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London Stories for 2015

Malcolm Dean on Southside Young Leaders' Academy

  As Andy Walker, a talented television producer, and his wife Pat, an inspiring Southwark primary school headteacher approached retirement, they were both looking for a cause- which they could take up with more time on their hands. It wasn’t difficult for Pat. She had se...

by Malcolm Dean

A Brent food bank charity is helping to regenerate a deprived local community

Mohammed Mamdani from Sufra
Mohammed Mamdani from Sufra

"His suffering is my duty" In a run-down corner of one of London’s most deprived neighbourhoods, ten children are learning to cook spaghetti bolognese. It smells good. The chef in charge tells them to be proud of their achievements. And they should be proud. These kids are all...

by Neil Baker

How one London charity is helping young asylum seekers to find safety and rebuild their lives

Sheila Melzak from Baobab
Sheila Melzak from Baobab

Imagine you’ve been raped or tortured. Forced to kill someone or watch your parents murdered. You flee your country for a place of safety. But people call you a liar and want to send you back. Now imagine all this happens when you’re just 14 years old. A handwritten sign ...

by Neil Baker

An Interview with Streets of Growth

Our volunteer, Jasper, with Diane and Darren from Streets of Growth
Our volunteer, Jasper, with Diane and Darren from Streets of Growth

16 year old Jasper recently spent a week’s work experience with us. Here he interviews Streets of Growth Founder Darren Way and Director Diane Peters. Set up in 2001, Streets of Growth is based in Tower Hamlets and delivers high impact community leadership programmes helping young...

by Jasper Greig

Minister supports new Path away from gangs

Photo: Megan Taylor
Photo: Megan Taylor

Our innovative programme to tackle gang culture in London could become a new model for a nationwide response to the problem, says Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson. The Minister backed the initiative at a special summit in London on March 17, where groups involved in the Path Prog...

by Neil Baker

How to grow a healthy community

We are working with Santander to support charities that want to become more enterprising. Here’s the story of how one £10,000 grant is helping a horticulture project in South London to flourish It’s a fine early spring day in south London. Rory Harding has spent the...

by Neil Baker

Paul Cox: Seeing the power of a targeted gift inspired him to create a Donor Advised Fund

Paul Cox with Elaine Miller
Paul Cox with Elaine Miller

What inspires a successful entrepreneur to give something back to his community? We talked to Kingston’s Paul Cox about why he created a Donor Advised Fund. It’s a story of hard work, social conscience and… inspiring shoes. What made you want to give back to your co...

by Neil Baker

Changing lives through film and football

Halema Hussain (on the left) and friends
Halema Hussain (on the left) and friends

Halema Hussain sounds like a confident, articulate young woman. But she didn’t used to be that way. Until last October the 15-year-old was wary of talking to strangers and was reluctant to travel beyond the streets of Wembley, her home. She wouldn’t use public transport and of...

by Neil Baker

'We are not trying to replace school, but supplement it'

Lots of great ideas start with a simple “what if…?” question. For Catriona Maclay, the moment came when she was talking with friends over dinner. As a secondary school teacher in North London, she’d noticed how easily young people could fall behind in th...

by Neil Baker

'I wanted to help the community'

Anna Leask is a keen swimmer. So keen that in 2013 she decided to swim 27 kilometres across Lake Zurich in Switzerland. It wasn’t a charity event to start with. “I decided to do it for fun,” says Anna. “But then I realised it was a fairly significant thing I was...

by Neil Baker