What's been going on at Islington Giving?

Throughout the year, Islington Giving hosts a whole range of events during the year. These give you plenty of fun opportunities to learn more about Islington, see the projects we support firsthand and raise money for our campaign.

We would be thrilled for you to join us and here is what we have coming up:

Alex Smith, Founder & CEO of The Cares Family one of first 20 Obama Foundation Fellows

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 19th April 2018

Alex Smith, the Founder & CEO of The Cares Family (encompassing North London Cares, South London Cares and Manchester Cares) has been chosen as one of the 20 inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows. The Fellows are civic leaders, chosen from over 20,000 applicants worldwide.

The Cares Family began here, in North London, and Islington Giving is proud to have supported the organisation since its early days. A small grant awarded in 2012 enabled North London Cares to test its innovative social clubs for older residents. Since then, in partnership with All Change and Cubitt, North London Cares has delivered Islington Giving’s Saturday Socials programme which provides weekend activities and social events for Islington’s older residents.

The weekend can be a lonely time for older people. Each week, the Saturday Socials programme provides the chance for hundreds of older residents to come together to create, move and spend time with younger people living and working in the borough. Loads of friendships have blossomed as a result of these weekend sessions. Ellie, who works full time but visits her friend Joan every week says that “Those two hours where I step out of my day and catch up with Joan’s comings-and-goings are always a highlight of my week. We talk about everything under the sun.”

The story of the Cares Family’s growth (and Alex’s fantastic achievement) is an inspiring example of the positive change that is made possible in Islington every day for local people. To help us identify other innovative ways of changing lives for good in this borough, please read more about how you can support us, or get in touch via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk, or using 020 7288 6941.

We are recruiting for a new Board Member

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 11th April 2018

Islington Giving is growing.

We are recruiting a new Board Member with communication skills to help us shine a light on one of the most unequal places in the country and galvanise support to change Islington for the better.

Islington is an amazing place to live and work, packed with opportunities. But it’s a borough of striking extremes. Islington’s richest and poorest residents exist side by side, living entirely different lives.

Islington Giving is a ground-breaking collaboration of residents, businesses, funders and voluntary organisations tackling this poverty and inequality. Since 2010, we have supported 20,000 residents, raised c£6m, funded 74 organisations, and mobilised 5,000 volunteers. Islington Giving is testing a giving model for the 21st Century that has inspired 23 ‘Givings’ across London.

Contact Kristina Glenn, Director of Islington Giving, for more information on 0207 288 6943 or kristina.glenn@cripplegate.org.uk

Application closing date is 5pm on 8th May 2018

Interviews  held between 10am – 1pm on 18th May 2018

Download the Board Member Recruitment Pack

Islington Giving’s International Women’s Day Celebrations featured on the BBC

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 12th March 2018

Inspiring Islington women attending our celebration of International Women’s Day have been featured on the BBC. Laurette Josiah, Founder and Artistic Director of Amberleigh talked about how women in Islington create spaces for young people living in poverty to “make them feel happy” and “lift their heads high”. Laurette also stressed the importance of sharing knowledge in the borough. “Information sharing is so important. And today was an information sharing event, I think that was fantastic. Well done ladies!”

Director of Islington Giving, Kristina Glenn, said the event was a celebration of the “most amazing women who live in Islington, work in Islington, and support Islington women”.

bbc.co.uk – © copyright 2018 BBC – original link <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-43356464/the-islington-women-helping-impoverished-children-smile>

Currell share their stories from #IWD2018

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 9th March 2018

Two of the team from local family run estate agents Currell celebrated International Women’s Day with Islington Giving.

Gracie Loveday and Tegan Marlow said “we were particularly moved by one of the parents from The Parent House, who left us with the words “behind every strong woman… is herself”, which was met by a huge cheer and applause!”

Currell has been a hugely valuable supporter of Islington Giving for a number of years, giving their time, money and ideas. Last year, Gracie ran the London Marathon for Islington Giving, raising over £2,000.

With stories from Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation and the Guardian Foundation, the morning event was a chance not only for celebration but also reflection on the many challenges faced by women in Islington.

We had loads of conversations with inspiring women, and collected responses from most attendees about what they think are important issues in the borough. Watch this space for a full account of the findings from the day.

Find out more about how Currell #PressforProgress, read the full blog here

Experiences of a first time volunteer at Islington Giving: Helen Beach, Bolt Burdon

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 8th March 2018

Leading local solicitors Bolt Burdon support Islington Giving in a number of ways. They give space, opening the doors of their beautiful offices to host events. They also give time, and here Helen Beach, Associate Solicitor in the Wealth and Estate Planning Team shares her experience of getting involved in the community.

“Why Volunteer?

Having previously volunteered for a local branch of Victims of Crime when I was a student and a homeless charity when I was fresh out of law school I know how rewarding helping others can be and what a positive difference it can make.

While many of us now lead very busy lives, I have found with a little bit of effort and juggling of the diaries I have been able to find some time to help out those in need. Since joining Bolt Burdon Solicitors, I became aware of the valuable work Islington Giving performs and found out more about the various needs the charities have and who they try to help.  I decided that they were who I wanted to help and have managed with the firm’s help,  to convert some of my team to the cause!

The first step

Getting involved is really easy and the staff at Islington Given are so helpful.  I have already spoken to North London CaresFreightliners Farm and the Stuart Low Trust as well as getting involved with the BIG Alliance and as a firm we are currently deciding who is best placed to help which charities. If you are thinking about volunteering, don’t spend too long prevaricating,  just do it. It’s really easy, and while we have not yet started our first volunteering assignment we are looking forward to getting out there and making a difference.”


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Getting involved

The work of Islington Giving is made possible thanks to the energy, networks, resources and time of people living and working in the borough. If you have time to give, and would like to make a difference alongside inspiring Islington residents, get in touch with us via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk



Programme Director Helen Kersley talks to Islington Faces

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 9th February 2018

Programme Director Helen Kersley talks about Islington Giving’s aspirationsto open more opportunities in the borough in an interview with Islington Faces.

Helen sets out our ambitions, and gives some inside details on the variety of ways Islington Giving supports local people. Fundamental to our approach is building a sense of belonging in the community, says Helen, “many people in Islington see local places and feel ‘they’re not for them’. We want to get to a point where no one will say that.”

Head to the Islington Faces website to read more from Helen. Thanks to Nicola Baird for a great interview.

#TimeToTalk about Islington Giving’s Mental Health Challenge Fund

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 1st February 2018

Abianda, Body & Soul, the Brandon Centre, Jobs in Mind, and the Women’s Therapy Centre have so far provided around 100 young people with safe spaces to talk about their mental health.

Awarded funding in 2016, each project offers tailored, sensitive support built around peoples’ life experience. The transition period between teenage years and young adulthood can often be a difficult time; we heard that many people experienced a ‘drop-off’ of support having reached 18. By building greater connections with statutory organisations and other providers of support in the borough, the projects have been able to connect young people with wider wrap-around support.

The organisations found that young people experiencing anxiety, depression or isolation reported feelings of greater independence and confidence. Some of the young people, previously socially excluded in some way, were supported into college placements and employment opportunities.

Islington has the highest levels of diagnosed depression in London, and some of the highest levels of people experiencing mental ill-health in the country. At Islington Giving, we recognise that life in the densely populated inner city can be complex. We are committed to reaching isolated people, and working with residents, businesses, voluntary organisations and other funders to work out effective ways of supporting peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.

Islington Giving: reaching isolated people

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 18th January 2018

“I went to Angel which is not my usual shopping area, and I waved to a couple of people on the street that I’d met through the Saturday Socials, and I felt like wow, yeah, you belong here!”

Saturday Socials Regular

Thanks to the tireless work of people living and working in the borough, Islington Giving is able to reach isolated people of all ages. We recognise the complex challenges of living in the densely populated inner-city and work with local people to create more opportunities for residents to socialise, share and feel part of the community.

Islington Giving welcomes news that the Government has appointed Tracey Crouch MP to tackle issues connected to loneliness, raised by Jo Cox.

Since 2013 we have supported Saturday Socials activities for older people in the borough. Hundreds of people come together each week to make art, dance and write poetry. There are plenty of trips arranged through the year, including visits to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Alongside the Saturday Socials, our new strategy to support families in Islington is built around their wish to have ‘a life not a service’. This year, we are investing £200,000 to support organisations to build the social networks of families and their children. Though lots of people live on estates, they can often be lonely places. The Good Neighbours Schemes actively reach out to isolated local residents. They bring people together to socialise, try new things (like yoga, baking and crafts), and help make their neighbourhoods better places to live.

Our work helps to change the lives of thousands of people each year, but there are many more we have not yet reached. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how you can make a difference in Islington.

Islington Giving awards over £1 million for second successive year

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 4th January 2018

For the second successive year, Islington Giving has awarded over £1 million in grant funding to support inspiring organisations in Islington which make a positive difference to the lives of local residents.

A total of 20 grants (amounting to £1,028,406) were awarded to 13 organisations working across four themes (investing in young people, supporting families, reaching isolated people, and supporting volunteering). In addition, in 2017 Islington Giving continued to manage 25 grants awarded in previous years, to a value of £1,220,455.

2018 will be another exciting year for Islington Giving. Next month, we will announce the first projects funded in response to the findings of our 2017 consultation ‘A life not a service’. We spoke with local families, and people who work with them, and found that many would like to build better connections with other families, and have more opportunities to socialise. These grants will help Islington families build their social networks.

Islington Giving is able to change lives for good thanks to the support of residents, businesses and funders. If you have donated to Islington Giving, thank you. Your continued support will be crucial to ensuring that we are able to reach as many people as possible.

If you are new to Islington Giving, and would like to discuss making a donation to enable us to reach more local people, please do get in touch.

Abianda’s Star Project to continue for two more years

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 14th December 2017

Abianda offers one-to-one, group work and employment opportunities to gang-affected young women. Abianda seeks to address the gap in services for gang-affected young women. It changes the way services are delivered so they effectively respond to young women’s needs. Abianda does this by addressing the barriers that stop young women seeking help and working alongside them to design and deliver services.

Islington Giving has just awarded two years funding for Abianda’s Star Project. This was one of the first grants awarded through our Mental Health Challenge Fund, designed to respond to the alarming levels of mental ill-health in the borough. Working with Islington Council and others , the Star Project empowers young women to work through complex issues that can arise as a result of being affected by gangs. With a non-judgemental, human approach, Abianda encourages the young women to decide what can work for them in their lives.