Helping people thrive

News 2017

EECF’s Place Based Giving Manager ‘walks for peace’ for youth projects in Newham

15 May 2017

Image: Nadia, Chris and Kyrsten celebrate finishing the walk

Sunday 14th May 2017 was National Children's Day, so it was a very appropriate day for our Place Based Giving Manager Kyrsten Perry to strap on her hiking boots and ‘walk for peace’ to raise funds for school holiday activity programmes across Newham.

Kyrsten, her husband Chris and friend Nadia took part in the Charity Walk for Peace organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association to raise money for Newham Giving, an innovative local giving programme which supports community projects that provide a lifeline to families struggling to provide activities for children and young people during the school holidays. Over 4,000 people lined the streets of Newham to take part in the walk which benefits various charities that provide practical help and support to vulnerable people.

Kyrsten said: “Last year in August I visited the summer activities funded by Newham Giving; they are so inspiring and make such a positive difference to the youth. My role at East End Community Foundation is all about helping Newham Giving grow to benefit even more young people so I thought I would put my money where my mouth is and take on this personal challenge to show just how important the programme is.”

30% of the population in Newham is aged under 20 and 2 in every 5 children are considered to be living in poverty so free and low-cost, local school holiday activities are vital for supporting local families in need.

To support Kyrsten visit: to make a donation or visit to find out more about how you could fundraise for Newham Giving.

Team EECF take on the London marathon for local children

24th April 2017

Image: EECF Staff Luke and Kyrsten wish our runners good luck / Credit: EECF

With two new world records, a course record and 39 Guinness World Records broken on Sunday 23rd April 2017, the 37th Virgin Money London Marathon was certainly a memorable occasion for many. But even more so for Katrin who was not only celebrating her 24th birthday on the day of the race, but had a curious tale to tell about her race day connections.

Katrin was named after the 1993 race participants Katrin Dorre of Germany, and Lisa Ondieki of Australia who beat Scotland's Liz McColgan into 3rd place on the finish line of Westminster Bridge. She explained...

“my parents went to spectate the London Marathon, having both completed it the previous year [and] baby-name inspiration was sought from the race programme… I’m not sure whether “Eamonn Isidro Harding” would have made the cut if I'd turned out to be a boy.”

Katrin was one of eight runners who tied their shoelaces and gritted their teeth to complete Sunday’s gruelling course for East End Community Foundation’s Isle of Dogs Summer Programme. The programme helps support fantastic local summer projects for children of all ages including football coaching, street dance activities, drama and dance workshops.

Families on low incomes can struggle over the long summer break as parents balance long working hours and keeping their children occupied. Also, despite all the growing opportunities in East London, almost 1 in every 4 children in Tower Hamlets are living in income deprived households, which affects young people’s aspirations, attainment and wellbeing.

Taking part in positive group activities over the summer can make a real difference in the lives of young people, helping develop their personal and social skills, reducing the likelihood they will engage in antisocial behaviour and also helping increase motivation and engagement when they return to school.

Katrin said “It is also amazing to help in my own small way an organisation dedicated to improving opportunities for people living in the area where I have lived and worked for the last few years. In particular, the money I raise will pay for a summer school programme of activities for kids from low income families, a cause I’m really proud to support given how much I have gained from sports and music, passions kick-started by the activities I was fortunate enough to take part in growing up.”

EECF would like to thank all of the fantastic runners who took on the London Marathon 2017 for EECF. For more information about how you could take on next years’ marathon race or another challenge for EECF contact Holly Wilkinson, Development Officer, via or phone 020 7345 4552.

Rolling out the barrel at EECF's Tea Dance

21st April 2017

Image: Volunteers with the Pearly Queen / Credit: EECF

On Thursday 20th April 2017 East End Community Foundation ‘rolled out the barrel’ at our annual Tea Dance, celebrating the colourful and unique heritage of Pearly London with over 125 local elderly residents.

The annual tea dance event aims to tackle isolation by bringing older local residents together for an afternoon of tea, cake and dancing and the chance to make new friends. Though the borough has changed significantly since EECF first launched the annual tea dance in 2006, the need for the project is still evident, if not more so.

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. The tea dance has a tradition of combatting loneliness by uniting workers from local businesses with the local community and bringing different generations together; as volunteer Juned said “getting to know each other creates a better community”.

Local businesses including Canary Wharf Group, Delancey and State Street volunteered together with students from George Green’s School. Robert from State Street said “I loved every second; great day” and Ben remarked “This experience has been enjoyable… it’s something I definitely would do again”. You can see pictures from the event in our photo gallery, here.

The tea dance forms part of a series of activities EECF run in partnership with the Docklands 50+ forum to help bring the community together. To support the 50+ Forum, contact Holly Wilkinson, Development Officer, via or phone 020 7345 4552.

Drinks with the Doctor

29th March 2017

Image: Guests enjoy the atmosphere at Dr Klugers / Credit: EECF

Guests arriving at East End Community Foundation’s Philanthropy Club event yesterday were in for a surprise, as we brought together our supporters at a secret speakeasy. After whispering the password to staff at the Breakfast Club in Canary Wharf our guests were ushered through to the hidden Dr Kluger’s Olde Towne Tavern for a celebration of our recent successes.

Vice Chair of Trustees and Philanthropy Club member, Katherine Webster, opened the event by giving an insight into our exciting plans for the future as we aim to award £1 million in grants to fulfil our vision to create a philanthropic east end free of poverty.

We were also delighted to be joined by special guests Cracked It – an innovative social enterprise which trains young people aged 14-24 to repair cracked iPhone screens as a positive alternative to gangs and crime. Cracked It’s Chief Executive Josh Babarinde explained how thanks to the collective generosity of East End Community Foundation’s Philanthropy Club and the Allen and Overy Ben Ogden Memorial Fund, the social enterprise has been able to grow and develop.

Thus far, thanks to support from EECF, Cracked It has delivered nine Bootcamp programmes reaching 62 young people who have either offended in the past or who are at risk of getting involved in crime. Recent Cracked It graduate Ash was also on hand to demonstrate the skills he had learned through taking part in the programme. You can see pictures of Ash at work in our event photo gallery, here.

EECF would like to thank the Breakfast Club for hosting us and helping the celebration run smoothly.

Our Philanthropy Club brings together people who have a passion for making a difference in the community. You can support a variety of local charities and community groups through a simple annual or monthly donation and take advantage of a series of exclusive member benefits including invitations to events to see the impact the Club is making in the community first-hand.

For further information about becoming a member contact Holly Wilkinson, Development Officer, via or 020 7345 4552.

Love Your East End this Valentine’s Day

14th February 2017

Image: Local older people enjoy a trip to the seaside thanks to EECF’s 50+ Forum

It’s Valentine’s Day and the spirit of love is in the air for many people. As a trusted philanthropic advisor and grant maker, EECF has been dedicated to increasing opportunities for people living in London's East End for over 25 years. We’ve had many stories touch our hearts and would love to share with you some of the ways that local people are showing love for their community thanks to an EECF funded project.

Making a connection on an EECF coach trip

As many elderly people across the East End feel lonely or isolated EECF provide support for coach trips to the seaside and other cultural areas through the 50+ Forum - a collective of community projects in the Tower Hamlets area who provide services for elderly people. The trips bring people together to make new and lasting friendships in a fun setting, help reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing.

Some of our most dedicated coach trippers, Sheila and William, made a connection one sunny morning in June 2015 on our trip to Canterbury. By the end of the summer (three coach trips later) they had forged a wonderful companionship. As Sheila explains, “He said, ‘I’ll wait for you if you want to walk around with someone’; I came out of the loos and was shocked he was still standing there waiting. So we walked around together [and] I even shared my packed lunch with him… we met up and went to Romford and the rest is history!” Now, at Sheila’s request, EECF always reserves the couple tickets 001 and 002 for their days out together.

Demonstrating love for the community through cleaning up clutter

Set in 32 acres of countryside in the heart of East London on the Isle of Dogs, the Mudchute Park and Farm is a community charity with a working farm and stables. 2nd East London Scout Group received funding through our Small Grants programme to support their litter picking project. Plastic bags and other rubbish are toxic for the park’s wildlife so thanks to the handy litter-pickers the space will be kept safe for the animals. The park has also been much improved for everyone who comes to enjoy the tranquil slice of countryside situated in the midst of busy inner-city life. The project engaged 182 Beavers, Scouts and Explorers who collected 144 bags of rubbish.

Helping people living with mental illness access London’s amazing cultural spaces

Research has shown that lifelong learning is a key part of happiness and wellbeing but people living with significant mental illness often lack the confidence and knowledge to access London’s rich offer of museums, parks, and learning opportunities. Social Material CIC are using their grant from Hackney Giving to bring together people living with mental illness who are often very isolated in a series of welcoming events that promote learning, curiosity and wonder. Planned activities include weaving at Hackney Marshes, printmaking and photography at Kew Gardens and drawing at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park.

We love hearing about the varied and wonderful ways that grassroots projects across the East End are helping show love in their community and hope that you too, will be inspired to join in the movement and give to the local area.

To find out more about our local giving funds that bring together donations from local businesses, charitable trusts, small-to-medium enterprises and local people for a greater impact, please contact Kyrsten Perry, Place Based Giving Manager, via email or phone 020 7345 4551.

Celebrating awarding funding to local projects

9th February 2017

Image: Get Living London funding recipients receive a big cheque at the grants breakfast / Credit: EECF

On 9th February EECF was delighted to invite projects funded through EECF's grant programmes, the Allen and Overy Ben Ogden Memorial Fund, Hackney Giving and the Inspiring Communities Fund to our offices for a celebratory grants breakfast event.

Our grants breakfasts enable our donors to meet the projects they have supported in person, as well as provide an opportunity for the voluntary sector to meet each other.

It was wonderful to have a chance to meet some of the projects who received funding through our January grants round and find out more about the fantastic work they are doing in local communities across Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. We awarded 51 grants totalling just under £190,000 and are looking forward to hearing later in the year about the impact that has been achieved in the local area.

Making STEM accessible with In2scienceUK

One project at the event was In2scienceUK (pictured left) supported by both Allen and Ovey and EECF. With their grant they aim to place 20 young people from low income backgrounds living in Tower Hamlets on an inspiring STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme.

Each young person will be placed into paid summer work placements at some of the world’s best institutions and companies to work alongside scientists and STEM professionals on cutting edge research from stem cells that cure lung cancer to computer programmes to make robots that improve the efficiency of the NHS.

125 students from years 10 and 11 are also planned to benefit from STEM careers guidance workshops to make informed decisions about further education paths and have the knowledge and confidence to progress into a career they love.

Launching new funds to support the community

23rd January 2016

Image: young people having a great time at an EECF funded project

EECF is delighted to announce the launch of the Société Générale Community Fund, with multinational banking and financial services company Société Générale, and national grants programme, the Youth Social Action fund.

The Société Générale Community Fund has been established to support young people from Tower Hamlets and Newham on their journey into the world of work by improving their educational development, literacy and employment outcomes.

Société Générale is looking for innovative and effective projects that support young people aged 13-25 to gain essential employability skills, using the vehicle of sports or arts and cultural activities, or initiatives that are focused on improving literacy. The Fund has been established with monies released from dormant client accounts, in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements.

The Youth Social Action Fund has been launched in partnership with Step Up To Serve, Big Lottery Fund and the Office for Civil Society who have invested £2 million this year across the UK to fund youth social action projects. The aim of this programme is to raise the level and quality of youth social action and increase youth social action by 50% by 2020 taking the percentage of young people that volunteer from 40% to 60%. The fund awards grants to projects delivering youth social action activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities.

More information on deadlines, guidelines and how to apply can be found on the grants pages of our website.

EECF are also seeking match funding partners to expand the reach of the Youth Social Action Fund. Your business could help us double the number of grants awarded in the community. For more information please contact Chantell Mills-Callard, Development Director via email or phone 020 7345 4550.

Success in 2016 for EECF

9th January 2017

Image: guests enjoy the Right Royal Tea Dance / Credit: EECF & Media Trust

Looking back on 2016, East End Community Foundation had a very successful year. We increased our grant spend by 20% to over £887,000 and awarded 178 grants to small, grassroots community projects across Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and the City of London. It’s amazing to think that last year over 12,500 East End residents were supported by a project funded through EECF’s grants programmes. To celebrate, we’ve brought together a few highlights of the year from the grants and community engagement team…

Spring 2016

In April, we were incredibly grateful for Delancey’s support for our ‘a Right Royal Tea Dance’ in honour of the Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday which brought together 158 isolated elderly local residents to socialise and enjoy an afternoon of tea, cake and dancing. Guest Rene Felici said the event brought back fond memories of her youth, remarking “it do take us back to when we was young, because that is the sort of thing we used to have, years ago.”

Summer 2016

Our Newham Giving programme supports projects that provide a lifeline to families struggling to provide activities for children and young people during the school holidays. This summer we visited Beckton Skills Centre and West Silvertown Village Community Foundation to hear more about what they have been able to achieve with the funding, and were pleased to feature in the local newspaper the Newham Recorder. Keen young mechanic Amaan Hussain, aged 15, who took part in the Go Kart building project at Beckton Skills Centre had no qualms about sacrificing his summer holidays, saying “I’ve been playing with spanners and things all my life – it’s great to be able to use my hands like this.”

Autumn 2016

We were delighted by the success of EECF’s inaugural grants breakfast event in October 2016 which brought together our donors and people from local community projects supported in our September grants round. We were pleased to receive great feedback, including from Helping Hackney Health who said: “It was such a wonderful idea to invite all the successful applicants to meet the funders and be given the opportunity to network with other organisations that were receiving funding.”

Winter 2016

EECF works in partnership with Poplar HARCA on a number of community projects including an apprenticeship scheme and Job Shop.

We were really pleased that 2 young apprentices placed with the Barts Health NHS Trust – Yakub and Shanara (pictured left) – won NHS Star Awards in November 2016.

 Shanara said: “[my apprenticeship has] given me the chance to meet and interact with lots of new people and gain more skills. I really appreciate all the hard work the team has put in to get me to where I am”.

Looking forward to 2017

EECF will be hosting regular grants breakfast events to enable our donors to meet the projects they have supported in person, as well as provide an opportunity for the voluntary sector to meet each other. We will also be continuing to support the local voluntary sector through our ‘funding plus’ activities such as project visits, feedback and advice to potential grant applicants, grants workshops featuring top tips on writing applications and volunteer brokerage services.