Cripplegate Ltd is the registered trustee of Cripplegate Foundation
Registered Charity 207499 Cripplegate Foundation Limited
Registered in England and Wales, Company Number 6129936 © 2021 Cripplegate Foundation
Sign up for our newsletter below to be kept up to date with our work.
Cripplegate Foundation will only use your email for direct communications and will never pass on your data.
Author: Sarah Benioff, Director of Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving
As well as planning for the year ahead, embarking on a new year is a time for reflection. Looking back on 2023, in many respects it was a harder year than any other for our community in Islington. At the same time, we have again seen the incredible strength of that community, and what can be achieved through working together. I am proud of the work that Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving – alongside local people and our partner organisations – have carried out over the past year, working to make Islington a more equal place, where everyone has the opportunity to live a good life.
Thank you to everyone who has played a part in this – our generous donors, the incredible community organisations supporting local people, residents undertaking research about our borough and taking part in resident-led grant making panels, our staff team, sector colleagues and many, many others. We look forward to continuing to work together in 2024.
Here are my top 10 highlights of 2023 at Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving:
1. Fostering team growth – our team, small yet dynamic, continued to grow this year. This includes former Young Grant Makers Izzy Petriti and Freya Johnson, who lead the Young Grant Makers programme, and Calliope Nova, leading the Alumni programme, as well as the addition of Sharon White to our Islington Giving board. A huge thanks to everyone for their hard work, dedication and contributions over the last year.
2. Local generosity – When the cost of living soared, we launched an appeal to provide emergency grants to local people who needed it most. By early 2023, we raised an incredible £130,835 thanks to generous support and have since worked with 20 local organisations to provide direct grants to more than 400 local people. Our latest Islington Winter Appeal has also raised over £15,000 to date, 100% of which will help to fund local projects sparking joy, changing lives and making connections for local people in Islington.
3. Celebrating community impact – The Islington Council Community Chest event (a partnership programme between the Council and Cripplegate Foundation) brought together 230 people to celebrate the incredible impact of small, grassroots community groups. The event was about celebrating the incredible efforts of local groups working to positively impact our local community and borough. A huge thanks to everyone who helped to make this event a success!
4. A decade of support – The Resident Support Scheme (RSS), an Islington Council led programme which we contribute to and work in partnership on, marked a decade of distributing almost £21 million in emergency funding through 42,394 grants. Reflecting on the past and planning for the future, we gathered and reconnected with almost 100 people from RSS referral partners’ network.
5. Empowering marginalised voices – At Cripplegate Foundation, we recognise that communities usually have the best answers to their challenges but often not the money to achieve the outcomes they would like. Through Cripplegate’s main grants programme, we were delighted to continue funding a diverse range of groups in Islington, amplifying voices that are often unheard.
6. Putting people first for better outcomes – 2023 saw the end of the first year of our Domestic Abuse Development Partners programme – a five-year programme working with experts who have both personal and professional experience of domestic abuse to explore how and where changes can be made to improve the way in which people who experience domestic abuse are treated. As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Nikki Wimborne and Laura Guy shared some insights on progress to date and future plans.
7. Making it happen in Islington – Together with Housing Association partners, Peabody, Hyde Housing, Southern and Clarion, the Make it Happen Fund helped to bring to life over 40 inspiring ideas, bringing joy to communities across Islington in 2023.
8. Shifting power through participatory grant-making – Over the past six years, our participatory grant-making programmes have worked to shift power into the hands of local people. We have now run seven resident-led panels with almost 100 residents ranging from age 16 to 80, awarding over £1m to more than 50 projects. A big thank you to City Bridge Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, BBC Children in Need and the Mercers Company for supporting this work.
9. Improving mental health support for people experiencing homelessness – Following consultation with local voluntary groups, we launched Mind the Gap to fund mental health interventions and advocacy for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Through the Mind the Gap fund we are working with diverse Islington projects supporting local people who often fall through the gaps between services.
10. Researching change – Working with the organisation Power With and with local residents, we commissioned a research project to understand how the lives of people in Islington have changed over recent years. The insights gathered by the community researchers will help to inform our future work. You can find out more about the research on our website and watch this space for a launch event coming soon!
Thank you so much to our incredible community of supporters, donors, groups, and partners for your continued support this year! And if you would like to join our movement, whether as an individual donor or as a coalition partner, please do get in touch.