Making a positive contribution to our community
Shaftesbury has a long-term commitment to London’sWest End and support for its local community is embedded in our values and strategy.
In addition to our normal work with not-forprofit organisations, charities, educational establishments and other local groups to make a positive contribution to the people and communities in our locations, this year, we created our Covid Community Fund to support young people and our communities affected by the pandemic in the boroughs of Westminster and Camden.
By 30 September 2020, we had provided cash and funding in-kind through the Covid Community Fund of over £310,000 to support 18 causes.
Supporting young people and education programmes
To help young people across a range of ages, grants made included:
- the purchase of laptops for the Soho Parish Primary School to enable children to continue to learn remotely;
- assisting Young Westminster Foundation in a transitioning project to help year six students with the anxiety of moving to secondary schools, exacerbated by Covid-19; and
- supporting Westminster Kingsway College, in its employability enterprise programme aimed at 14-23 year olds.
Working with another longstanding community partner, we provided funding to the House of St Barnabas, a local homeless charity, to reopen its house and employment academy with Covid-19 secure measures.
Providing food and shelter
We made grants to the new Covent Garden Food Bank, created by our longstanding community partners, the Dragon Hall and Seven Dials Community Centre, to purchase equipment and contribute to running costs to help alleviate food poverty in the Seven Dials Community. Separately, we provided funding to the North Paddington Foodbank, to cover the cost of hiring temporary refrigeration equipment. In addition to our normal funding of an outreach worker, we provided funds to The Connection, our Westminster based homeless charity partner, to refifit their premises to provide a Covid-19 safe environment for staff and clients.
We have provided funding to the Samaritans for materials to make their central London branch, in Carnaby, Covid-19 safe so they could remain open. In addition to our own monetary contribution, we were delighted that Blenheim Construction, the contractors at our 50 Marshall Street and 72 Broadwick Street schemes, undertook the works required at no cost. Recognising the widespread mental health impacts of Covid-19, we have helped fund the Young Camden Foundation in their support of local community organisations safeguarding the mental health and well-being of children, young people and youth workers during the pandemic and its aftermath.