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:

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.

Marta Corada for Cubitt 2016

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.


Businesses giving to Islington this Christmas

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

This Christmas, local businesses are coming together to give to Islington in different ways.

Leading local law firm Bolt Burdon has had a strong connection to Islington since 1986, and supports a range of local and national organisations each year by fundraising, giving donations and volunteering. This year, Bolt Burdon supported Islington Giving’s Christmas Celebration, offering our supporters the chance to celebrate another year of local impact, and look ahead to exciting plans for 2018 and further ahead.

Our friends at the Business Design Centre have kindly donated advertising space to show Islington Giving’s message to people who live and work in the borough. You can see the billboard next to the BDC whilst walking along Upper Street. Feel free to take a snap and share using our social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). The fabulous design was provided by Aubrey Design, a professional brand agency with years of experience working with major national and international clients. With offices inside the BDC, Intellectual Property specialists Briffa have also supported Islington Giving this Christmas.

This year, local family-run estate agent Currell has been extremely supportive of Islington Giving. Not only do they donate to change lives in Islington, Gracie, Currell’s Senior Sales Negotiator, ran the London Marathon in support of Islington Giving, raising over £2,000.

Islington Giving’s newest business friend, Marsh & Parsons, has been serving London for 160 years. Priding itself on its local knowledge, Marsh & Parsons has partnered with Islington Giving for 2018 to invest in the community and make a difference to local residents.

Based on Liverpool Road, massage therapist Perea Clinic is collecting donations for Islington Giving, and also encouraging clients and visitors to donate toys that will be given to children and young people involved with Centre 404. Perea had a fabulous open day on Thursday 14th December, but there is still time to pop in, say hello, and drop off a donation.

We would also like to thank the range of other local businesses who give to Islington in different ways. You can read more about them here.

Islington Giving works by bringing people, businesses and funders together to make strategic change in the borough. By working in partnership, sharing knowledge and pooling resources, we are able to make a much greater impact with local people. If you want to make a difference to your local community, why not join the hundreds of people who give to Islington. Contact us to find out how you can get involved; mail@isligntongiving.org.uk; 020 7288 6941.

Billboard photo for Web

Young Grant-Makers Announcement

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

We are delighted to announce that funding for the pilot of our exciting Young Grant-Makers programme has now been agreed. The Young Grant-Makers programme will put young people in the lead with a budget to award grants.

Our trusted partner Fully Focussed Community Trust will work alongside Islington Giving to set out the parameters of the programme. They will reach out and recruit the first cohort of young grant-makers.

Watch this space for more exciting announcements.

Credit: Fully Focused

Macquarie Group and the Macquarie Group Foundation: Investing in Islington

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 12th December 2017

Macquarie’s European Head Office sits just inside the borders of the Borough of Islington. The company has a culture based on ideas, constant evolution and inclusion.  It likes to back good ideas and innovation.

When the ground-breaking proposal for an integrated placed-based philanthropy campaign led by a coalition of local, national and international funders was mooted – with its bold ambition to raise £3 million in three years – it appealed to Macquarie’s sense of investing in infrastructure and innovation. Importantly, the proposal also held the real prospect of shared-value and long-term impact for the local people who need it most.

The Macquarie Group Foundation became a founding funder for the BIG (Businesses for Islington Giving) Alliance in 2012, helping the campaign achieve the initial £3 million fundraising goal.  Our collaboration has developed over the years and Macquarie has invested almost three-quarters of a million pounds into the Borough to date.

The BIG Alliance matches the skills of businesses volunteers with community organisations, charities and schools who are looking for capacity building support, mentoring and employability skills.  The results are significant, with 16 business now engaged in the alliance, more than 40 organisations supported along with most of the secondary schools and all campuses for City and Islington College. Each year thousands of volunteers are deployed from BIG Alliance partners around the borough to work directly with front-line organisations helping to alleviate poverty and isolation, and working with young people.

Macquarie’s people continue to support Islington Giving through funding, by sharing skills and supporting the wider programmes the coalition is investing in.


Islington Giving an “effective example” of place-based approaches to poverty

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 8th December 2017

A new report by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) highlights the leading role of Islington Giving in funding local, place-based solutions to help alleviate the affects of poverty and isolation. Discussing the approaches of different charitable foundations, the reports suggests that tailored, strategic initiatives such as Islington Giving can help to meet the often complex needs that arise in a specific place.

To read the newly released report, click here.

Inspired by Islington Giving, 21 other boroughs are launching or have launched their own ‘Giving’ initiatives across London. Find out more about the London’s Giving movement here.

Islington Giving talks to Zurich Charities about making local change

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 30th November 2017

One of the world’s largest insurance groups, Zurich Insurance, spoke to Islington Giving about more local matters.

Read our guest blog on the Zurich Charities site to discover tips for preparing applications for projects that make a local difference. We do not currently have any open grants programmes, but you can follow us on Twitter to receive announcements of new opportunities.

Islington Giving brings local residents, businesses, voluntary organisations and funders together to change lives for good in the borough. We are always keen to hear from people who want to make a difference locally, whether with their time, expertise or money. Find out ways in which you can support us here.

Leticia Valverdes for All Change - Going Places at The Mildmays_Saturday Socials 2016