'It's been a prodigious journey': Love Kingston charity appeal celebrates first anniversary (From Surrey Comet)
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'It's been a prodigious journey': Love Kingston charity appeal celebrates first anniversary
It is exactly one year to the day since the Love Kingston appeal was officially launched to help provide the borough’s most in need with a “pathways out of poverty”.
Since then, hundreds of businesses, charities and individuals have joined the campaign to raise money for five Kingston charities – women’s refuge Hestia, youth charity Oxygen, Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, credit union Surrey Save and Kingston Foodbank.
So far, more than £90,000 has been pledged to the appeal – and the charities are already starting to put the money to good use.
Donations have included £10,000 from the Shiraz Mirza Trust Community Halls, while the biggest single fundraising event was Love Kingston Day, when hundreds of people spent Valentine’s Day fundraising for the appeal.
Love Kingston fundraising manager Elaine Miller said: “The past 12 months have been a prodigious journey, and not without challenges. “However, I have met some truly amazing and inspirational people. “Love Kingston has lifted spirits. It is not only a new and exciting campaign, but testimony to how everyone who lives or works in the borough can come together and make a positive impact.
“Going forward, I would like to see absolutely everyone involved – all ages, and from all walks of life.”
Love Kingston fundraising manager Elaine Miller
Sonal Shah, chief executive of the London Community Foundation, which organises Love Kingston in partnership with Kingston Voluntary Action, said: “We are really pleased with the funds raised to date.
“This has been one of the most dynamic appeals, it has had the most press support, it’s got the most public profile and it has the most diverse range of donors.
“I think one of its biggest assets has been Elaine. She has managed to get hundreds of organisations giving, from £5 to thousands of pounds. Love Kingston has been one of our biggest success stories.”
Love Kingston also organises the Kingston Legacy Fund. Donations to the appeal are split between the fund and the five charities.
Ms Shah said of Love Kingston: “This gives the opportunity to crowd fund different things.
“You are supporting a range of organisations and joining people who are supporting other charities.
“There are many issues within every borough, so while you might be able to sort somebody’s homelessness, they might still be in food poverty, so it’s about helping at different stages.”
For more information, visit our Love Kingston web page.
Where has the Love gone?
In its first 12 months, more than £90,000 has been pledged to the Love Kingston appeal.
Although the money has been promised, not all of it has yet been received, but the cash that has been donated is already being put to good use by the appeal’s five charities.
To date, each charity has received donations of £3,470.
KINGSTON CHURCHES ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS is using the grant to part fund an outreach worker – Daniel Wheeler – who has been working on a tenancy sustainment programme, helping clients stay in their homes, as well as a healthy eating programme and a job club.
HESTIA has put the money towards art therapy, a celebration breakfast and an end of summer picnic. It has also funded toiletries, bedding, clothing, toys and school uniforms, as well as after school activities.
KINGSTON FOODBANK has seen a doubling of demand in recent months. It has used the Love Kingston grant to upgrade its IT system, and fund a new worker one day a week. Eventually the money will go towards funding another collection point, which will allow the foodbank to open five days a week.
SURREY SAVE has used its grant to focus on Norbiton – one of the more deprived areas in the borough. It opened its second outreach office on the Cambridge Road estate in June. So far, 83 people from Kingston have joined Surrey Save, attracting credit balances of almost £39,000.
OXYGEN has funded a new leadership training programme for young people. The money has also helped to fund Room 1 – a safe haven for children to go to after school, held at Coombe Boys School in New Malden. Future grants will assist a mentoring project, the Kingston Street Pastors and a father and son programme.
Oxygen's Room 1 after school club at Coombe Boys' School is being supported by Love Kingston
* A Kingston firm of solicitors has become the latest founding donor of the Love Kingston appeal.
Colemans Ctts, in High Street, has joined Kingston Grammar School, Banquet Records, the One Percent Scheme and CNM Estates in becoming a partner of the appeal, handing over an initial cheque of £1,000.
Morag Glaister, of Colemans Ctts, said: “We want to show our support for justice and people’s rights in this borough and as such Love Kingston has provided that opportunity.”
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