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Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA)
102 Blackstock Road
London N4 2DR

0300 131 7300

Welcome to Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association

0300 131 7300


Resident stories: Meet Joy

Joy with our Resident Involvement Lead Sophie

ISHA is all about community and we’re always grateful when a resident wants to share their story with us.

We caught up with Joy, one of the residents on our Scrutiny Panel and a tour de force of creativity. 

"I moved to London in the 1970s from Kent to attend art college. That’s something I knew I really wanted to do, and people told me London was the place to do it. I studied book illustration initially, moved to textiles and ended up majoring in knitting. After leaving college, I started my own business where I had contracts designing clothing and soft furnishings.

“A friend invited me to join a music project they were working on, and I got involved writing a basic music programme, teaching a variety of musical instruments and running workshops in singing and recording. I’d played piano as a child but switched to guitar because it seemed more social; you can bring a guitar to a party. I’ve been in more bands than you could shake a stick at. I used to be involved in a performing collective called The Idiot Ballroom in the 1980s. We’d have bands, poets, acrobats; all sorts. Now I’m in a similar project called the Majic Forest.

“I’d like to get my own studio going in my home so I’m looking to get a MacBook and record more of my own songs. I write in all kinds of genres, I let the song suggest to me what it needs and that can take it in all kinds of directions.”

Joy was kind enough to invite us to see the garden she has worked on with other residents for years and even shared with us some of the poetry it inspired.

You can hear Joy's poem and see photos of the residents' great work in the video below: 

If you'd like to know how to share your story or get involved with ISHA to help improve your neighbourhood, email

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