#CharityTuesday In conversation with…Camden Giving

We spoke to Natasha Friend, Director of Camden Giving, to find out how they are making the borough’s future fairer for everyone

Camden is home to a wide array of charities working in areas of need and they are vital to meeting the needs of the vast range of communities in Camden. That’s why we’ve decided to speak to Camden based organisations and find out more about their creative approaches to tackling complex issues in the community, such as youth offending and homelessness.

This week we spoke to the inspiring Camden Giving to find out what their charity is all about, what kind of projects they support, their impact and how they’ve grown in the past year…

Camden Giving is empowering people, businesses and organisations to come together to build a better borough for everyone:

“Based on the notion that we can all give something — time, skills and money — we channel those resources into aligned action that strategically addresses neighbourhood need in a joined-up way.

Acting on facts, data and hard evidence and with a deep knowledge of the community’s key issues and assets, we work to deliver people-friendly programmes.

With an ear to the ground and a finger on the pulse, we are breaking new ground on how communities can solve issues such as poverty, loneliness and unemployment, from the grassroots.”

Why did you choose Camden to base your charity?

“Camden is at a unique point in it’s history:

Inequality is Camden is rising, the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest in Camden is 10 years and a third of children live in poverty. At the same time more businesses are making Camden their home. There has been a shift in attitudes amongst the employees of these businesses — they expect their employers to be proactive in making their community better. These employees want to work for companies that do more than make money.

There are many challenges in Camden, but there is also an opportunity to work with businesses and their employees to make a long-term change.”

How has Camden Giving grown in the past year and what have you learnt in your first year?

“We learnt a lot in our first year. We spend a lot of time chatting to people who live in Camden. All those conversations have given us really rich picture of the challenges of local people. The thing people tell us most often is that they feel powerless.

We’ve also been inspired by the support we’ve received from local businesses, we never expected so much enthusiasm. It’s enabled us to fund 37 locally-led organisations that meet a variety of needs in Camden, from homelessness to environmental projects. We’re working with these organisations — particularly the smaller ones — to help make them sustainable. Businesses are invaluable in this, there is so much opportunity to share knowledge between the 2 sectors.

We became a charity in August 2017, we had 1 member of staff and 3 Trustees, now we have 4 staff and 8 Trustees and there’s never a quiet moment. — There’s always a business with something unique to offer and always a local project that needs that help!”

Could you tell us about an interesting charity project you’ve supported and the impact your help had?

“Action Youth Boxing Intervention is run by Albert who lives in Somers Town, it’s a free boxing club for children and young people. Albert wanted to help his neighbours get healthy and socialise, but he wanted them to learn a bit about themselves at the same time. At the end of every boxing session the children take part in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. AYBI is working with 200 young people in one of the most deprived estates in London and each of them has their own story to tell.

Camden Giving has given AYBI money and volunteers to help with marketing and business development, we want to help Albert achieve his dream of making AYBI a self-sustaining project that can continue to support young people in Camden for decades to come.”

Any exciting upcoming projects that you’re supporting?

“Always! We’re excited to hold our first live Crowd Funding event in October in partnership with the Kings Cross Development and The Francis Crick Institute, we’re hoping to raise £12,000 in one night that will fund projects addressing poverty and isolation.

And we’re doubling the number of people we support over the next year and really focusing on projects that improve mental and physical health and reduce isolation. We’re recruiting more volunteers and looking for new businesses who can help us grow our impact. We hope that a year from now there are a lot more local employees who are part of positive change in their local community.”

Follow Camden Giving:

Twitter — @camden_giving

Instagram — @camdengiving

Or visit their website — www.camdengiving.org.uk

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Camden Town Unlimited and Euston Town.

Camden Town Unlimited and Euston Town.

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Camden Town Unlimited (CTU) and Euston Town are the elected organisations behind the Camden Green Loop neighbourhood strategy and climate action community.