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‘I just knew that he could not break me’

Chris Casey, The Haven's founder
Chris Casey, The Haven's founder

The Haven has been supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Waltham Forrest for over 30 years. A growing number of the people it helps are men. Neil Baker visits its founder, Chris Casey.  “We’ve never had a waiting list this long before,” says Chri...

by Neil Baker

'Children of my age died in front of me'

Refugee Support Network helps young refugees, asylum seekers and survivors of trafficking to get an education and find hope. Neil Baker hears the inspiring story of one girl from North Korea A Monday evening rush-hour in Victoria train station. Costa Coffee is packed. In a corner, tw...

by Neil Baker

'If we are creative, we can solve problems'

Katy Dawe, Founder
Katy Dawe, Founder

Art Against Knives is using the power of nail polish and glitter to connect with at-risk girls in Barnet. Neil Baker drops in for a manicure. “I don’t paint nails,” says Rickardo, firmly. At six foot plus, with the physique of a boxer, you wouldn’t argue with ...

by Neil Baker

‘Volunteering at The London Community Foundation was such a great experience for me’

  On occasion, The London Community Foundation is able to take on volunteers whose contribution to our work is extremely appreciated. We had the opportunity to interview one of our previous volunteers, Maxine, on her experience with us. Coming to volunteer with us from Cape Tow...

by Admin

'You see how happy the young people are. The things they have achieved'

Rachel, Youth Organisation Manager
Rachel, Youth Organisation Manager

Support for young people with disabilities is under acute pressure across London. Neil Baker visits one small charity that has been quietly changing lives in Westminster for over 60 years There’s a worn out pool table. The bar sells Ribena, Mars bars and crisps. A girl in black...

by Neil Baker

'You do it because you think you love the guy'

Abi Billinghurst, Founder & Director
Abi Billinghurst, Founder & Director

Street gangs exploit and abuse a growing number of girls across London. Neil Baker meets a group of young women who are using their experiences to turn the tide Joanna is a fizzing cocktail of ideas and attitude. She keeps apologizing for dominating the conversation. In her green par...

by Neil Baker

'If you're feeling lost and alone, you need somebody to stand next to you'

Declan Flynn, Bench Outreach
Declan Flynn, Bench Outreach

A radical, yet simple, approach is helping Deptford’s entrenched rough sleepers off the housing merry-go-round and into a permanent home, writes Neil Baker Declan Flynn works for a charity that helps homeless people in and around Deptford, South London. He’s been doing it...

by Neil Baker

'I can't go back to square one again'

Vicky, project manager
Vicky, project manager

There are thousands of homeless families across London stuck in unsuitable hostel accommodation. Neil Baker visits a charity that supports them, and hears how one mother is fighting for a better life – for herself and her young son Tanya is waiting for the phone call that she h...

by Neil Baker

How one London charity is tackling loneliness and isolation

Mick, Project Manager from Furzedown
Mick, Project Manager from Furzedown

“We just enjoy being with each other” Loneliness and isolation are a blight on the lives of so many older people. The Furzedown Project is helping them to help themselves, and each other. “You couldn’t find a better place than this,” says Betty. Her...

by Neil Baker

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

The Mill: from closed library to community beacon

The closure of their local library shocked the St James Street community. But out of the ashes they are building something incredible... In April 1997 Alison Griffin, three-months pregnant and with a toddler in tow, took a two-week holiday in Libya. When she got home, she went straig...

by Neil Baker

Telling the true story of Black Britain

Three giant brass heads sit in a dark corner of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, London. Two are representations of a king, one is a queen mother. The people of the Benin Empire, in modern day Nigeria, made busts like these to glorify Oba – the divine king – and to ce...

by Neil Baker

Changing lives in Kingston

A torrent of filthy rainwater crashes through the ceiling, interrupting Matt Hatton in mid-sentence. He’d been explaining how the group he runs helps homeless people across Kingston, south west London. Now he’s jumping out of his broken office chair to check the photocopier ha...

by Neil Baker

Love Kingston. Profile: Georgie Forshaw, KCAH

“It’s rarely a happy day for someone when they come to see me,” says Georgie Forshaw, a caseworker at Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH).  “But we offer help, and if they take it, we can change their lives. And that’s not bad.” Week...

by Neil Baker