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Hackney Giving is designed to bring people together and support communities. The programme has a positive impact on a range of stakeholders including residents, community groups, businesses and the public sector locally. 

Hackney Giving resumed grantmaking in April 2020, following a break in the programme’s delivery. Since then we have distributed more than £2.1 million to not-for-profit groups in Hackney and the City.  


Number of grants given


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Number of VCS groups funded

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Between April 2020 and March 2023, we:

  • Distributed more than £2.1 million to community groups and non-profit organisations in Hackney via 20 grant rounds
  • Received donations from hundreds of individuals
  • Made 257 grants
  • Funded 135 organisations
  • Helped four businesses connect to communities in Hackney
  • Worked with City and Hackney Public Health team and North East London Clinical Commissioning Group 

Reducing the impact of the increased cost of living

In response to stories of the increased cost of living and the impact it was having on people’s lives, Hackney Giving launched a fundraising appeal to raise money to support communities in Hackney. Thanks to the generosity of individuals and businesses, in November 2022 we were able to give three grants of £5,000 to not-for-profit groups working with people facing ever more difficult financial circumstances. The grants paid for food for families, a lunch club for older people and after school provision including a hot meal for young people. We have since been able to offer a further grant of £4,000 to an organisation training young people in cooking on a budget, giving food for them to take home alongside life skills to help them in the future.

Hackney Council approached us in late 2022, to say that they had similar priorities for their own funding and propose that we work together to distribute additional funds. We have worked with the Council and have distributed a further £240,000 in partnership.

This winter, these 47 small grants will all make a difference to people living in Hackney and we are grateful to the organisations delivering these vital frontline services.  

“I would like to say a Very Big Thanks on behalf of my five children and myself for the help and support received via food parcels during this period of home isolation and lockdown due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. This support has been really helpful and well organised and is much appreciated.” – a service user, who received food parcels funded by Hackney Giving

Hackney Giving in the Covid-19 pandemic 

At the start of the pandemic, we changed direction overnight in order to respond to an immediate and growing need. Many people wanted to give to the community, while others needed access to food and supplies as they were cut off from their usual support channels. 

Our grants during the pandemic funded VCS organisations to:

  • provide food and supplies

  • reduce inequalities

  • reduce the digital divide

  • reduce isolation and loneliness

  • support people remotely

  • make a positive difference to people’s wellbeing

  • help people recuperate and remain safe at home

  • provide public health information to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic

  • help people living with mental health issues

  • support vaccination events and provide outreach to reduce vaccination inequity

Hackney Giving worked closely with partners in the public sector to secure fair funding for voluntary and community sector organisations. We hosted regular grant-holders’ forum meetings where colleagues from both sectors exchanged knowledge: information about the changing rules and rates of infection was provided by Public Health and insight from communities across the borough was shared by community partners. This cross-sectoral model has proven effective at communicating public health messages to communities.

“Thanks are due across the organisations – it’s a phenomenal piece of work and we couldn’t have done it without Hackney Giving and VCH, the Community Champions and the groups.” – a senior Public Health specialist at London Borough of Hackney

Going forward

Hackney is a vibrant place with diverse communities and many creative centres but where many residents live in poverty, isolation and poor health. The Covid-19 pandemic and increased cost of living have both highlighted these entrenched health and social inequalities.  

  • Hackney has the fourth highest rate of child poverty in London.

  • The borough is relatively deprived, ranking 18th most deprived borough in England and the 2nd most deprived borough in London (IMD 2019).

  • The prevalence of people with common mental health disorders aged over 16 was measured at 24% in 2017 – the highest level in England.

  • Loneliness affects many people in Hackney. The percentage of adults (in Hackney and the City of London) who feel lonely often, always or some of the time was 21% in 2019

At Hackney Giving, we work to make a positive impact on the borough by channelling funding to community groups who are working to address the inequalities faced by Hackney residents. 

Our work with public pector partners continues, building on the foundations laid during the pandemic. We now want to build relationships with businesses and increase the number of residents who choose to support community groups in the area via Hackney Giving.

“You have been so patient with us. As a small charity with no paid admin or funding staff; this is the only way we could access funding.” – A grant funded organisation, providing feedback about working with Hackney Giving