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What we do

We work closely with inspiring local organisations to address poverty and inequality in Islington.

Many people don’t experience Islington as a place of wealth and opportunity, but instead deal with isolation, insecurity or financial hardship.

Since 2010, we have built a great track-record of funding projects for good. Our practical, action-focused giving supports work across the whole borough.

Who we support

Together with our partners and supporters, we work to:

  1. Connect people who are isolated
  2. Support families having a tough time
  3. Improve mental health for everyone
  4. Make sure young people have the best chance in life.

 

These are some of the programmes and activities we are currently funding:

1. Connecting with isolated people

We believe everyone in Islington deserves a good life. We want people to connect with each other and to feel part of their communities.

Islington’s Good Neighbours Scheme

The Good Neighbours Scheme has been run by local partners Help on Your Doorstep since 2013. In Canonbury, King’s Cross and Caledonian Road it reaches out to thousands of local people. Many of them give their time each week, starting football sessions for local children, yoga classes for the community, and getting together to do some gardening. You can read more about Ernie, and his Good Neighbours in Canonbury.

Claremont Social Prescribing Programme

The Claremont Project in the heart of Islington offers a diverse range of creative activities for local, often vulnerable, people over the age of 55 so that they can have opportunities to shine and live happier, healthier and more connected lives.

 

2. Supporting families

Being a parent can be difficult and the prominence of domestic violence and mental ill health can make things harder for families. We support a number of inspiring projects that offer parents essential support and spaces to relax.

Giving parents space to help their families grow

The Parent House provides a safe, inclusive space for Islington parents. It helps to connect them with other parents, and to life-changing activities in the borough. You can read about the transformational effect of this space for local parent Amel.

Listening to local families

Kinship carers can be grandparents, siblings or any other relative or friend that steps in to bring up children when parents are unable to look after them. Grandparents Plus offers these carers some much needed support. We have funded Grandparents Plus for this work for the last two years and we have recently renewed the grant for another two years.

Catalyst Programme

At Islington Giving we support local partner organisations to provide new opportunities for joy, or achieving aspirations, for families, young people, and children. The Catalyst Programme awards up to £500 to people on low incomes to pay for opportunities that make a difference. It is a simple, special and effective programme that can be designed to support absolutely anyone.

Young Catalyst partners are:

Family Catalyst partners are:

 

3. Improving mental health

Islington has some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the UK, and the highest levels of depression in London. Improving mental health is part of the work of nearly all of our partners.

Our Mental Health Fund

We’re supporting partner organisations through our Mental Health Fund, which is exclusively dedicated to this issue in the borough. Improving mental health is part of the work of nearly all of our partners. Together, we give local people space to talk about issues, offering preventative and curative support. Organisations like Body & Soul work with young people at risk of suicide and self-harm. And the team at Islington Mind help connect local families whose children have mental health needs.

 

4. Giving children and young people the best chance in life

Approximately 47% of primary-aged school children in Islington live in poverty – this is well above the London average (38%). This can impact on the kinds of opportunities that are available to them, both in childhood, and throughout their lives. We work to create opportunities for young people to have the best chance in life. In a borough-wide conversation with 340 young people in 2016, they told us about the kinds of things they want to do in their borough. You can read more about these conversations in our report, published in January 2016.

Young Grant-Makers Programme

Our Young Grant-Makers is an ongoing programme and truly unique in its participatory approach: each year a group of young people in Islington (aged 16 to 26) get together to learn about grant-making and having the final say in which youth-focused groups to allocate £80,000. Read more.

We were just entering our third year of Young Grant-Makers when we went into lockdown, so now we are now doing online sessions with them. They just launched an open call for applications.

Mentoring Works Programme

The Mentoring Works programme connects volunteer mentors from some of Islington’s largest businesses with almost every secondary school in the borough. These mentors give time to help young people control their futures. Mentoring Works has connected 600 mentors with over 1,000 students. Read more about what this means for students and their mentors.

 

How we do this

Hundreds of people who live in, work in, and care about Islington choose to give with us each year. Alongside our neighbours, we harness this generosity, using money, time, ideas, space and networks given by local people to create positive change.

We listen to local people’s concerns and needs and respond with practical solutions that bring people together and offer support.

We help local organisations apply for funding through our grants programmes, and work with them to design new ways of tackling complex challenges in our borough.

We’re not afraid to try new things, and invest in partners and projects which are here for the long term.

Apply for funding

We award grants to inspiring local organisations working to change lives for good in Islington.

Find out more about upcoming funding opportunities.

 

Get involved

Hundreds of people who care about Islington choose to give with us to change lives for good. You can join them.

Because our administration costs are covered by our founders, every penny goes straight back out to organisations we know and trust, working in the community with residents who are isolated, anxious and in most need of financial support.  Find out more about how you can give here.

 

Want to find out more before getting involved?

You can see the difference giving makes near your home or business by using our interactive map.

We send out a monthly newsletter to supporters and friends who want to find out more about inspiring things happening in Islington. You can sign up to receive this.

You can also contact us any time using mail@islingtongiving.org.uk