News, Sustainability

Sustainability Update: London Community Foundation

Ward are working in partnership with the London Community Foundation, along with other donors, to make an impact in the communities where our colleagues live and work.  Below are two recent projects that our support has helped to fund:

Providing Food And Emotional Support To Young Adults with Disabilities.

The North London Ability project 

North London Ability is a charitable organisation that provides support to cognitively and developmentally delayed young adults focusing on building core skills, social connection, independence and providing essential needs.

“If not for your support we would be at risk of closure. Professional clinicians who work with our clients repeatedly told us that our work, enabled by The London Community Foundation, was what built our users strengths and resilience and helped them cope with the impossible.” – North Ability London

Even before the pandemic struck, young adults with disabilities often struggled with feelings of loneliness and ability to care for themselves. Covid-19 cut food provision and further limited the social interaction of North London Ability’s beneficiaries.

Demand for their services skyrocketed by 60% throughout the pandemic, the group found funding hard to come by. But despite these challenges, they mobilised right away to ensure their beneficiaries were nourished, had the ability to brave the winter and were emotionally supported and connected.

Receiving support was crucial for North London Ability and meant they could provide specialist meals, essentials, activity packs and one to one virtual and phone befriending services. These were lifelines to their beneficiaries – and they reported these three meals a day combatted their hunger and the befriending chats helped reduce their stress and loneliness.

As the pandemic progressed, they also received further funding for virtual dance, exercise sessions and mental health therapy. As well as funding for warm winter gear and further activities to keep the young adults stimulated and learn functional skills during isolation periods.

“The trusted white box emblazoned with North Ability’s logo was the only thing we could trust during these trying times. Every meal was different, wholesome, well presented, and delicious. It was generously packed, and my husband and I took turns enjoying the leftovers.” – young adult.

Providing Support To Women And Girls Affected By Domestic And Sexual Abuse.

The Sistah Space project

Sistah Space supports African and Caribbean heritage women and girls affected by domestic and sexual abuse in Hackney. Domestic violence and abuse have risen in the face of the pandemic. Community organisations are doing vital work to support people despite a sharp rise in demand for their services and a lack of resources. These challenges are more acute in Black and minority ethnic communities where reports have suggested that people from these backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the impact of the pandemic. Given this evidence, with your support we made it a priority to support organisations like Sistah Space.

In their own words, Sistah Space, tells us what the support from companies like ours has enabled them to achieve:

“We were already existing on limited funds with just one paid worker, we felt overwhelmed with the sudden increase in our workload and the fact that we could not operate from our offices. Demands on our services have increased to a level that we are collecting and delivering food, 7 days a week instead of the usual 3 days.

Coupled with the fact that we are operating in an environment that really does not understand the fear that African and Caribbean victims feel since the rash of deportations and the Windrush scandal. We have found there was a reluctance to report symptoms of Covid-19 as well as domestic and sexual abuse. So, the pressure on our organisation has been immense. Especially as we are the only African Caribbean heritage organisation of its kind in London, we are usually the first port of call.

The funding we received allowed us to support over 300 beneficiaries with the delivery of food, hygiene and toiletries and allowed us to operate in a way that is most beneficial to our client base. An example of this is that we were able to purchase specific African and Caribbean foods and hygiene and personal items that are specific to black skin and hair types. It has lifted morale among our service users who finally feel part of the community that they have felt excluded from.

We also received funding that allowed us to adapt our service to enable us to be able to provide a 24hr online service to victims London-wide. We were able to provide support for various associated needs such as accommodation, housing benefit, Universal Credit and matters relating to domestic and sexual abuse.”

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