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05 November 2020

We are delighted to announce that London Funders has been awarded this year’s London Youth Prince Philip Award, in recognition of the work, efforts, and contributions made by the team during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the funding community effectively supported youth work organisations and young people across the capital.

HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, presented the award to David Farnsworth (Chair of London Funders, and Chief Grants Officer, City Bridge Trust) at London Youth’s digital Youth Work Week Showcase on November 4th. The Earl of Wessex, Royal Patron of London Youth, said:

I’m delighted to present this year’s Prince Philip Award, given in my father’s name, to London Funders, who stepped up to ensure young people in London are supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. This award is truly well-deserved.”

 

Accepting the award on behalf of the team, David said:

David Farnsworth acceptance speech

We know how vital civil society is to ensuring children and young people in London can thrive.  We knew this before the pandemic, but have seen throughout the last six months how the commitment, expertise and inspiration of the voluntary youth sector has helped people deal with the challenges they have faced.  We’re proud to have played our part in supporting such amazing people.”

Whilst maintaining our day-to-day work and organisational mission, we undertook two main courses of action when it became apparent that the sector was facing an unprecedented crisis:

  1. We brought funders together to reassure civil society that we are on the same side in supporting our communities. Over 400 funders from across sectors came together to sign the ‘We Stand With The Sector’ statement. Coordinated by us, signatories declared commitments to flexibility to ensure funds could be used to best meet community needs.
  2. Through London Funders, 65 funders joined the London Community Response to offer a single point of access for organisations seeking emergency grants. Launched four days after lockdown started, over £42m of new funding has been distributed to groups across London, acting as a lifeline for dozens of youth clubs across the city.

Remarking on the ‘We Stand with the Sector’ statement, David said:

In my day job as Chief Grants Officer at City Bridge Trust I was speaking with a youth group this week who commented that this statement had helped give them the confidence to carry on, and that they felt that funders had become real partners with them through these difficult times.  We hope this impact will help strengthen all of our work for the long term.”

The Ignite Trust was one of the many youth clubs that received funding through the London Community Response. Supported by John Lyon’s Charity they were able to continue to work with local young people in Harrow and provide a variety of services – including facilitating outdoor football sessions, running group-boxing sessions, and meeting new young people referred during lockdown.

Responding to funding announcements, Donna John (Director, Ignite Trust) said:

London Community Response funding has allowed us to continue to work in the community with young people, and to ensure that we still have a presence in the area during such an uncertain time for many. The funds enabled us to keep both staff and young people safe, and to provide much-needed face-to-face services.”

In turn, the London Funders team would like to London Youth and its members – not just for this award, but also for the incredible work that they do with children and young people across our communities.  Alongside our membership, we’re looking forward to continuing to work with the sector in the years ahead to ensure we are real partners in achieving positive change for young Londoners.