Updated March 2021
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Grant amount: £5,000
Cavell Nurses’ Trust is the charity supporting UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of the coronavirus.
They offer a tailored package of support to help everyone who gets in touch, including:
Of the people they’ve helped over the last 4 years:
Since March 2020, Cavell has provided record levels of support as each month has seen a surge in demand. In July, the amount of funding was 6 times higher than that given in February, just before the pandemic hit the UK.
“Thanks to donations, including the generous gift from the Fishmongers’ Company, we have been able to meet the growing demand from the nursing and midwifery communities and deliver life-changing impacts to those experiencing hardship.”
Grant amount: £4,000
St Michael’s Fellowship in Lambeth works with more than 250 vulnerable families every year. The charity’s residential centres support families from precarious backgrounds referred for assessment to make sustainable changes to parenting, behaviours and relationships. In tandem, St Michael’s helps young vulnerable families in the community through ongoing bespoke practical and emotional help, as well as through group sessions to encourage the development of wider support networks.
This vital work that improves a child’s safety and life chances and aims to break intergenerational cycles of poverty has been severely disrupted by the impact of Covid-19. Many of the young parents with whom St Michael’s works in the community were struggling with a range of issues and a lack of resources prior to Covid and the pandemic has only served to make their lives even more challenging.
With a grant of £4,000 from Fishmongers, St Michael’s Fellowship was able to bolster its digital capabilities and ensure that support groups and one-to-one support work could continue virtually. A proportion of the funding has also been used to purchase PPE equipment, obviously, a costly and unanticipated budget spend.
The grant-funded a Zoom licence for the organisation, as well as phone upgrades for outreach workers so they had reliable access to video calling. This has meant that young parents can easily access their trusted support workers and see them as well as speak to them in a crisis. Families without broadband at home have been provided with data cards, enabling them to take part in virtual activities, such as the ‘Safer Stronger’ group for mums who are victims of domestic abuse and Cook-Up sessions where parents prepare healthy, tasty and budget-friendly dishes. The charity has also used the funds to provide access to technology, such as a Wi-Fi extender for a young mother who was struggling to complete university work due to a poor internet connection.
“I got involved with St Michael’s as I have been suffering with depression as my Mum died in May this year. My Health Visitor referred me in the hope that they could offer me support. I had never heard of them before and didn’t know how much of an asset they were going to be in my life.
I’ve been able to get support with phone credit to enable me to make calls to housing as I was on the verge of being made homeless…I have been able to make calls to housing also with the help of my support worker Lorraine. Without this, I would not have been able to make the necessary calls I needed to. I am now in a temporary accommodation. “
‘Ellie’ is a young mother from Lambeth
“St Michael’s has been around since 1903 and has weathered many storms but it is fair to say this is one of the most testing times in our 118-year history…We were thrilled with this donation which helped us to offer highly vulnerable young parents the tailored emotional and practical support they need to cope during this crisis. We have been able to help them overcome ‘data poverty’ and connect to our online groups, family and friends – and we can prepare to welcome them back face to face too.”
Hillary Box, Head of Fundraising
Grant amount – £4,000
Toucan Employment works in Southwark and Lewisham with people with learning disabilities, providing them with support to learn vocational skills, find paid work and sustain employment.
The charity was awarded a grant of £4,000 to support the adaptation and delivery of its First Jobs Initiative for young people aged 16 to 25 and not in education, employment or training. Toucan recognised that young people with learning disabilities would be especially disadvantaged by the onset of the pandemic as a greater number of them than the average population would be looking for roles in hospitality and retail and they were less likely to be able to work from home. The pandemic presented a monumental challenge to the charity’s usual practices centring around young people and job coaches meeting in person for regular one-to-one sessions and coming together for support and training at group Job Clubs.
Finding both a purpose and opportunities for personal development are vital for all young people’s wellbeing and Toucan could not suspend its work over the pandemic. The Fishmongers’ grant enabled the charity to provide additional support and resources for the First Job Initiative and to adapt activities.
Due to the continued lockdowns, the majority of the First Jobs Initiative has been undertaken remotely. This has presented difficulties as young people have needed to be able to access and engage with remote support and have the necessary technology, sufficient data or an internet connection. The charity acknowledges that this has meant that some young people who in different times would have been able to access the First Jobs Initiative have not been able to this year. Toucan also recognises that is has generally been the most able clients who have managed to access work experience placements and employment. The charity continues to support those who have not been able to secure work experience so far with vocational training and emotional support, and by helping them to feel skilled, connected and hopeful for the future. The charity provides a valuable intermediary between clients and Job Centre staff, Social Services and other support services to ensure that the people they work with are receiving all the support they need and are entitled to.
“Jerome was referred to the First Job Initiative from the Southwark Works programme in July 2020. With the support of the Toucan Project Worker, Jerome was able to achieve a successful Universal Credit claim and work experience in a Warehouse with Fareshare. After 3 months’ work experience, Jerome’s confidence had increased substantially, and he felt ready to look for paid employment. As well as a collaborative weekly job search, Jerome was helped to update his CV and prepare a cover letter. In December 2020, an opportunity with Quick Commerce Ltd as a Warehouse Picker came up; Jerome applied and was successful in gaining an interview, so interview clothes were sourced, and he had lots of 1:1 interview practice with the Project Worker. Having been successful in his interview, Jerome was offered part-time paid employment. The Project Worker liaised with his local Job Centre, so he could receive help towards the first month’s travel costs and remains in regular contact with Jerome, offering assistance wherever needed, such as helping him to feel confident with his work schedule. The Project Worker also remains in regular contact with Jerome’s employer to ensure everyone feels fully supported.”
Grant amount: £3,000
Based at the Union Chapel in Islington, The Margins Project supports people who experience homelessness and those vulnerably housed.
During lockdowns, The Margins Project has had to close some of their usual services due to social distancing but support from the Fishmongers’ helped them adapt to meet the needs of service users and other vulnerable members of the community.
In partnership with Union Chapel, they established an emergency response plan to meet an acute need which is flexible and responsive to fast-changing needs and regulations and includes:
This resulted in the following outcomes:
The success of this work is best illustrated through some comments from the beneficiaries:
“Thanks for contacting me it means a lot; I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks”
“Thanks so much, I received the vouchers and was able to buy toiletries and top up my mobile!”
Grant amount: £5,000
“Without your grant, Claremont’s position over the past 6-9 months would have been extremely fragile and we would not have been able to contribute to the community, and especially to the lives of older people, in the ways that we have. I think it very likely that we would have had to hibernate in order to save the charity longer-term. However, your crucial core support, alongside other emergency funding, gave us a solid footing from which to deliver some pretty amazing results. Thank you for this support – it has made a huge difference to hundreds of older people across London during the COVID crisis.” – Lucien Paul Stanfield, CEO
Claremont is an award-winning Islington-based charity delivering a creative programme of opportunities for marginalised older people experiencing loneliness and poor mental health.
The Claremont community numbers some 1,000 members who, before Covid-19, would regularly meet in groups for weekly classes ranging from art therapy, psychotherapy groups and one-to-one psychotherapy, to crafts, tai chi, dance, keep fit, and creative writing. Older people are able to self-refer to Claremont, or be referred by a GP, other health care professionals or by another third sector organisation. Many members live in poorer parts of Islington and Hackney suffer from a combination of disadvantages: poor access to services, lack of social support, physical inactivity, and poor mental health.
Understanding the threat of enforced social isolation for their members, many of whom were extremely frightened by the developing Covid-19 crisis, the Claremont team quickly initiated a formalised support call service and had launched their first Zoom activity classes by 30th March.
Transferring to an online programme was an immense undertaking. Members were helped to get online through telephone support and during in-person sessions between the lock downs. If members had difficulty accessing the activities and grew frustrated, the Claremont team worked continually to support them. The charity is currently running 25 popular weekly sessions, including a regular Mindfulness group, a psychological support group, as well as innovative partnerships with organisations such as the Old Vic theatre.
The Claremont team continue to engage very actively with members who are not able or do not wish to join the online activities, making regular phone calls (344 last week) and sending out activity packs.
As the lockdowns have gone on, Claremont staff report that the situation is becoming more difficult as the availability of emergency funding has reduced. They anticipate needing to run Zoom sessions and telephone support calls in tandem with in person activities once restrictions lift and they expect continuing high demand for their psychologically orientated services. On the plus side, the charity reports that this crisis has enabled them to foster new partnerships, which have given members ‘a seamless sense of being held and supported’.
“I have been struggling to keep connected. I don’t really have any family and friends – Claremont was my main place to see people. It is great to have someone listen to how I’m feeling. [And talking about his booking into a Zoom group and a tech session later this week]. I now have 2 things to look forward to I wasn’t expecting.”
Grant amount: £2,500
A grant of £2,000 from the Fishmongers’ Company supported Sail, a youth organisation, which usually organises an annual Summer Holiday for Jewish children and young people from low-income families in Haringey, to pivot their activities and deliver the ‘Food for the Soul’ project providing daily hot meals for young people from families struggling financially due to the impact of Covid-19. A number of the young people were from large families locked down in close proximity in small houses.
Feedback from the children who took part in Food for the Soul has shown that they appreciated being able to collect a meal and felt positive, satisfied and in a better mood as a result of participating in the project.
The Fishmongers’ grant provided food for approximately 2,500 meals over one week in August. Grants from other funders, including the Mayor’s Fund for London, enabled have enabled Sail to continue the delivery of the project for four months in total.
”You not only gave me a generous meal, you helped my other siblings receive a larger portion of the food at home now that one less person needed to share the food.”
Grant amount: £2,500
Based in Hackney, Clapton Common Boys Club is a youth organisation seeking to address educational and social deprivation. As part of its Covid-19 response, the charity has been supporting young people from low-income families who were identified as struggling, or at risk of struggling, from an emotional wellbeing perspective with the effects of the pandemic.
The Fishmongers’ Covid-19 grant of £2,500 was used towards Clapton Common Boys Club’s range of activities that were offered to particularly vulnerable young people and their families, including over 100 hours of one-to-one and group therapy sessions with dedicated sessions for children with mild to moderate SEND. The charity has given tablets to 50 children with SEND to enable them to participate in group play therapy. 365 families were given resource kits containing educational puzzles, games and challenges, designed to help those with limited resources continue to positively engage their children at home.
Staff have encouraged young people and families to track and review their progress and reflect on their experiences during the pandemic. It has been noted that the programmes offered have improved children and young people’s emotional regulation, strengthened their resilience and helped improve family relationships.
“Parents reported that they are able to better support their children to manage during this crisis. Young people have expressed that they are happier and less anxious having accessed our one-to-one or group therapy and practical resources.”
Grant amount – £5,000
Members of the FANY (PRVC) have truly embodied their motto ‘Arduis Invicta’ – in difficulties unconquered – in recent months, providing essential voluntary support during the COVID-19 pandemic to frontline services including the NHS Nightingale Hospital London, the Westminster and North London Coroners’, the City of London Police and the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. Alexandra Milne, Staff Commander for the FANY, was awarded a MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List for her work organising these deployments.
In just eight weeks, the Corps gave over 700 days of support, compared to its typical average of 600 days per year. Nearly all of the Corps 140 active members have been involved in COVID-19 taskings, making this deployment the most significant for the Corps since the Second World War.
Corps members are selected and trained to a very high level. The unique training enables members to rapidly assist with a multitude of functions with great professionalism under crisis conditions; for example, liaising with the worried families of patients at the Nightingale Hospital and providing essential call handling, data management and administrative support to the Westminster Coroner.
Corps Member Grace Harrison has produced a beautiful drawing showing a nightingale (for the Nightingale hospital) and a red herring (because they were once described as ““neither fish nor fowl, but damned fine red herring”) to commemorate the FANY’s COVID-19 response.
The Fishmongers’ Company is proud of its association with the FANY and is delighted to have been able to provide additional funding via the Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust in support of the Corp’s Covid-19 operations.
“Once again, in a time of national crisis, the volunteers have worked as part of the Enquiries Team undertaking vital work to keep the Coroner’s service going. It is at times like this that the true value of the work they undertake can be seen. Thank you again.”
Andrew Walker, North London Coroner
Grant amount – £4,000
Based in Tower Hamlets, First Love Foundation provides emergency food support, and advice and support.
The Fishmonger’s funding of £4,000 helped to keep First Love’s service going under the most challenging of times and made a significant difference to First Love’s ability to respond to the pandemic and the explosion in demand, more than 900%. In terms of numbers of people, they supported 6,786 people, of whom 3,927 were children. The support helped to bring essential advice and support to people in dire need.
The grant was used towards purchasing:
The continuously high volume of referrals of people in crisis to the advice and support service is challenging the resilience and ability of the team to handle. Whilst they have grown their team of Project Workers, the growth in need continues to rise steeply, due to the decline of the economy and the inevitable financial crisis more people are being plunged into.
They have increased the size of their organisation significantly over the past year, from 7 employees to now 13. To keep up with demand, they want to increase their team yet further.
CASE STUDY –
With dedicated, intensive, Project Worker support:
Grant amount – £5,000
Due to the pandemic restrictions, they had to limit and adapt their normal services. They set up two new services:
Housing & welfare telephone helpline:
This helpline operates from Monday to Friday with an advice worker available to speak directly to those in need between 10am and 1pm. On an average week we have taken 75 calls and responded to 81 emails. A weekly report giving a brief synopsis of activity undertaken and the issues that arose can be found at www.mannasociety.org.uk/2020/04/13/telephone-helpline-weekly-reports
Meals on wheels:
In the first lockdown, they established a ‘meals on wheels’ service. In conjunction with Southwark Council, to providing hot meals to those rough sleepers who were put into temporary accommodation (as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak) and to other vulnerable people.
From providing 60 meals a day, this soon rose to about 110 per day. Each meal consists of a hot dinner and a sandwich. Occasionally a piece of fruit and/or a cereal bar is added when available.
The meals were very much appreciated. One recipient saying she was over the moon with her meal and the delivery service. She expressed her happiness at the service she was receiving and how delightful the food looked and tasted.
Since July, they have provided takeaway meals, consisting of a hot dinner and a sandwich between 10am to 1pm, 7 days a week. On an average day they provide 150 meals. About one third of those using this service are rough sleepers, one third are living in hostels or staying with friends and one third are in rented accommodation, 36% have no income whatsoever.
Please click here for a list of their most needed items.
Grant amount – £2,000
Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) used our funding towards their first-ever Freephone Advice Line, which they launched in April 2020. The Advice Line quickly became a vital source of support for learners in prison, and our grant ensured that the service could run for an initial four months while they sought further funding. They now have the funds in place to run the helpline until April 2021 and receive feedback every week about the positive impact of the Advice Line for learners and the prison staff who support them. The team took 27 calls in the first week, and the calls have steadily increased with 150 – 200 calls taken each month from almost 50 prisons. 97% of the calls are from prisoners.
Before the launch of the Advice Line and prior to lockdown restrictions the only way for direct support was if PET staff visited prisons. These visits are resource-heavy, for PET and prison staff. The Advice Line gives anyone in prison with access to a telephone the opportunity to speak to a member of PET staff and seek advice.
PET report that the advice Line has improved their relationship with their learners as they can receive and respond more quickly to enquiries. They can provide additional course information or support with selecting a course; communicate with prison education staff; research on ‘through the gate’ options (i.e. options for release); provide advice regarding PET’s application process; and guidance regarding next steps.
One client wrote:
“You may feel that you only had a brief interaction with me, but it was most gratifying to have a conversation that was all the “can do” options and not “can’t do”, which as inmates we hear every day.”
Grant amount – £3,500
Pembroke House has its roots in the settlement movement, a Victorian social welfare initiative, which saw idealistic people moving to become part of communities in areas of high socioeconomic inequality to help find solutions to the problems that people faced. Since 1885, Pembroke House, founded by students from Pembroke College, Cambridge, has been part of the community in Walworth, south London. Before the onset of the pandemic, Pembroke House was a place for gathering. It operated the Walworth Living Room, a community space where people could drop in to meet with neighbours and offered a wide array of activities including a lunch club, a knitting club, gardening, music and performing arts.
In March 2020, Pembroke House, sadly had to pause the physical delivery of much of its existing programme, but it was able to migrate the Walworth Living Room and many activities online. The charity also worked quickly to set up the Walworth Community Food Hub, understanding that many local people who had already been experiencing food insecurity stood to be badly affected by the impact of Covid-19.
The grant from the Fishmongers’ Company has provided vital support to the Walworth Community Food Hub. Throughout the week, food – much donated by FareShare and some purchased from local traders – is delivered to Pembroke House, sorted by volunteers and packed into parcels, which are then delivered by volunteer bike couriers to households in Walworth and surrounding neighbourhoods. The Fishmongers grant allowed Pembroke House to sustain and develop the service at a time of high demand. In the month following the grant award, the number of families registered for delivery increased from 500 to 566 – its highest peak. This meant that approximately 1,700 individuals were receiving weekly food parcels at the end of June.
Since the grant award, Pembroke House has delivered c. 190 tonnes of food in over 20,000 food parcels. It has grown its number of partners, and now receives referrals to the Hub from 40 organisations, including local charities, schools, GPs, community groups and Southwark Council.
Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on the local area and while the number of Food Hub recipients is fortunately lower than it was at the peak of the first lockdown, Pembroke House is still delivering to 400 households – c. 1,200 individuals – a week. While funding for the Hub lasts until the end of March, Pembroke House anticipates needing to continue this emergency support until the summer, so continues to seek funding for the project. They are also working with local residents and partners to develop the Walworth Community Food Hub into a more sustainable, longer-term resource which will tackle the root causes – not just the symptoms – of food insecurity in Walworth.
‘I am writing to thank you and to stop the food supply because my situation is changing positively. Once again, thank you so much to all the team for all your help in these difficult times, it has been a huge support with young children at home.’
Grant amount – £2,500
Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours (THFN) provide befriending and advocacy services to people in the borough aged 55 and over who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation. Many have depression or anxiety issues, as well as other health issues.
In response to the pandemic restrictions, THFN adapted their services to support their beneficiaries through a new tele-befriending service – regular telephone calls which ensured there was social contact with somebody on a regular basis and someone to check the health and welfare of their clients. THFN have trained and recruited new volunteers to meet the huge increase in demand for their services during the pandemic. Feedback from clients has been positive as lockdown caused a lot of stress and these calls helped relieve this, as well as helping clients to access clear and concise information about the pandemic. They acted as a go between for clients’ families who do not live locally, providing them with support and help as required. They also helped with dealt with organising home shopping deliveries, repairs to housing, and picking up prescriptions.
From April-December 2020, THFN have supported 210 older people, of whom 169 are currently receiving a regular telephone call.
Case study – Mrs M
Ms M is 80 years old and lives in a flat alone without a carer. Her siblings and their children live in different places around the UK and abroad. Prior to the lockdown, a friend who lived locally did her shopping for her, however this was not possible after the pandemic was announced.
Ms M has complex health conditions which impact on her mobility. The teIe befriending calls undertaken by THFN, also include a welfare check. During her initial call, her THFN Befriender Advocate registered her as a vulnerable person and she soon started receiving food parcels and the other support she required. During the calls with her Befriender Advocate she would reminisce about where she was born and grew up in the borough. Her Befriender began a photo diary of these places and was able to take photographs and send these to her which she enjoyed very much.
photographs and send these to her which she enjoyed very much.
This has had a huge impact on her wellbeing, Ms M, looks forward to her calls with her Befriender and the photographs she receives.
Feedback from other clients:
“I can have a good chat about anything – good or bad, that really helps me.”
“We always have a laugh during my call – it makes the day.”
“I feel less lonely having you calling, supporting, and encouraging me.”
Grant amount – £3,905
“The Covid-19 grant from The Fishmongers’ Company made possible the In It Together project, which we would not have been able to deliver without the Fishmongers’ generous support.”
The funding enabled the digitalisation of Total Insight Theatre’s work with vulnerable young people in Hackney at risk of increased adverse mental health, with free-school meal status or otherwise economically or socially disadvantaged. For 10 weeks, we worked with 21 young people aged 14-16 in weekly online sessions that included advice on health and wellbeing, access to tools, resources and services to help young people manage better during this time and creative relief through writing, movement, music and drama to help young people process the impact of the impact, stay connected and stay safe.
Out of the young people who took part:
One participant aged 15 particularly benefitted after being referred by her family therapist. Having struggled with anxiety, which was exacerbated by lockdown, she gave the following feedback when asked what her highlight from the project had been:
“Meeting everyone and learning new skills for dealing with times of stress. My favourite was learning all the different creative ways to express emotion.”
Other feedback from participants in response to the same question included:
“It was really good to be able to have close, in-depth conversations with people and get to know them better. It made me feel more connected.”
“My favourite bit was talking about ways we can plan things out to look after ourselves and just having normal conversations but not feeling judged.”
Grant amount – £1,000
We currently serve 150 homeless, vulnerable, elderly and lonely people each day, six days per week. Our first meal consists of a takeaway bag containing a sandwich, soup, yoghurt, porridge, a piece of fruit and a snack bar. Our second meal consists of a nutritional and balanced hot lunch. We also allow our friends to take a meal with them if we have leftovers, which allows them to eat later in the day when there are no other options.
Every single pound makes a difference!