As one would expect, London is one of the most vibrant cities in the UK when it comes to charity activity and the third sector. The capital is home to north of 6,000 registered charities, organisations, services, voluntary groups, and social enterprises - that’s roughly 4% of all charities in England and Wales. These organisations cover an incredibly broad range of causes, including homelessness and hunger, which is unfortunately still highly prevalent throughout the city. In 2020/21, 421,426 people used foodbanks in London (Statista), an 106% increase from the previous year. London hosts a large number of charity events each year. Some of the more notable events include the London Marathon, the Moonwalk and the Marsden March.
Charities in London:
North London Action for the Homeless
For over 25 years, North London Action for the Homeless (NLAH) has run sessions for the homeless, the socially isolated, and those with financial troubles in Hackney. A local charity, 65% of NLAH’s service users, volunteers and donors are based in the Hackney area.
The charity was founded to provide the basic needs of rough sleepers and homeless people, the number of which is unfortunately growing. NLAH has an experienced and committed team of volunteers and receives huge support from local businesses. As well as meals, the charity aims to provide a sense of community to people who feel isolated or marginalised.
The charity’s mission statement is: “North London Action for the Homeless runs a drop-in centre that is open to all who are homeless or in need with an ethos of service, respect and acceptance and strives to influence policy and overcome barriers to accommodation and other services to which homeless and excluded people are entitled.”
ecoACTIVE is an innovative environmental education charity with a reputation for using hands-on, practical approaches to explore complex issues of sustainability. The charity's mission is to create a world where young people and communities are agents of change for creating a better planet.
ecoACTIVE designs and delivers interactive, fun and engaging workshops to empower people to take meaningful action on sustainability. As an organisation, it creates eye-opening experiences for children and adults alike, running workshops in schools, parks, community gardens, and with community groups and housing associations.
The charity’s community work is built on seven core values: Clarity, Change, Reflection, Professionalism, Inclusivity, Passion, Proactivity.
Solidarity Sports was established in 2007 with the aim of engaging kids in sport in a fun and accessible way in order to promote good health and wellness. Since then, the charity has broadened its scope from just sport, and now works with children across communities in London in a variety of ways.
Solidarity Sports harnesses the transformative power of play to nurture disadvantaged children recovering from complex trauma. It supports children's healing through sports, healthy eating, arts, educational trips, mentorship programmes and holidays both within the UK and abroad.
The common theme within all the programmes run by the charity is a commitment to creating a safe, inclusive, and loving environment where happy memories can flourish.
Ambitious about Autism
The journey of Ambitious about Autism began in 1997, when a group of parents set up TreeHouse School. At a time when children with autism faced little or no chance of receiving a full and rewarding education, these parents were determined to change this for their children.
What started as a specialist school for children with autism, with four pupils based in a borrowed room in the Royal Free Hospital in North London, has grown to become a charity that has supported thousands of children and young people with autism.
Today, Ambitious about Autism runs schools and a college that focus on improving the quality of life of young people with autism, enabling them to learn, thrive and achieve. In addition, the charity also provides specialist education, employment services and training and consultancy for both those with autism and those who care for them.
Fulham Good Neighbours
Founded in 1966, Fulham Good Neighbours provides support for the elderly and disabled residents in the local area. The charity’s vision is to create an inclusive community where neighbours look out and care for each other.
Fulham Good Neighbours aims to enrich the lives of the more isolated members of the community, creating opportunities for them to connect with others, contribute to society and live life to the fullest. The charity operates on the values of trustworthiness, inclusivity, flexibility and proactivity.
For the elderly and disabled living in the the area of the former Metropolitan Borough of Fulham (SW6, W6 and W14 postal districts), Fulham Good Neighbours is vital to helping them live a happy and fulfilled life.
100 Black Men of London
The 100 Black Men of London is a community-based charity that delivers programmes and activities focused on mentoring, education, economic empowerment, and health & wellness. Its vision is to continue raising the self-esteem and aspirations of young Black people in London.
Founded in London in 2001, the charity believes that the media is too often filled with numerous examples of the negative narrative of young people in London.The 100 Black Men of London is seeking to change that narrative, and is determined to create positive examples for today’s youth through actions and experiences.
Since the formation of the 100 Black Men of London, the charity has reached over 10,000 people, delivered 2,500 mentoring sessions, given 250 health & wellness sessions, and provided 250 wealth-building programmes.
London Hearts is a charity that aims to help and support communities with the provision of heart defibrillators and to teach CPR/defibrillator skills to the masses in order to help save lives.
If someone has suffered a cardiac arrest, defibrillators are the only medical devices that can help. Effective and speedy delivery of treatment on someone who has suffered a heart attack raises the chances of survival to roughly 70%, but this requires both CPR (chest compressions) and the use of a defibrillator. The chance of survival decreases 10% per minute after a cardiac arrest, so the faster help, the better the chance of a positive outcome.
The mission of London Hearts is to provide Public Access Defibrillators across the UK so that nobody is ever more than 100 metres away from a life saving device. The charity also aims to increase awareness of heart conditions and how to treat someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest.
You can also find out about charities in Liverpool, Birmingham, Hull, Glasgow, Bristol, and Wolverhampton.