Shaftesbury’s COVID-19 Community Fund provides £510,000 of support

Seven Dials

London landlord Shaftesbury has today revealed its COVID Community Fund, which was established in April 2020, has provided £510,000 of support.

Set up to help local charities and community groups in the West End provide assistance to people affected by COVID-19, the initial fund of £144,000 was created following the decision by Shaftesbury’s board to reduce their salaries and pension contributions by 20% for three months from 1 April 2020.

Shaftesbury’s non-executive directors made a 20% reduction to their fees for the same period. A further contribution of £48,000 was made by board and non-executive directors in July last year, taking the total to £192,000. The £510,000 was reached with the addition of more than £318,000 of “in-kind support” provided by Shaftesbury.

As part of its commitment to supporting young people in its local community, the company’s contributions have aided their partners to help over 1,400 local young people.

There have been 17 grants totalling £192,000 to 12 organisations in the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, with the first grants made in May, with a subsequent round of awards including awarding £30,000 to help create the mental health-focused Heads Up fund for the Young Camden Foundation.

There was also a £15,000 donation to Westminster Kingsway College to support an employability enterprise programme aimed at 14-23 year-olds, and another £15,000 to The House of St Barnabas to help the organisation reopen its House and Employment Academy with COVID-19 secure measures.

Brian Bickell, Chief Executive of Shaftesbury, said: “The COVID Community Fund was created because we value our local communities and are committed to make a positive contribution. We are pleased the Community Fund has aided so many groups providing vital support across Westminster and Camden, and we are continuing to provide support in 2021 as a partner in the community.”