Local groups land £35k of funding from London City Airport Community Fund

This year’s first round of grants from London City Airport’s £75,000 Community Fund have been awarded to 15 local groups covering 11 London boroughs.

In total, £35,834 of grants have been distributed in this latest round of funding, providing a financial boost for local charities and non-profit organisations which cover issues and causes including mental health and the environment.

Groups benefiting in this round include Newham’s Women’s Talk, which provides coaching and support for women’s mental well-being; The River Roding Trust, which is revitalising a stretch of the river near Barking; and Grit Breakthrough Programmes which is working with marginalised 16-18 year olds in Newham and Barking & Dagenham to help develop the ‘grit’ to succeed and become contributing members of the community.

Each grant of up to £3,000 supports initiatives that enable positive and significant change within the community. The common themes across all the recipients, who were selected by a judging panel, are that they either:
  • build stronger, safer and healthier communities;
  • create more sustainable and greener communities;
  • raise aspirations of East Londoners, or;
  • create pathways into employment.
Elise John-Lewis, Head of Sustainability and Community Engagement at London City and a member of the Community Fund’s Board of Trustees, said:

“London City Airport has been a part of the community for more than thirty years and, during this time, we’ve worked hard to make a positive contribution. Now in its second year, our Community Fund is one of our most powerful tools for making that positive difference for local people. On a personal level, it’s really rewarding to be able to support so many fantastic organisations, doing such important work in the community. And I know my colleagues feel the same. Our hope is that this latest round of grants can boost these organisations’ efforts to empower people, bring the community together and make a positive difference to the area.”

More than 60 applications were received for this round of funding. Later this year, a second round of funding will be awarded in the same way. Applications are currently open and will close on 19th June, before grants are awarded in August.

Last year the London City Airport Community Fund awarded over £75,000 to 30 organisations.

Recipients (2020, Round 1)

Alistair Stephens, Trustee of the River Roding Trust, said:

“We’re really pleased to receive this funding. The River Roding Trust was set up to preserve, protect and restore the River Roding for public and wildlife benefit. The grant will help us carry out projects and activities to promote recreation, protection of the environment and educating the public about the history of the river.”

Mat Jenner, Director of Thamesmead Arts and Culture Office (TACO!), said:

“We’re delighted to have received an award from the London City Airport Community Fund, the funding will enable us to deliver high quality creative skills training to people and groups in Thamesmead and the surrounding area, supporting RTM.FM and our communities to grow and flourish’.

Poppy Reindrop from Cardboard Citizens said:

“The grant from the London City Airport Community Fund will go towards our upcoming Hostel Tour, targeted at homeless hostels in East London. Using the power of theatre, we’ll engage those who are most at risk and not accessing support or progression services, helping them to have a better quality of life and the best possible chance of moving away from homelessness.”

The beneficiaries of this round of funding are as follows, grouped by the borough in which they are primarily based:
Woman's Talk
Supporting: Newham
Woman’s Talk is a not for profit organisation working with women in the local area to run coaching sessions to support women with their mental wellbeing. This has proved to be in high demand with great positive feedback. These sessions will support with well-being as well giving confidence to those wishing to enter/re-enter the workplace and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Patient Participation Group (PPG)
Supporting: Newham
Based at Woodworths Surgery, PPG is creating a  therapeutic community sensory garden on the side of the local surgery to support people facing social isolation and loneliness. The sensory garden will be available to all patients and some community groups, to enable community cohesion.
Grit Breakthrough Programmes
Supporting: Newham, Barking & Dagenham
The organisation targets helping marginalised 16-18 year-olds, many of whom aren’t continuing in education and can’t find work. Their search for status and ‘success’ leaves them vulnerable to exploitation, gangs, crime and radicalisation. Grit Breakthrough Programmes tough and uncompromising personal development and coaching programmes develop the aspiration, confidence and resilience – the ‘grit’ – in young people to unlock their full potential and become contributing members of their community.
River Roding Trust
Supporting: Newham, Barking & Dagenham
The River Roding Trust project aims to enable the community to take control of their river and help rid it of pollution along a stretch in Barking for the first phase. The group aims to achieve this by holding community days open to all ages and abilities, where volunteers tackle a variety of challenges from litter removal to tree planting, wild flower sowing or creating water habitats for land and water wildlife. Some of the litter will then be recycled using Precious Plastics recycling initiative into noticeboards, benches, walkways, and more.
Salmagundi Films
Supporting: Newham
Salmagundi Films is a participatory arts organisation which has been working across the community in Newham for over 15 years using film, stop frame animation and digital art as a platform for creative expression to give people a voice. Its projects promote art as a catalyst for change, to build resilient connected communities. The Carpenters Estate Community Arts Project (CECAP), working title ‘Supporting Wall’ (SW) is a response to the Stratford and West Ham Citizens Assembly vote for an Art project that could promote community cohesion and help reduce anti-social behaviour. Participants will learn how to use iPads and smart technology, to produce digital books comprised of personal anecdotes and digitised archive material from the last 100 years.
Belvedere Community Forum
Supporting: Bexley
Belvedere Community Forum will be running a healthy cooking, eating, active lifestyle and renewable practices programme to bring the whole community together. Belvedere is a multi-cultural area, but the population is mostly white British and BAME residents can feel isolated. To make this project accessible to all, there will be sessions for cooking food from other cultures which residents will be asked to contribute ideas for.
Irish Community Services
Supporting: Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham
The group runs activities for the elderly and plans to do more work, using its grant to train staff members and volunteers on a chair based leadership course. This will allow the group to host more sessions with elderly people who otherwise may not have the opportunity to be active and interact with other people – tackling loneliness and having a positive impact on their well-being.
Thamesmead Arts and Culture Office (TACO!)
Supporting: Greenwich, Bexley
TACO! is a not-for-profit arts space consisting of a gallery, bookshop, community archive, and a community radio station - RTM.FM, an open platform for anyone in the community to make and broadcast their own radio content, supporting local talent, individuals and groups to have a voice and reach others.
The Community Hub
Supporting: Hackney
The Learn and Earn programme is a holistic personal development and team building programme, which aims to provide young people aged 17-25 with long term life skills which helps them to excel, feel fulfilled and stand a better chance of gaining employment.
Redbridge Talking Newspaper Association 
Supporting: Redbridge
Redbridge talking newspaper association is a charity run by volunteers, which records local news and features each week on a Thursday for distribution via USB memory sticks to the blind in the borough. The service is free to listeners.
Tower Hamlets
Manorfield Primary School Tower Hamlets
Support: Tower Hamlets
Manorfield School is a large primary and nursery school of around 750 pupils aged 2-11, located in Lansbury Ward, which ranks within the 5% most deprived areas in England. The proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium is very high (60%) and health outcomes linked to pollution and poor diet tend to be common. The schools wants to increase bio-diversity on its site by planting hedges using wildlife-friendly shrubs and trees, and extending its edible garden. This will become a focus for school activities, such as nature-watches linked to the curriculum and cookery classes incorporating home-grown ingredients.
Ability Bow
Supporting: Tower Hamlets
Local people experience some of the poorest health in London, with high sickness and disability rates and particularly high premature death rates. Exercise reduces the risk of major illness, and plays a vital role in both prevention and recovery from many long-term conditions. Ability Bow supports people with disabilities or life-changing health problems to take part in exercise in its gym and at venues in the community. Its focus is helping everyone to meet their fitness potential. The funding will help Ability Bow to develop its range of exercise services with a 'WheelFit' weekly supportive group exercise classes for wheelchair users.
Cardboard Citizens
Supporting: Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Waltham Forest
Cardboard Citizens harnesses the power of the arts to give those affected by homelessness a voice and bring about change in their lives, while challenging the public’s perception about homelessness. The group has reached more than 34,000 people affected by or at-risk of homelessness. Cardboard Citizens is the UK’s leading practitioner of the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) methodology, an internationally recognised practice that seeks to empower and liberate the most vulnerable in our society.
Waltham Forest
Carers FIRST
Supporting: Waltham Forest, Hackney and Newham
CCarers First are currently supporting over 2,330 unpaid carers across Waltham Forest, Newham and Hackney. Aware that a lot of unpaid carers are overwhelmed and under a lot of stress which is impacting their mental well-being, the project raises awareness and supports them with a series of free, positive, social activities.
CREST Waltham Forest
Supporting: Waltham Forest
Already providing day care services for upto 80 elderly people and people with dementia 4 days a week, CREST wants to open a regular monthly opportunity for a local school to visit the centre to sing and dance, creating intergenerational cohesion to support well-being. 
Notes to editors
The 15 beneficiaries of this latest round of funding are based in or are active in the following 11 London boroughs:
  1. Newham
  2. Barking & Dagenham
  3. Bexley
  4. Greenwich
  5. Hackney
  6. Lambeth
  7. Lewisham
  8. Redbridge
  9. Southwark
  10. Tower Hamlets
  11. Waltham Forest
More information on the Community Fund can be found at:
Prospective applicants with questions or queries can contact
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, London City Airport
  • Liam McKay, Director of Corporate Affairs, London City Airport
  • Elise John-Lewis, Head of Sustainability and Community Relations, London City Airport
  • Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the Council, Barking and Dagenham
  • Joy-Caron Canter, Centre Director at RDLAC, representative from Newham
  • Maja Gedosev, Director of Communications, Flybe
  • Councillor Asma Islam, Mayoral Adviser for the Voluntary Sector, Tower Hamlets