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 and the Covid-19 pandemic

In March 2020, Hackney Giving was gearing up for re-launch following a break in delivery: the arrival of Covid-19 meant that 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.


Number of grants given


Total value


Number of VCS groups funded

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KM travelled by sponsored sportspeople

Between April 2020 and March 2022, we:

  • Distributed more than £1.2 million to community groups and non-profit organisations in Hackney via 10 grant rounds
  • Received donations from 219 individuals
  • Made 139 grants
  • Funded 94 organisations
  • Helped four businesses connect to communities in Hackney
  • Worked with City and Hackney Public Health team and North East London Clinical Commissioning Group

Hackney Giving has since made a further 27 grants.

“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

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 has 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