London City Airport Community Fund awards £40k funding to local groups to support East London’s recovery from COVID-19

London City Airport has announced the successful applicants to the latest round of grants from the airport’s £75,000 Community Fund.
In total, £40,000 of funding has been awarded to 14 local groups and community organisations covering 12 East London boroughs including Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham. Each successful applicant will receive grants of up to £3,000 to enable significant and positive change in their local communities.
Groups that have secured funding in this round include the Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), which aims to build motivated, successful and responsible young adults by providing after school sports training; Richard House, a children’s hospice which provides palliative care for more than 300 children with life-shortening health conditions; Inspiring Your Imagination, a social enterprise which aims to empower young people by developing lifelong digital skills, and, Caritas Anchor House, a homelessness charity based in Canning Town which provides accommodation and skills support for single homeless adults.

Community Fund Trustee Cllr Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership & Engagement, said:

"I’m pleased to support the London City Airport Community Fund, which is providing vital financial resources to local groups across East London so they can help people in their time of need. Barking and Dagenham Council is working incredibly hard to support our residents during this very challenging time. Local partners such as businesses and community groups also have a key role to play in delivering support and services for vulnerable people. That is why I’m particularly delighted that two local charities - Triangoals and the Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance Ltd (BDYD) - have been successful in securing grants in this latest funding round."

Natasha Hart MBE, Chief Executive, Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), said:

"It is impossible to over-state the damaging impact that COVID-19 has had on the mental health young people from the BAME and disadvantaged communities of East London. So many of them have reached out to NASSA during the past nine months to ask for help. With the generosity of London City Airport in supporting the Mentoring For Life project, NASSA can now give these young people the support they need and deserve."

Andrew Warburton, Corporate Partnerships Specialist, Caritas Anchor House, said:

"We are hugely grateful for this funding from London City Airport Community Fund, which will provide vital help for our residents searching for employment in 2021 by providing them with small amounts to help cover costs associated with their job search and training activities. This could include e-learning and training courses, travel costs for attending interviews or training sessions, contributions towards the costs of obtaining work attire, equipment or even covering the costs of exams required for specific roles. Thank you for helping us to support our residents during a very tough time."

Caleb Adeniyi, Director, Inspiring Your Imagination, said:

"We are very grateful that the London City Airport Community Fund and its trustees has chosen to support our online project that will make a positive impact to the lives of many Londoners. We look forward to delivering a fantastic project in 2021."

Kathryn Elvin, acting Head of Corporate Engagements and Partnerships, Richard House, said:

"To be a recipient of the London Community Fund in 2021 is fantastic news for our hospice. Across the past year we have offered respite and care to seriously ill children who have very complex needs, supporting the NHS in their battle against Covid-19 by taking children from hospital wards. These children are able to come to Richard House because of the higher levels of specialist training our nursing and care staff receive. We can only continue to deliver this training with the generous funding of donors like London City Airport’s Community Fund. This grant will support our hospice in continuing our vital work."

The new funding comes at a critical time for local communities surrounding the airport as East London continues to deal with the devastating impact of COVID-19.
The grants will provide a financial boost to these local community organisations working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, covering areas such as youth employment and training; physical and mental health and wellbeing; homelessness; food poverty; and loneliness and isolation.
The 14 local community groups receiving this latest round of funding are based in or are active in the following 12 London boroughs: Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lambeth, Lewisham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Notes to Editors

The London City Airport Community Fund is a registered charity. no.1182642
The Board of Trustees comprises:
  • Duncan Alexander, London City Airport Consultative Committee (Independent Chair)
  • Tessa Simpson, Head of Environment and Technical Operations
  • Liam McKay, Director of Corporate Affairs
  • Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the Council, Barking and Dagenham
  • Councillor Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm
  • Joy-Caron Canter, Centre Director at RDLAC, representative from Newham
Further information on the Community Fund is available at:

Interested parties are invited to apply to the next round of grants, with the application window due to close on 28th May 2021. Prospective applicants should contact with any queries or questions.

Applications to the latest funding round closed on 25th October 2020, and the Board of Trustees considered a total of 66 applications from local groups and charitable organisations.
A judging panel reviewed the applications and scored them against a consistent set of criteria, with applicants asked to demonstrate how the funding would be used to support the Community Fund’s key themes of:
  • Building stronger, safer and healthier communities
  • Creating more sustainable and greener communities
  • Creating pathways into employment
  • Raising aspirations for East Londoners
The Community Fund was first launched in 2019 and provides £75,000 funding annually to support local charities and organisations that represent inclusive and diverse communities across East London.
Applications are invited twice per year and considered by a Board of Trustees comprised of representatives from London City Airport and the local community, alongside an independent chair.
Grants of up to £3000 are available for charities and not-for-profit organisations who can demonstrate their ability to enable significant and positive change for communities surrounding the airport.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on East London, the airport together with its Trustees, took the decision to increase the amount of funding available last year. This resulted in an extra £50,000 being awarded to nine local foodbanks from across East London in April 2020 to help alleviate the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable residents.
Further information on the 14 organisations that have been successful in securing grants in the latest funding round are detailed below, grouped by the East London Borough in which they are primarily based.

Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) was set up in 2006 to help local disadvantaged young people play sport in a fun and safe environment. Their aim is to improve young peoples’ confidence, aspiration and sense of purpose. The sessions, which are based at the University of East London’s SportsDock facility, cater for 20 young people at a time. As well as learning basketball skills, the sessions provide mentoring support through group chats and individual talks with NASSA coaches, helping to foster the next generation of sports leaders in East London.
Richard House was the first children’s hospice in London when it opened in 2000. Based in Beckton, the hospice provides palliative care for more than 300 children from across East London with life-limiting and life-shortening health conditions. Services include respite and palliative care, music and sensory therapies, day trips and activities, counselling and bereavement support for families. All services are provided free of charge to vulnerable families in the local community. In 2019, a new respite service, Hospice at Home, was launched to reach families in the community who were unable to travel to Richard House.
Newham Deanery CIO operates the St Marks Church and Centre in Tollgate Road, Beckton, for community use and the overall benefit of local residents. The charity provides free hot meals to local families dealing with food poverty and aims to address the high levels of child poverty in Newham. The charity is also focused on alleviating the additional challenges facing the local community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate impact it has had on BAME residents.
Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA) was founded in 2016 to support children and young people in Newham and the surrounding areas. The charity delivers projects and services for local residents from its centres in Canning Town and Stratford. Its work particularly focuses on helping children and young people most in need, including those with disabilities or additional needs. Activities include after school clubs, youth clubs and information advice and support, mentoring and personal development programmes. AAA also delivers projects to enable young people to secure a place either in employment or training, appropriate to their needs and future aspirations.
Brick Lane Music Hall, located in Silvertown, is a traditional live Music Hall show, offering food and drink accompanied by entertainment, with familiar songs and artists, irreverent humour and audience participation. In a normal year, approximately 10 different shows are performed, such as Pantomime, Cockney Sing Song, Back to the 50’s and 60’s, the Summertime Show and the Christmas Wonderland Show. The venue also promotes traditional British music hall culture and musical theatre to young people in Newham and across East London, with various educational events, tours and workshops.
Caritas Anchor House aims to tackle the growing problem of homelessness in East London. A 140-bed facility based in Canning Town provides residential and life-skills support for homeless adults, with a mission to ensure that homeless people grow in confidence and are able to leave homelessness behind for good. The charity supports over 250 residents per year, and addresses health and wellbeing, financial management, education, volunteering, back-to-work preparation and support to help clients to achieve and sustain independent living.

Barking and Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance Ltd (BDYD) is a grassroots charity which aims to make positive changes to the community by offering high-quality arts-based projects, youth dance workshops, community arts events and career pathway activities. BDYD provides effective opportunities to engage local people in constructive activities, such as dance, drama and singing, and places an emphasis on instilling common values such as friendship, learning and citizenship.
Triangoals is a small community organisation based in Barking that provides a variety of activities for both adults and children to promote inclusion in the community and to improve physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Various fitness classes and activities have recently been delivered online via social media channels to engage families and children to keep them healthy and active.

Re-Instate is a charity working to improve employment opportunities, quality of life and well-being for disadvantaged people in Bexley, including people experiencing mental ill-health, people with learning disabilities and young people. A key part of the charity’s work is to help people prepare for employment. Since 2014, Re-Instate has worked in partnership with Mind in Bexley to run the Recovery and Well-being Service, helping people to meet their employment and life goals.

Made in Hackney is a community cookery school that believes everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food. The charity works to improve public health and tackle food poverty in vulnerable, low income and marginalised groups. At the start of COVID-19, an emergency meal delivery service was set up to deliver meals to people struggling to access food. Since March, over 42,000 cooked meals have been delivered to vulnerable people and families across Hackney. The project aims to respond to community needs by co-designing meals and strengthening partnerships to build a sustainable programme with wider health and wellbeing benefits.

The Quo Vadis Trust is a charity providing social housing, care and support for people with mental health needs in South East London. The Trust aims to build a stronger, safer and healthier community in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis by supporting some of the most vulnerable residents in Lewisham to rebuild their lives and become independent and active members of the community. Clients receive enhanced supported housing services, and the Trust works with partners to provide clients with a range of opportunities for education and community engagement.
Inspiring Your Imagination (IYI) is a social enterprise based in Lewisham that believes in the importance of empowering and developing skills of marginalised groups in society. Founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2008, the community-based organisation provides courses and workshops in areas such as film and music production and digital marketing to empower young people and give them lifelong transferable skills. IYI works with local schools and has been funded and commissioned by local authorities and other bodies to deliver successful programmes and engage young people from a variety of backgrounds.

Tower Hamlets
The Bow Foodbank is a small, independent foodbank based at the Bromley by Bow Centre that was established in 2014. Since March 2020, the food bank has grown significantly as the number of clients seeking help has grown alarmingly with the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The foodbank provides emergency food and hygiene items to any adults and families in need of support without referral. During the coronavirus crisis, the foodbank has offered pre-bagged items and fresh fruit and veg once per week, with some extra food items provided to families with children.
Neighbours in Poplar has provided care in the community to people living in the Poplar area of Tower Hamlets for over 50 years. The charity’s vision is to enable vulnerable people to live fulfilling and meaningful lives by reducing isolation and loneliness and growing a sense of community. Practical support and care are provided to people who are living alone, regardless of their faith, age, race, gender, culture, or disability. During the recent COVID-19 lockdowns, a Digital Inclusive Programme has been established with online events, quizzes, and debates.