Covid-19 has hit every part of society hard, not least those inner-city communities disproportionately impacted by higher rates of infection and death, increased isolation and loneliness, as well as rising unemployment. That’s why the East End Community Foundation has launched its Life Chances Campaign to help one of London’s most deprived areas, and why Hiscox is proud to support the initiative with a pledge of £40,000 per year for the next three years.
Excluded and isolated
In the Tower Hamlets area of London’s East End alone, more than 50,000 homes do not have access to the internet, reducing access to public services and creating a barrier to employment opportunities. A fifth of homes in the area have an average annual income of less than £15,000 and overall, one in two older people in the East End and the same proportion of younger people, live in poverty.
To help tackle some of these issues, the Life Chances Campaign aims to raise and distribute £5 million for grassroots organisations supporting the most vulnerable people in the East End of London. That means a focus on improving wellbeing and employment opportunities for young people, while tackling digital exclusion, and reducing poverty and isolation among older people.
Specific actions include the provision of a digital device, along with 12 months’ free internet access and digital skills training for low-income families. The Foundation’s work will also include helping to lift older people out of poverty by helping them to get access to benefits, and providing the support and intervention where it is needed by young people.
Getting socially mobile
Bronek Masojada, incoming Chair of the East End Community Foundation and Hiscox Group CEO, said: “One of the three pillars of the Hiscox Foundation – which coordinates our charitable giving – is promoting social mobility, so an initiative like the Life Chances Campaign is an ideal fit for that objective and provides a great opportunity for us to get involved in an area of the city which is on the doorstep of our London office.
“The pandemic has challenged the community we serve. Not only have more people in the East End lost their lives to Covid compared, as a proportion, to the rest of the UK, but existing inequities are more entrenched. Families cannot provide enough food for their children, older people go weeks and months without speaking to a single person, and a lack of internet provision prevents families from accessing the same opportunities as the rest of the UK.
“The East End Community Foundation’s Life Chances Campaign is seeking to address these inequities. We are grateful to all those who have pledged their support to the campaign so far. Their generosity will create opportunities for those who need it most. We want the East End to thrive as we know it can and as a business, we are very happy to do all we can to make that happen.”
Find out more about the East End Community Foundation's Life Chances campaign by visiting eastendcf.org.