The power of place: people and communities working together for change – new report launched by London Funders
Over the last three months the places in which we live have taken on a new importance, attendees heard at the launch of the ‘People, Partnerships and Place’ report. We have relied on our neighbours, local community groups, and local businesses to get us through the lockdown. This new report from London Funders shows how vital place was to our lives before this crisis, and how learning from place-based giving schemes can help shape a positive recovery for our communities.
At the launch, Debbie Weekes-Bernard, the Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement highlighted that:
“This report and event have come at significant moment. We find ourselves in a time of protest emerging out of the tragic killing of George Floyd in America. One of the key things to emerge from this period is a real willingness to give: not just money, but time. It’s important we continue to provide a way for people to channel this desire to contribute. We have seen the amazing difference that London’s community and voluntary organisations have made in our communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must continue to work together to ensure they have the support they need in order to be able to help those who need it the most.”
The place-based giving schemes profiled in the report are all part of the London’s Giving movement supported by London Funders. They all quickly stepped up to provide much-needed support to local communities during the covid-19 pandemic.
United in Hammersmith and Fulham’s dissemination of micro-grants to local organisations, the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation’s match-giving approach to fundraising, Haringey Giving’s work alongside local SMEs and Camden Giving’s participatory grantmaking were all highlighted as examples of existing cross-sector collaboration that really came into their own in the crisis.
From a business perspective, Rachel Engel (Head of Macquarie Group Foundation, EMEA, and a partner to Islington Giving) noted that:
“We support our staff and the issues they are passionate about. Focusing our efforts in London on Islington gives us a greater impact and sense of place – where we can leverage our time and funding”
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder is London’s largest independent funder and makes grants of over £25 million a year for charitable activity across the capital and is a core funder of London’s Giving. Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“We have really seen the value and effectiveness of this type of community focused, place-based giving in the past few months.
“The investment in infrastructure and systems like this has proven to be critical, and I know at City Bridge Trust we want to underline our ongoing commitment to this type of approach to building stronger and thriving communities.”
The ‘Power of People, Partnerships and Place’ report shares lessons from six years of London’s Giving – all of which can be applied to these current uncertain times. It finds that the complex task of achieving real change in communities at a time of uncertainty, austerity and a feeling of individual powerlessness can only be achieved by collaboration across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The lessons from this report have taken on a new importance as conversations begin about recovery and renewal – how can we put people and communities at the heart of our approach, and build the partnerships we know will be critical to enabling us to thrive beyond covid-19.
Six years on, London’s Giving is part of a national and global conversation about the importance of place, citizen voice and cross-sector partnership to systems change. Click here to read the report in full.