Helping people thrive

News 2016

Smiles in the East End as EECF deliver gifts to local elders

21st December 2016

Image: Societe Generale volunteers at the Newham Resource Centre / Credit: EECF

Christmas is a time for family and feasting, but many elderly people spend the festive season feeling alone and isolated; they might have been recently widowed, have family that live far away, or simply be too vulnerable through ill health to see friends from week to week.

With the support of friendly corporate volunteers East End Community Foundation distributes gifts to local elderly people across Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets, bringing festive cheer to day centres and sheltered accommodation. This December we visited 13 care homes, residential homes and day centres across Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. We had support from 97 volunteers from 12 different companies to distribute Christmas food bags and gifts!

Your support is vitally important as older people are particularly affected by social isolation and loneliness. Bereavement, ill health and lack of mobility all play their part and people over 80 are twice as likely to report feeling lonely than those aged 79 or younger. The East End also has the highest numbers of elderly people in income deprivation in Britain. In Tower Hamlets 1 in every 2 older people is income deprived and in Hackney and Newham almost 1 in every 3. These people may become lonely as they can't afford to take part in social activities or have to prioritise spending on health needs.

EECF would like to extend our thanks to our corporate partners who supported the Christmas food bag appeal including AFME, Ballymore, Canary Wharf Group, Credit Suisse, Delancey, Fitch Ratings, Function, Get Living London, Hammerson, Here East, Hermes, Northern Trust, Société Générale, Span Group, TD Securities and Valero. You can see more pictures from the appeal here.

Christmas food bags are only one part of what we do here at EECF. As a grant maker we've been addressing complex social needs in East London for over 25 years and we’re dedicated to improving the quality of life and opportunities for people living here all year round. Since this April we've been able to distribute over £700,000 to local grassroots organisations and support over 11,000 people.

You can find out more about what we do in the local community by watching our new video: 

Our office is closed for Christmas between 24th December 2016 and 2nd January 2017, reopening Tuesday 3rd January 2017. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Saying Thank You this #GivingTuesday

29th November 2016

Image: #GivingTuesday logo

#GivingTuesday, a global day of giving, takes place today! Led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation, #GivingTuesday reminds everyone it’s good to give – and encourages people to come together and share the goodwill.

Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering some time or just spreading the word at the start of the Christmas shopping season; #GivingTuesday aims to encourage people, charities and businesses to donate their time, their money or their voice to help a good cause.

Last year #GivingTuesday broke a Guinness World record for the most online donations received in 24 hours, as people gave away £35 million to good causes globally and raised £6,000 a minute for UK charities.

Throughout this year East End Community Foundation has received incredible support from local people and businesses. On this special day, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of our donors and supporters who have donated their time and money to help us and the local community; from our philanthropy club members and London Marathon runners to our business members, fundholders and major donors.

We are tweeting our thanks throughout the day on social media along with some great photos from the projects we support; join in by following @EastEnd_CF on Twitter.

If you have been inspired by #GivingTuesday, you can support us in a number of ways; whether that’s donating £17 to support our Christmas Food Bags appeal, applying for our final London Marathon 2017 place or supporting our work through becoming a member of our philanthropy Club.

Take a look at our website for more information or contact us to find out how you could work with us in the East End via 020 7345 4444.

Celebrating awarding £270,000 to groups across East London

20th October 2016

Image: Guests at the Grants Breakfast / Credit: EECF

On 20th October 2016 we were delighted to host our inaugural grants breakfast event at the East End Community Foundation offices to celebrate awarding just under £270,000 to 58 local charities and community groups through our autumn funding round.

It was a great opportunity for our donors to meet the projects they are helping to support through the 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund, Hackney Giving, IQL Community Fund and Inspiring Communities Funds. The local voluntary sector also appreciated the opportunity to network and share plans for the coming year.

We would like to thank all of those who came along, especially our donors and strategic partners: Clifford Chance, Liberty Speciality Markets, London Borough of Hackney, State Street and Ultimate Security.

September was a particularly busy funding round as we received over 150 applications for support. We have one final round left for 2016; the deadline for submissions is 12 noon on 5th December 2016 and we will be accepting applications from across the City of London, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Please see the grants page of our website for guidelines and more details about how to apply. We're always happy to discuss your project idea, provide guidance to help you identify a suitable programme or advice on whether EECF is the right funder for your project; call the grants team on 020 7345 4444 for support.

Community health check results are in for East London

4th October 2016


East End Community Foundation is delighted to release today our Vital Signs research report which reveals how the East End boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham are performing compared to the rest of the country, as well as one another.

Vital Signs is based on ten social themes, each graded from A to E. The 2016 data shows unemployment rates have improved since the release of our first report in 2014 and the East End is leading the way nationally in terms of its cultural heritage and the local economy, which both score an A grade. This means the East End is performing better than 80% of comparable areas for these social themes.

However, the area is underperforming significantly for the social themes: fairness, healthy living, housing & homelessness and safety which all score an E grade, indicating that on a national scale, East End is performing worse than 80% of other comparable areas.

The Vital Signs community consultation survey of over 400 local people also confirmed that housing and safety are key concerns for local residents. We found that whilst almost 8 in every 10 people agree or strongly agree they feel safe during daylight hours this halves to 4 in 10 feeling safe after dark.

Tracey Walsh, our Chief Executive, says: “Whilst it’s great to see that according to national statistics there have been improvements in unemployment rates and wellbeing since we first launched the Vital Signs project in 2014, the data shows the East End is still comparatively more deprived to other areas in London, and the UK, and does have issues of real need.

We already know that local authorities, businesses and charities are doing their part to improve their communities. Our local giving funds – Hackney Giving and Newham Giving are prime examples of positive impact through a multi-donor approach and, building on their success, Tower Hamlets Giving will be launched in 2017. By understanding the facts, and working together, we can have a greater impact than many organisations working independently. I passionately believe that a collaborative, joined-up approach to tackling local issues is the only way to make a real difference. ”

Vital Signs is an international initiative originally conceived by the Toronto Community Foundation, Canada in 2001. EECF’s Vital Signs report is released today together with reports from other community foundations from across the UK and the world, including countries such Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the USA.

To find out more about the social issues in your area, visit the Vital Signs page on our website to download and digest the report.

Book your next meal out through ChariTable and support EECF

5th September 2016

Image: ChariTable Logo / Credit: ChariTable

Whether you regularly take your clients out for lunchtime meetings or enjoy eating out with friends, you could help support East End Community Foundation by reserving your restaurant table through ChariTable Bookings.

EECF are delighted to announce we are a charity partner with ChariTable Bookings, a company with a social purpose that aims to change the way people and companies book restaurants forever.

You can choose from a growing list of over 4,500 restaurants across the UK, make your booking and for every diner in your party £1 (net) will be donated by the restaurant to EECF, all at absolutely no cost to you. It won't cost you a penny because the £1 donation comes direct from restaurant commission.

For every 100 people booking a table for 4 people once a week, a staggering £20,800 per year would be raised in funds for EECF. Why not encourage your employees and clients to make all restaurant reservations through ChariTable Bookings and help us support small, local charities across the East End?

The free booking system is available on desktop, tablet and mobile. Book your next meal out today using this link or save to your bookmarks for future reference.

Making a difference this summer thanks to £80,000 from Newham Giving

11th August 2016

Image: Young people with their go karts at Beckton Skills Centre / Credit: EECF

A whole host of summer projects across Newham such as building go-karts and leadership training have been supported thanks to a five-figure grant from Newham Giving, an innovative local-giving fund which combines donations from trusts, residents, businesses and philanthropists to support a wide range of small, local community organisations.

EECF were delighted to visit Beckton Skills Centre and West Silvertown Foundation on 11th August with representatives from Northern Trust and local newspaper, the Newham Recorder, to hear more about what they have been able to achieve with the funding.

Mike Fitzpatrick tutors young people at the Beckton Skills Centre where young people learn how to build and fix go karts. The project finishes with a flourish, as the young people get behind the wheels of karts they have fixed for a race. “It gives them a chance to get their hands dirty and see what it’s all about,” Mike said, “If they show an aptitude for it, we can help them get onto an apprenticeship scheme and they can do it full-time.”

Keen young mechanic Amaan Hussain, aged 15, used to struggle at school finding it hard to “sit still for so long” but the project has inspired him so much, he has no qualms about sacrificing his summer holidays. He said, “I’ve been playing with spanners and things all my life – it’s great to be able to use my hands like this.”

West Silvertown Village Community Foundation received £9,000 from Newham Giving to run summer activities in Britannia Village, a particularly isolated estate. As many as 100 children a day come along and young people between 14 and 19 are encouraged to create and lead a programme of activities for younger children.

Dave Mann, development director at the Britannia Village community centre said, “Crime [in the area] halved – and our work is largely responsible… Everything we do is about creating positivity – we work with the children from the age of seven or eight and we earn their respect.”

Tracey Walsh, Chief Executive of East End Community Foundation, said “We are delighted to support these local community groups, as our experience shows summer activities can significantly improve motivation at school and reduce anti-social behaviour. With the support of local businesses we hope to expand the programme to provide half-term and Easter holiday activities, as well as summer projects.”

Newham Giving is supported by Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Northern Trust, and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Contact Place Based Giving Manager, Kyrsten to learn how you could join the partnership.

East End Community Foundation announced as a Charity Times Awards finalist

13th July 2016

Image: 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund Donors on tour of Leaders in Community / Credit: EECF

East End Community Foundation is delighted to announce we have been shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards 2016 Corporate Community Local Involvement Award after pioneering an innovative philanthropic programme with the developers of the 20 Fenchurch Street building to help local people into work.

The innovative 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund – a collaboration between EECF, Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities – pools contributions from building occupiers, service providers and visitors to the building’s Sky Garden to support a unique grants programme to tackle issues of unemployment and also invests part in a permanent endowment to create a lasting legacy for East London. In the first year £96,000 has been distributed to local community projects, helping 79 local residents into paid employment.

Tracey Walsh, EECF Chief Executive, says: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a Charity Times Award. The Legacy Fund is a pioneering model of collaborative philanthropy and we are proud to be working on this with Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities and the occupiers of 20 Fenchurch Street. To achieve such success within the first year is amazing for both donors and the community, and we could not be prouder of our collective achievement. It definitely confirms that collaboration is the key to effectively tackling social needs locally.”

Paul Hewitt, General Manager, 20 Fenchurch Street, said: “The 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund has already made a real and lasting difference to people from some of the most deprived areas of London. Together we have already supported 79 local people into employment and we look forward to continuing the positive impact on the local community.”

This year’s Charity Times Awards winners will be announced at the Charity Times Awards Gala Dinner & Ceremony on 28 September 2016 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London. Now in their 17th year, the awards are run by Charity Times Magazine - the leading title for UK non-profit professionals and continue to be the pre-eminent celebration of best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector.

Runners take on the Run Hackney Half-Marathon for EECF

9th May 2016

Image: Jessica from #teamEECF sports a medal at the finish line / Credit: @jessicatsmith

On Sunday 8th May a group of almost 20 runners completed the third Vitality Run Hackney Half-Marathon for EECF, raising money to support Hackney Giving, a fund which gives grants to local community organisations to help improve the lives of local residents.

Over 11,700 people pounded the pavements on what proved to be a very hot day as temperatures soared as high as 27 degrees. The 13.1 mile route took them past some of Hackney’s best kept parks and key landmarks, including the iconic Hackney Empire and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

In spite of the heat, all runners for #teamEECF made an incredible effort to cross the finish line. We would like to say a big thank you to all our runners for joining our team and helping to make a difference in the lives of local people by supporting Hackney Giving.

Despite all the growing opportunities in East London, Hackney remains one of London’s most deprived boroughs: with high unemployment rates, mental health issues and low general wellbeing. Hackney Giving has been set up to bridge the gap combining donations from trusts, residents, businesses and philanthropists to channel funding and support directly to smaller grassroots organisations working most effectively within local communities.

Hackney Giving is a unique cross-sector partnership led by East End Community Foundation and the Hackney CVS, also supported by corporate donors, Hackney Council, The Funding Network and East London Business Alliance. You can find out more about the partnership at

East End Community Foundation celebrate a right royal tea dance for the Queen’s 90th birthday

21st April 2016

Image/Credit: Local elders get their dancing shoes on for the Queen’s birthday/EECF

Her Majesty The Queen was born on 21 April 1926; today she celebrates her 90th birthday! Earlier this month East End Community Foundation wished Happy Birthday to Her Majesty with 200 local Tower Hamlets residents at our annual tea dance.

Local elders joined us on Thursday 7th April from 1pm to 4pm at George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs for an afternoon of tea, cake and dancing and the chance to make new friends. The event aims to tackle isolation by bringing elder local residents together and forms part of a series of activities run in partnership with the Docklands 50+ forum – an umbrella group of clubs coordinated by EECF who provide services to elderly people in the Tower Hamlets area.

Though the borough has changed significantly since EECF first launched the annual tea dances in 2006, the need for the project is still evident. Sadly, almost half of older people in Tower Hamlets are living in income deprivation and people aged 80 or over are twice as likely to report feeling lonely compared to other adults. EECF provide events such as the tea dance and coach trips to help bring the community together by meeting new people.

As a local grant-maker and philanthropy co-ordinator EECF has served Tower Hamlets for 25 years and is committed to supporting the community at grassroots level. The tea dance has a tradition of uniting workers from local businesses with the local community and bringing different generations together, and this year’s event was no different.

Sponsored by specialist real estate investment and advisory company Delancey; a host of other East End based companies including Arup, Canary Wharf Group, Cavendish, Clifford Chance, Champollion, Cundall, Expanded, Gardiner and Theobald LLP and Shepperd Robson, provided volunteers who helped to set up the room, serve tea, dance with and chat to the guests. Students from George Green’s school also helped at the event.

Tracey Walsh, Chief Executive of East End Community Foundation, said: “The beauty of the tea dance is that it is a very simple idea, to bring together local elderly people and volunteers from local businesses, but it has such an impact on all those involved. Year on year I am delighted to hear from local elders how much they enjoy meeting people at the tea dance and the chance to get out of the house and put on their dancing shoes for an afternoon. We are delighted that the project still meets needs in the local community ten years after launch and would like to thank this year’s sponsor, Delancey, for helping to make the event a success.”

Mark Enderby, Development Director of Delancey, said: “We are delighted to have been a part of this year’s East End Community Foundation Tea Dance, both as a sponsor and as volunteers. With our involvement in the borough at our Royal Mint Court scheme, Delancey has a responsibility to ensure all our developments makes a positive contribution to all our stakeholders including tenants, consumers, partners, investors and the wider community. Our vision at Royal Mint Court is to unlock the site so that it complements neighbouring communities, such as St Katharine Docks, and to improve connectivity for those living in the surrounding area. As soon as we heard the rates of social isolation amongst the elderly in East London were around twice the national average, we knew that we could not miss out on this amazing opportunity to help support the bringing together of 200 local elderly residents from different social and cultural backgrounds. As a team we all found it incredibly rewarding seeing so many fantastic people having so much fun at the event.”

The Exchange Project celebrates a decade of supporting Tower Hamlets families

15th March 2016

Image/Credit: Blowing Out the Candles at the Exchange/EECF

On Tuesday 15th March 2016 East End Community Foundation held a special party for the Exchange Project’s 10th Birthday with bunting, birthday cake and a giant teddy bear providing lots of fun for all the family to enjoy.

The Exchange Project follows the up-cycling or goods swap model – bring in your old baby or toddler equipment and swap it for another high quality children’s item (clothes, toys, and other equipment). To participate, members pay a nominal £1 membership fee, enabling them to loan equipment such as sterilisers, buggies, toys, stair gates, clothes for children aged up to 10 years. The programme has been running for a decade at Barkantine Hall and has attracted a regular client base of nearly 500 members.

The majority of the ‘nearly new’ goods are donated by members of the public and staff from large companies across Tower Hamlets. Most recently at Christmas-time Canary Wharf Group, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Land Securities, Hermes, Skadden and the tenants of 20 Fenchurch Street including Allied World and Tokio Marine Kiln, donated toys and money to support the work of the Exchange.

Although demographics have shifted, the need for the Exchange Project is evident by the constant in-out flow of goods and people. Not surprising since according to East End Community Foundation’s 2015 Vital Signs research report, children in Tower Hamlets are living in the most income deprived households in all of England. Yet members often come for more than clothes and toys – but to share stories and pick up the latest information and advice from health and welfare officials.

Local mum Yulia Sulim said: “I came to this country from Russia with nothing when my daughter was a baby, she is now 8 years old and I get all of her clothes from The Exchange ... I get everything from the service, but most importantly friendship, support and love.”

Tracey Walsh, Chief Executive of East End Community Foundation, said: “The beauty of the Exchange Project is that it is a very simple, recycling concept that has brought real benefits to local people raising children on a tight budget. The costs of children’s goods and clothes are high and can often only be used a short time. We are delighted that the project still meets needs in the local community ten years after launch and would like to thank all the committed volunteers that have helped build the programme from strength to strength.”

EECF would like to thank Jackie, Barbara, Fred, Len, Linda and Pat for all the hard work they do volunteering at the Exchange each week. Some of the volunteers have been serving ever since the project opened a decade ago and we are grateful for their many years of dedication.

To donate any unwanted baby goods to the Exchange Project, please contact Tracey, Community Engagement Manager via email or phone 020 7345 4446.

The Goodsyard Community Fund Launched

3rd February 2016

The Goodsyard, Shoreditch has opened its community regeneration fund with an initial £25,000 endowment, and is seeking applications from local community groups and charities.

The Bishopsgate Goodsyard Fund, developed by joint venture partners Hammerson and Ballymore, and managed by East End Community Foundation, will provide grants for local organisations seeking to address issues of employment and training and the lack of sports activities available for young people.

As part of the scheme’s wider Community Plan, the grant funding will be used to support local community initiatives with a particular focus on employment, enterprise and sports activities.

Jon Brookes, Community Manager at Hammerson, said: “We are excited to launch the Bishopsgate Goodsyard Fund. Based on a year of research and time spent talking to local groups about their needs and aspirations for the area, the fund is an important element of our wider Community Plan and represents our long term commitment to the community.”

“Set to bring over 7,000 new jobs to the area, The Goodsyard will be a key contributor to employment opportunities and we want to ensure that local people are first in line to develop long-term sustainable careers.”

Fancy Sinantha, Development Director at EECF said: “Given our local insights and history in the area, we are delighted to put the wheels in motion to direct much-needed grant funding to strong community organisations in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. Despite significant economic regeneration and a large corporate presence, we still have some of the poorest areas of the capital. East End Community Foundation is dedicated to bridging the gap between those with the financial capacity to give to grassroots organisations providing equal opportunities for local residents. With the initial round of funding now open, we look forward to receiving strong applications.”

Eligible organisations in Tower Hamlets and Hackney are encouraged to apply for up to £5,000 worth of funding. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 29 March 2016. Special consideration will be given to projects near the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site. Please see the grants page of our website for more details.

Celebrating a pioneering model of collaborative philanthropy to help ease the skills gap in East London

12th January 2016

Image/Credit: EECF

The 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund (20FSLF) a partnership between Land Securities, Canary Wharf Group, East End Community Foundation (EECF) and 20 Fenchurch Street occupiers has made inaugural grants to support five community groups in East London.

In total, £96,436 was awarded enabling local community organisations to deliver projects that support local residents into employment. Organisations successfully awarded a grant are Circle Sports, Bethnal Green Spear Trust, Fight For Peace, Leaders in Community, and Streets of Growth.

Tracey Walsh, Chief Executive, East End Community Foundation, says “Many local people struggle to access the economic opportunities on their doorstep and more often than not this is due to a skills gap. Being able to provide funding to activities that support people into employment is really satisfying. The 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund is a pioneering model of collaborative philanthropy and we are excited about its potential impact, especially to help ease the skills gap in East London.”

Paul Hewitt, General Manager, 20 Fenchurch Street, says “The 20FSLF has the potential to make a real and lasting difference to people from some of the most deprived areas of London. We have already had a great start to 2016, securing further support and donations, and look forward to continuing the positive impact on the local community.”

Andrew Mathews, Trustee, Bethnal Green Spear Trust said of the grant, "The Bethnal Green Spear Trust was set up in 2014. It runs a Spear Centre, supporting 16-24 year old NEETs enter long-term employment and education. The grant from 20FSLF will be instrumental as we move forward. The fund will enable targeted work with local young people as they begin their careers, which will have a tangible impact on their whole working life. Simply put, the grant will transform the lives of many young people in Bethnal Green and East London."

Diane Peters, Director, Streets of Growth said of the award, “The generous support from the 20FSLF is invaluable. The funding and potential partnerships will assist Streets of Growth to develop and expand its model and to reach out to the most disengaged young people ensuring that through “Earn your Vision”, [our] employability and enterprise programme we are able to support young people to develop the skills and confidence to gain the employment and career progression to break the cycle of poverty and harm.”

Alex Le Vey, Head of Partnerships, Fight for Peace, said, “Fight for Peace exists to ensure that all young people are able to realise their full potential. Our grant is fully funding two specific vocational courses that will see young people gain new skills and earn meaningful qualifications. The two courses, delivered at the Fight for Peace Academy, will support young people to work in the Security and Aviation industries. Both are relatively expensive and would therefore have been out of reach for many of the young people wanting to access them. We are very confident a significant proportion of course participants will enter into employment following these courses.”


20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund donor patrons are EECF, Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities, Liberty Specialty Markets, CBRE and RSA Insurance Group. In 2015 Canary Wharf Group committed a further £25k of match funding.

Other signature donors are: Willerby Landscapes Ltd, Portico, Principle Cleaning, D2E International, Ultimate Security and Bywaters. The 20 Fenchurch Street Legacy Fund awards grants of up to £20,000 to deserving projects and services in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and the City of London which will directly support people into work.