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The Catalyst Programme awards up to £500 to people on low incomes to pay for opportunities that make a difference. It is a simple, special and effective programme that can be designed to support absolutely anyone.

In Islington, Catalyst was set up in 2009, funded by Cripplegate Foundation and then Cloudesley in 2011. It was expanded in 2016 and 2018 with funding from Islington Giving and Sir John Cass’s Foundation. Together they fund 20 Catalyst partners in the borough to award Catalyst grants to people they work with.

Sharing learning, sharing stories

Our evidence shows that small Catalyst grants unlock potential and increase wellbeing in people and provide partner organisations with a different and positive offer to those they support. The Catalyst Programme doesn't involve lots of rules, so it could be a useful framework for changing lives in other parts of the country. From 10 years of running Catalyst Programmes, we wanted to share learning that can be used by other funders, voluntary organisations, commissioners, and businesses.

The below report outlines the key features and learning from running Catalyst in Islington. You can also download this report.


Current Catalyst Grants (supported by Cripplegate Foundation)

Single Homeless Project (SHP) | £5,000

The Hillside Clubhouse £5,000

The Manna £5,000

The Parent House £5,000

Pause £5,000

Rough Sleepers Team (LBI) £5,000

Islington MIND £5,000



If you think the Catalyst model could work in your community, we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch to discuss how you might Catalyse change. 


We are not currently accepting applications to the Catalyst programme.

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