As one of the five bridges which comprise the Bridge House Estates portfolio, Tower Bridge has played a key role in our history, and continues to make an important financial contribution to our work to this day through ticket sales to its exhibitions, hosting private events or meetings and even as a wedding venue!
Invited guests included many who have played a vital role in our history, such as former and current grantholders; colleagues from the Trust & Foundation world; and representatives from both government and our Trustee, the City of London Corporation. They were able to enjoy stunning views from the Tower Bridge Walkways, looking over the Thames into Central London. Entertainment was provided by musicians from Core Arts, a charity based in Hackney whom the Trust has funded several times over the years, starting back in 1997.
City Bridge Trust Chairman, Jeremy Mayhew introduced our three speakers for the evening: Jennie Butterworth from Envision; Kawika Solidum from BeyondMe; and Dai Powell from HCT Group (formerly Hackney Community Transport). These three represented the Trust’s three key areas of work: grant-making, philanthropy and social investment. In his speech, Dai Powell highlighted the key role of the Trust in the development of his organisation, with Hackney Community Transport receiving an initial grant in 1995 for three accessible minibuses. 20 years later and last year the HCT Group received an investment of £500,000 from the City of London Corporation’s Social Investment Fund and are now a large scale social enterprise with 800 employees, ten depots spread across the UK, and an annual turnover of £45m.
The big news from the evening, announced by Mr Mayhew, was the award of 20 special unrestricted grants of £20,000 to mark our 20th Anniversary. These were awarded to a selection of charities who were amongst the first to have received grants from us back in 1995. The recipients include Bishop Creighton House, a community centre in Fulham; Charis Tower Hamlets Mission, a drug and alcohol dependency project; the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice based in Acton which provides services and support for the Armenian community across London; and three branches of Age UK in Wandsworth, Islington and Ealing. The range of groups is reflective of the range of work which the Trust has funded over the past 20 years and continues to fund to this day. The full list of 20 grant recipients are as follows:
- Age UK Ealing
- Age UK Islington
- Age UK Wandsworth
- Bishop Creighton House
- Brent Mencap
- Calthorpe Project
- Centre for Armenian Information & Advice
- Community Network
- Community of Refugees from Vietnam – East London
- Contact the Elderly
- Copleston Centre
- Elfrida Rathbone (Camden)
- Finsbury & Clerkenwell Volunteers
- Hackney Sparrows Wheelchair Basketball Club
- Hammersmith Community Gardens Association
- Kensington & Chelsea Social Council
- Kiloran Trust
- London Hazards Centre
- Tower Hamlets Mission
Many thanks to everyone who made the evening a great success. We would also like to thank everyone who has been involved with the Trust over the past 20 years, in particular former staff members, Committee Members and Chairmen.