

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