Catherine McGuinness: Courage and kindness defines our brave Capital

Catherine McGuinness

Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the City of London Corporation Policy and Resources Committee pens her first column for City Matters.

IT’S been a very difficult few months for London.

But a tough few months that has brought to light the incredible generosity and astonishing human kindness shown by strangers in the face of devastation.

The Capital has faced terrorist attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market, and Finsbury Park.

We have also witnessed the devastating tragedy of the fire at Grenfell Tower.

In these times it is important – more than ever before – that we support those most in need, as best we can.

One of the areas that City residents and workers may want to know more about is how City Bridge Trust has helped in assisting the young people affected by the Grenfell fire.

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder has just announced £114,480 of funding for 18 organisations in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

These grants will provide a summer programme of activities for young people and families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The money will go towards seaside day trips, art sessions, sports activities and theatre workshops.

We hope these summer activities will help to bring the community together and give young people something to look forward to and focus on at such a difficult time.

City Bridge Trust is a lesser-known area of the work of the City of London Corporation. The trust provides London’s charities with grants totalling around £20million per year.

It helps achieve the Corporation’s goal of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners for the better.

For example, the trust recently gave £1.5million to a programme designed to open up employment opportunities for young Londoners with mental health conditions.

In addition, the City Bridge Trust will support the two London boroughs who will be named as the Capital’s 2019 and 2020 ‘London Boroughs of Culture’, with funding of £300,000.

Finally, to coincide with this year’s Pride in London Parade and the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the trust awarded three charities a total of almost £700,000 to support the Capital’s LGBT community.

The funding was awarded following a recent report on LGBT services, which showed a clear need for greater funding for specific support services in London to protect this important sector.

All of us who either live or work in the City of London should be proud of the work City Bridge Trust does.

The trust has awarded around 7,600 grants totalling over £365million since it first began in 1995.

It will continue to tackle disadvantage across the Capital and show its commitment to making London a fairer place to work and live.

I hope more people will notice its work in years to come.