Supporting Islington charities

  • 22
  • Feb

“To experience the death of a son or daughter is devastating, debilitating, excruciatingly painful and really, beyond words. Only those who have gone through what many consider ‘the worst loss’ can really say ‘understand’.”

Christmas is a time when families come together, but for people like Anne* who lost her daughter in very traumatic circumstances it can be a sad and isolating time.

Yet thanks to the work of Islington’s voluntary and community organisations, vulnerable residents are offered a lifeline to help them through the festive period and at other times of the year.

Surviving the loss of your world (SLOW) helped Anne rebuild her life and is one of the organisations that Islington Council has supported through its Community Chest fund.

Run in partnership with the local charity Cripplegate, the Community Chest supports small organisations that make a big difference to the lives of local residents. It provides grants of up to £5,000 and focuses on five main themes: advice and support; reducing isolation; improving the local environment and making communities safer; skills and employability; and helping to improve people’s physical and mental health.

“Islington’s grassroots voluntary and community sector is flourishing. As a council we want to work with these groups to progress our shared vision for a fairer Islington, where every local resident can play a part in our community,” said Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Chair of Islington’s Community Chest Panel.

Around 50 organisations are provided grants in each 12-month cycle, which in turn help more than 23,000 Islington residents.

These are people like Jane Howell who cannot read anymore and relies on Talking News Islington, a talking newspaper which records news, community safety and services for just over 100 listeners, to keep her up-to-date. “I consider it a lifeline to enable me to know what is going on in the borough in which I live; without this news I would feel totally isolated,” she said.

Or Asima*, a victim of torture in her home country, who has turned her life around and is now inspiring others after receiving support from Community Language Support Services, which helps non-English speakers access mainstream services like health, education, housing and legal services. She gained confidence, skills and improved her English language and managed to find a job. She said: “When I received my first salary, it felt like I was born again.”

The next round of applications for funding opens in January. Organisations that want to find out more, or apply should email or call 020 7288 6940.

*Names have been changed

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