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:

Islington Giving Partners Event: Working Together To Achieve More

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 26th May 2017

On Thursday 18th May we brought together over 80 partners of Islington Giving to discuss what more we can do to make a positive difference for Islington’s residents.

This event provided an opportunity for residents, voluntary organisations, businesses and funders to share knowledge and ideas for the types of effective action Islington Giving can take and support. With the discussion led by partners, Islington Giving sought to learn what the pressing issues are for local people, and gather ideas as to how we can all work together.

Nick Cohen (writer and journalist at The Guardian, Spectator, Time, and Standpoint Magazine) started the event by giving us his view on activism in the current political climate, emphasising how grassroots action can be a driving force of change.

A collaborative approach

After that, we worked with our partners in a roundtable discussion, asking:

  • What examples of positive social action have you seen recently?
  • What difference can we make together?
  • What is the current key priority for Islington Giving?

Many participants emphasised the importance of collaboration. Though Islington is one of the poorest and most unequal places in England, we benefit from vibrant voluntary and community sectors which help make positive change for Islington residents. A key facet of Islington Giving’s approach is to bring people together to ensure our collective efforts amount to more than the sum of our parts. Some suggestions of to how to do this included a live online directory, more partner events, or a pop-up shop in different parts of the borough.

Local and international businesses, including partners of the BIG Alliance, also discussed how they can bring their resources and expertise to provide additional support for voluntary organisations.

London’s Giving

The event finished with a networking lunch, allowing partners to get to know each other further, and a viewing of the brilliant London’s Giving film made by Creative Opportunities (soon to be released publically). Described by London Funders as ‘ground-breaking’, the work of Islington has inspired the London’s Giving movement. Thirteen other London boroughs, including Camden, Tower Hamlets and Southwark, now run their own ‘Giving’ initiative, increasing the potential for collaboration and idea sharing between like-minded community groups and charities.

Watch this space

In the coming months we will formulate how to bring some of these ideas into action. Watch this space to find out more.

To get involved with Islington Giving and help build on the successes so far, please contact the team via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 020 7288 6941.


Islington Giving: “Ground-Breaking Charitable Campaign Tackles Pressing Issues”

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 28th April 2017

An article by Dr Cat Walker, writing for online financial information platform CharityFinancials.com, identifies Islington Giving as a leading innovator of place-based giving, “a new way of bringing together local people with local funders to effect change and positive development by tackling the specific needs in their communities.” Recognising a growing trend for locally-focused philanthropy throughout London, the article outlines that the uniqueness of Islington Giving is characterised by its focus on places, partnerships, local knowledge and collaboration.

Islington Giving has also inspired the wider London’s Giving movement, managed by London Funders, made up of place-based giving initiatives in 13 London boroughs.

To join this growing local movement, and contribute to tackling poverty and inequality in Islington, contact the Islington Giving team via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk.



Gracie’s Marathon fundraiser

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

On Sunday 23rd April, Gracie will be running the London Marathon to raise money for Islington Giving. Having successfully completed the Brighton Marathon in 2015, and flying the flag for Islington on the south coast, Gracie is putting the finishing touches to her training before the big event.

Gracie has a long-standing relationship with Islington Giving and the borough. An integral part of the team at the Upper Street branch of family-run estate agent Currell, Gracie is also the mother of two young children. Fitting her training around her other commitments is tough, but, as Gracie says, “running 26.2 miles is nowhere near the challenge some people in our community are facing on a daily basis.”

You can show your support for Gracie by visiting her London Marathon fundraising page and making a donation to Islington Giving today. Every penny of your donation will be awarded as grant funding for local voluntary organisations working to tackle poverty and inequality in Islington.

Gracie and the team at Currell have supported Islington Giving since 2014 by fundraising, donating and providing support with our events and publicity. With a close and daily connection with the challenging circumstances faced by Islington residents, their support offers a continuous example of how locally focussed businesses can give back to their community.

If you work in or own a business locally, and would like to discuss how you can support Islington Giving, please call 020 7288 6940, or email mail@islingtongiving.org.uk.

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Easter Activities

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

There are baskets full of activities happening around the borough for children and young people throughout the Easter break.

There are free arts and crafts activities at the Museum of the Order of St John happening throughout the school holidays, as well as plenty of exciting Easter fun at Islington Museum. 6-12-year-olds can learn to cook up something tasty (and healthy), at Central Street Cookery School for just 50p per session.

If theatre is your thing, Sadler’s Wells is hosting a family extravaganza exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s quest for self-propelled flight. On 11th and 12th April, Platform will host workshops for young people who identify as LGBTQIA.

If the sun is shining, why not head along to one of the cracking playgrounds overseen by Awesome CIC, which are dotted throughout the borough. You could also pop in to see real-life chicks at Freightliners Farm. And Islington Play Association have got some eggscelent family activities going on over the next couple of weeks, in and out of doors.
For the grown-ups, how about trying one (or two) of Frederick’s House Cocktails. Each cocktail purchased will trigger a donation of £1 to Islington Giving.

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Njomeza Kartallozi and the Women’s Therapy Centre

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 7th April 2017

We spoke to Njomeza Kartallozi, from the Women’s Therapy Centre, about her work as a Community Development Therapist and Project Manager on their Islington Young Mums Wellness Project.

The Women’s Therapy Centre, based in Manor Gardens, has been offering individual and group psychotherapy to women since 1976. It ensures that psychotherapy is available to all women, regardless of background and circumstance. The centre seeks to provide an appropriate service to those whose needs might not otherwise be met, including women from Black and Minority Ethnic groups, women who have experienced violence or abuse, women on low incomes, young women, and women with disabilities.

Islington has high levels of deprivation and mental health problems, with the highest level of diagnosed depression in London. Women face particular difficulties – depression is more common in women than men, with 1 in 4 women requiring treatment for depression at some point in their lives, compared to 1 in 10 men, and women are twice as likely to experience anxiety. Poverty is a known risk factor for mental ill-health and disproportionately affects women.

The Islington Young Mums Wellness Project, funded by Islington Giving through our Mental Health Challenge Fund, works with mums in crisis aged under 26, to reduce isolation, raise awareness around emotional and mental health issues, and offer tailored information and support.

One woman said “I have never spoken to anyone about these issues before, it feels good to get it out”.  She had lost her four-day-old baby, born premature, having already experienced three miscarriages. Having attended sessions run by Njomeza, she now receives a combination of emotional and practical support. Njomeza has helped her secure one-on-one therapy, and a Link worker to deal with her housing and practical needs. Since receiving this support and intervention, the woman said she feels more positive about her future.

Please visit here to learn more about the Mental Health Challenge Fund, and here to learn more about our other programmes. Through our deep knowledge and connections, Islington Giving has over 1,000 years of collective experience in meeting local needs.

Our guiding principle is that everyone can give, whether with their time, expertise, resources, or money. Islington Giving is administered by Cripplegate Foundation, meaning that 100% of donations go directly to funding expertly selected organisations. Click here to find out how you can help, or you can contact us via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk or 0207 288 6941.

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FREE WORKSHOP available from Ethical Property Foundation

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 13th March 2017

Property Management for Non Property Managers

21 March 2017


PLUS Confidential Property Advice Clinic 13.30 -15.30

Venue: Cripplegate Foundation

13 Elliott’s Place, London N1 8HX

For many charities and voluntary groups, managing their premises is something a member of staff does on top of their day job. Without the resources to employ a facilities management team, managing a building can be a headache – and bad management can lead to high costs, unexpected problems and even risks to the viability of your organisation.

This workshop offers a jargon-free, accessible introduction and overview of the basics of managing a building. We cover:

  • Saving money on your premises costs
  • Planning maintenance effectively
  • Building management processes
  • Compliance
  • Legal issues
  • Risk assessment
  • Greening your workplace
  • Managing tenants

Plus many more useful, practical tips and advice on ensuring your property is a boost, not a burden to your organisation. Sandwich lunch provided.

Property Advice Clinic

The half-day training will be followed by a property advice clinic from 13.30 – 15.30 to give you the chance for a 20-minute session with one of our advisers on an individual basis.


To book a place on the workshop and/or a slot at the property advice clinic, please contact: Emerald Robertson-Rose by noon, Monday 20th March 2017 Emerald.Robertson-Rose@cripplegate.org.uk

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.      

This workshop is part of the National Programme for Property Education.  www.ethicalproperty.org.uk/nppe. The Ethical Property Foundation is sole referral partner to the Charity Commission for land & property advice.


International Women’s Day 2017: Celebrating Women Who Give to Islington

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

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, we brought together 100 inspirational Islington women to celebrate their contributions to the borough and beyond, and to showcase the impact that can be made when communities work together to create their own solutions.

We would like to thank our remarkable speakers – Abi Billinghurst, Val Henney, Lesley Seary, Amy Veitch and Maggie Elliott, who embody this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BeBoldforChange.

We would also like to thank to team at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Islington for hosting and sponsoring today’s event. The hotel’s contribution of time and space is an example of how large and small businesses can give back to the borough.

Islington and Islington Giving

Lesley Seary, Chief Executive of Islington Council, spoke today about the need for more opportunities for children and young people growing up in Islington. She emphasised the importance of celebrating success at all levels and giving time to talk up the achievements and potential of women throughout society.  Islington Council supports the growth of Islington Giving and enables our work to reach more Islington residents.

The event began with Maggie Elliot, Vice Chair of Islington Giving and Chair of Cloudesley Charity, giving an overview of the pressures facing Islington residents today, and the achievements that have been made possible by the many people involved in Islington Giving.

The needs of Islington’s residents are greater than ever, with 40,000 living in poverty – including over one-third of Islington’s children – and the fifth highest level of older people suffering deprivation in England. The impact of poverty reaches every aspect of life, including health. If you are poor in Islington, you are more likely to suffer from serious physical and mental health problems. Life expectancy for men in the borough is one of the lowest in the country, and we have England’s highest rate of serious mental ill-health.

However, at the same time, Islington benefits from one of the most vibrant voluntary and community sectors in the country, which means we have the expertise and opportunities to help create positive change for Islington residents. Islington Giving brings together ‘unusual suspects’ – residents, businesses, funders and voluntary organisations to tackle poverty and inequality in their backyard. Through this sharing of knowledge and resources, we have so far been able to raise £5million since starting in 2010, to fund over 60 carefully selected groups in the borough – including Abianda and Help on Your Doorstep – Connect (HOYD).

Good Neighbours Scheme – Val Henney and Help on Your Doorstep – Connect

Val Henney, a co-ordinator for HOYD’s Good Neighbours Scheme, discussed how her work started on the New River Green Estate in 2011. The Scheme’s success has led to it being launched in three more Islington Estates – Priory Green, Andover, and Bemerton. The scheme aims to engage local residents and bring them together as a community to create positive change, through providing targeted activities and services that tackle isolation and improve health and wellbeing. The impact of this community work is exemplified by Nicky Ludgate, a local resident, who started volunteering on one the scheme, and is now a member of staff at HOYD, running the New River Green Estate programme.  The involvement of residents like Val and Nicky demonstrates the empowerment that can come when the people who live in an area are encouraged to talk openly about their needs, and can contribute to designing their own solutions.

Abi Billinghurst and Abianda

Abi Billinghurst, founder of Abianda, works to support and empower young women who have been affected by gangs. Abianda aims to change the way services are delivered, so they are more effectively able to respond, by shifting the central question asked of women affected by gang-involvement from ‘what is she doing wrong’, to ‘how has she managed to survive?’

From Abi: “By flipping the coin in that very simple way, we open up a whole tapestry of resources, skills, and strategies that she’s been deploying to navigate the adversity and risks in her life. What we then find with a focus on competence, rather than on problem – where it feels like change can never really happen quickly – is that young women are actually taking control of change, and being real change-makers in their lives and in their communities.”

With the support of Islington Giving, Abianda runs the STAR project for 16-24-year-olds in the borough. Lorraine, who helps to deliver this programme, is co-located with the Islington Integrated Gangs Team, meaning that it’s a very multidisciplinary response; whilst the Abianda team bring in a very specific gendered understanding of the issues around the young women that they are working with.

Amy Veitch and Macquarie

As Board Member of Islington Giving, and Head of Prudential, Capital and Markets, EMEA and Americas at Macquarie, Amy Veitch discussed her close personal and professional connection with Islington. From its offices on Ropemaker Street, Macquarie and the Macquarie Group Foundation contribute to Islington Giving’s work with businesses, to inspire volunteers to lend their expertise to offer new opportunities for Islington’s young people. The boost in confidence that can come from being invited into parts of the city that were previously closed off can have a lifelong impact.

Islington Giving is built on the principle that everyone can give. We believe that by taking a collaborative approach, to finding effective solutions for local needs, everyone involved can help each other to achieve more. You can be part of Islington Giving by giving your time, energy, expertise or money. Click here, or contact the team via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk, or 020 7288 6941.

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2017 Priorities

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 13th January 2017

In 2017 we will support the organisations funded as a result of the Making the Most of Free Time consultation carried out in 2015 (read more) to develop opportunities for Islington’s young people. This includes the Young Catalyst pilot scheme, launched in 2016, and the new Making the Most of Free Time projects in the evenings, at weekends and in the holidays.

The projects funded through the Mental Health Challenge Fund continue their work in reaching out to isolated young people and families by providing holistic support for people with mental ill-health.

And in 2017, we will publish the results of a consultation to discover what more can be done in the borough to support families. By researching into complex needs, and the gaps in service provision, we will develop and plan our initiatives to help families flourish.

(Images courtesy of Company 3 – funded by the Young Catalyst programme)

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Women giving to Islington

By Emerald Robertson-Rose and Sam Stensland on 13th January 2017

To celebrate the ways that women give to Islington, we spoke to two inspirational women from Islington’s voluntary sector – Denise Ward and Sophie Marple – to discuss their work, their views on Islington, and the steps residents can take to help improve their borough.

Denise, Chair of Islington’s Children and Young People’s Voluntary Sector Forum, is also a Trustee of the Islington Play Association (IPA) and Cloudesley’s Charity. She is the Operational Manager at Help on your Doorstep and is involved in other voluntary organisations in the borough.

Denise’s favourite aspect of Islington is the diversity of the borough and its residents. She is acutely aware of the inequality and social divide that is prevalent, and the array of issues that arise from this. For Denise, an important issue in Islington is its lack of green space – having the least amount of green space of any London borough – and the impact that this has on children’s play and development. Denise and the IPA fought to secure their 2012 ‘deed of dedication’ with the Council, which protects the land of 12 adventure playgrounds from being used for anything other than children’s play. This has created security for children’s enjoyment and development through outdoor play in the borough. (To learn about the necessity of play visit here)

Denise says that a central issue for Islington’s disadvantaged young women is aspiration and ambition. Therefore it is crucial to encourage young women to make the most of education, and to help build a sense of ‘I can’ – I can learn, I can succeed, and I can create positive change in my community and the world. To finish, we asked Denise for names of women in the borough who inspire her. Denise’s suggestions included Chair of Cloudesley’s Charity, and Islington Giving Board member, Maggie Elliot, who she praises for her exemplary chairing skills, and teenager, Honey Baker, who is part of Islington’s Youth Council and is already fighting for positive change (Read Honey’s Youth Council manifesto).

Sophie Marple established the Marple Charitable Trust 10 years ago to fund work that helps disadvantaged children in Islington and Sub-Saharan Africa fulfil their potential through education. For Sophie, Islington means diversity – which means vibrancy, life, and colour. But that also comes at a cost. Sophie highlights issues of inequality, and how higher-income Islington residents may not realise the pressures facing their lower-income neighbours.

We were happy to hear that Sophie’s inspirational Islington woman is Kristina Glenn, chosen for her ‘success with Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving’, and the network of people she has brought together to create positive change in the borough and beyond. Sophie explained that her passion to help Islington residents was spurred on by a tour of the borough with Kristina, which opened her eyes to the inequality in the area.

For Sophie, a central issue in Islington is children’s education and the limitations facing disadvantaged youth. With cuts to school funding and extracurricular activities, Sophie says that it is crucial to fund organisations that give children somewhere to go, to meet people, and to learn new skills. This is what the Marple  Charitable Trust does, helping organisations such as Company 3, Urban Hope, and Chance UK, to ‘get on with what they do best’ – which is helping children learn, express themselves, develop, and thrive. Sophie’s vision powerfully shows how we can help improve our borough.

We thank both Sophie and Denise, for speaking to us, and look forward to celebrating the vast achievements of women in Islington.

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