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:

30,000 children in kinship care in London: Grandparents Plus talk to London Live

By Emerald Rose and Sam Stensland on 17th May 2018

Over 30,000 children are living in kinship care in London, with many carers unsure of where to turn for support and advice.

Kate and Claudette from Grandparents Plus talked to London Live about how they help kinship carers adjust to the challenges of adjusting to the huge life changes that can accompany becoming a carer. Grandparents Plus work across the country for all families where grandparents play a vital role in the development of their grandchildren.

The team at Grandparents Plus is growing its reach in Islington, and we are proud to support their work through funding to build the social networks of families. This emerged as a key action area following our borough-wide conversation with Islington families, who told us they want “a life, not a service”.

The importance of collaboration in making change: Islington Giving and the Vibrant Capital

By Emerald Rose and Sam Stensland on 15th May 2018

Islington Giving exists thanks to the borough-wide collaborative approach of residents, businesses, community organisations and funders. We also engaged with wider issues facing civil society across the city, and work to inspire and guide 23 other Giving’s now operating across the city.

A group of leaders, academics and policymakers came together at the second Vibrant Capital gathering, hosted and coordinated by Grant Thornton, to look at ways London can build on its success and become a world capital of purposeful business.

Our Director Kristina Glenn spoke to Grant Thornton about the importance of collaboration to effect change. A big example of this is our support (alongside founding funder the Macquarie Group Foundation) for The BIG Alliance, which makes the business case for companies based in Islington to give time to support local young people and voluntary organisations. You can read Kristina’s full commentary here.

Grant Thornton’s video account of the latest Vibrant Capital is below.

We’ve been nominated for a Charity Award

By Emerald Rose and Sam Stensland on 11th May 2018

Islington Giving has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2018 Charity Awards.  The awards identify and reward organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of charitable activity.

Islington Giving is one of only three charities shortlisted in the “Grantmaking and Funding” category, recognising the exceptional way that residents drive the conversation about what is provided, rather than having services provided for them.

People are often unaware of Islington’s reality and Islington Giving works to raise awareness of the needs as well as to inspire a culture of giving. In 2017, 20 grants (amounting to over £1million) were awarded, working across four areas: investing in young people, supporting families, reaching isolated people and volunteering.

The work of Islington Giving is made possible thanks to the hundreds of local people who offer their support each year. If you are new to Islington Giving, and would like to discuss how you can be involved, please do get in touch or give directly.

Director, Kristina Glenn says “it’s really exciting because you see lives change, you see people get a job, you see young people gain confidence, you see old people make friends. You’re making a difference, and you can see that in the organisations we support, they grow, they strengthen, their reach increases.”

Islington Giving involves as many people as possible in debate and action to tackle poverty and inequality in the borough. It has now inspired a movement for change. 23 ‘Giving’ organisations have been set up across the capital, replicating Islington Giving’s model.

“As the pioneer of a new approach to collaboration, Islington Giving has inspired other people across London to bring residents, businesses, voluntary organisations and funders together in their borough. Islington Giving helps us to inspire and inform what is now the London’s Giving movement.” James Banks, Director, London Funders

The Charity Awards is Civil Society Media’s annual awards programme to identify, recognise and reward those organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of charitable activity.  Awards are given out in ten categories and an overall winner is chosen from the winners in each category. To find out more, visit https://charityawards.co.uk

Read more about all the shortlisted charities here.

City Philanthropy have reported on this here.

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

By Emerald 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 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 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 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 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.”


– –

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 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 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.