The London Community Foundation exists to help build strong and connected communities. They do this by inspiring London’s generosity to invest in small charities and community groups. Since 2010, they have committed over £65m in grants to support London’s grassroots organisations. In March 2020, LCF launched the London Communities Coronavirus Appeal, which had mobilised over £9m of essential funds to the Capital’s grassroots charities and community groups by November. These donations have supported over 330,000 Londoners. £1.3m has helped to ensure people have food and other emergency supplies; nearly 20% of the funding has gone to charities addressing domestic abuse and domestic violence and 30% of the funds have supported BAME-led organisations.
3i’s donation will go towards the London Community Response portal, a collaborative effort of over 60 funders across London that has been offering urgent and emergency funding to frontline organisations since April. LCF is managing all donations and funds received through this portal. 3i’s donation will be directed towards charities focusing on the themes of mental health, disabled people, BAME communities and domestic violence.
The collaborative effort between funders has supported the sector by reducing time spent applying for funds and reducing pressure by creating one easy access point. To date, nearly £42m (over £9m from LCF) of funding has been distributed through this portal, supporting organisations across London to be able to continue to carry out their critical work supporting their local communities during the pandemic.
"Throughout the pandemic, grassroots charities and community groups have been a vital lifeline in their local communities whilst facing challenges to maintain their services and survive the pandemic. Thanks to the generous donation from 3i, we will be able to support more organisations with their critical work, helping them reach the people and communities who need them."
Kate Markey Chief Executive of The London Community Foundation
Starlight Children’s Foundation is a UK-wide charity that uses the power of play to make the experience of illness and treatment better for children and for their families. They achieve this by making the experience of hospital more positive, by creating opportunities for social connection and by sharing the unique insight and knowledge they have gained from working with sick children, their families and health professionals for over 30 years.
The urgency and resource needed to deal with physical illness can sometimes mean that childhood activities are overlooked. Illness in the ‘formative years’ can have a serious, long-term impact on children’s development. Starlight's services help to reduce anxiety and isolation and help children communicate and meet developmental milestones.
Demand for Starlight services in the NHS has increased during the Covid crisis, as hospitals close many of their play facilities and children have faced even more isolation with fewer visitors.
The 3i donation will enable Starlight to launch its first ever proactive play and distraction services to hospitals in some of the most deprived communities in the UK. Sadly, these communities are often referred to as “hidden voices” because, although they are disproportionately represented in hospital admissions, their voices are rarely heard in the development of services to meet their needs. Starlight will provide a bundle of services to the value of £1,000 which will include their distraction and boost boxes; gaming consoles and story-telling and pantomime services. The charity plans to work closely with a health professional in each hospital to ensure that they get valuable feedback on the impact of Starlight’s services, and how they might be even better tailored for the specific needs of these hidden communities.
The William Wates Memorial Trust exists to celebrate the life of William and to help disadvantaged young people fulfil the potential they were born with.
The Lewisham Youth theatre was founded in 1987. They use theatre and performance to engage young people in tough life situations, giving them confidence and new skills. They have been imaginative in the face of social distancing restrictions, by helping their young people conceive, write and perform new productions entirely online.
"3i and the William Wates Memorial Trust share a commitment to helping disadvantaged young people fulfil their potential. We are grateful to 3i for entrusting us to find great charities that connect their generous funding with young people who really need it. The profound negative effect of COVID 19 means that need has rarely been greater."