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Alarming Child Poverty Rates in Islington

Islington has the 4th highest rate of children living in poverty in the country, according to new research by the End Child Poverty Coalition.

After housing costs, this means over 20,000 local children (47.5%) are growing up in households struggling to make ends meet. This rate has risen sharply in recent years.

Child poverty in the UK

Child poverty is becoming the norm in some parts of Britain, with big cities seeing high growth. Around 500,000 more children are having their lives limited by poverty today than at the start of the decade.

Anna Feuchtwang, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said "Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child’s chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults."

“Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it’s the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances.”

What Cripplegate Foundation is doing

Tackling the effects of poverty and inequality are central to the work of Cripplegate Foundation. We make grants to support local organisations in their work to create opportunities for children and young people. In 2018 we awarded Angel Shed Theatre Company core cost funding to help the Theatre maintain an open, inclusive space used by children living below the poverty line. We gave Urban Hope a grant to fund a community youth project aimed at building feelings of positivity and wellbeing amongst young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Beyond grant-making, we have conducted extensive research into Islington over the years, and contribute to conversations with different networks working to support the health, wellbeing, and life chances of local children and young people. By creating partnerships, and thinking deeply about our local context, we have led on innovative programmes that help us work more inclusively and reach more people who need support.


Our Catalyst Partners give children and families small amounts of money that make a big difference, helping them to pay for things that most people take for granted. From passports, driving licenses, and equipment for work, to family fun like trips to the zoo, theatre, or seaside.

We recently launched a report and short film showing how Catalyst Grants (which are always £500 or under) provide opportunities for joy and help unlock potential.

Islington Council's Community Chest 

Through our partnership with Islington Council, Community Chest funding helps small but vital local community groups and charities reach people who might otherwise fall off the radar of services and support. In 2018/19 Community Chest grants supported organisations working with specific communities, whose children and families face poverty and reduced life chances.

A web of energetic and inspiring small groups run bike repair workshops and days out for children who are finding school and home life difficult, offer extensive practical support for refugee and migrant communities, and offer sports and arts activities at weekends and half terms.

Giving power to young people through Islington Giving

We’re part of Islington Giving, a growing network of local people, businesses, funders and community organisations working together to change lives for good in Islington. We helped found Islington Giving in 2010. Since then it has reached nearly 30,000 local people, enjoined the support of over 8,000 volunteers, and has been the pioneer for the London’s Giving movement, which is now working in 20 London boroughs.

Through Islington Giving we worked with 15 local young people (the Young Grant-Makers) in 2018 to decide how to invest £80,000 to benefit children and young people. One project they chose to support was Copenhagen Youth Project, a safe and positive space near Caledonian Road, used by hundreds of under 18s each year. Another was Creative Opportunities, which matches young people with creative mentors to help give them new opportunities. Read more on their choices here.

In 2012 Islington Giving founded the BIG Alliance (Businesses for Islington Giving) along with the Macquarie Group Foundation. It has since opened doors for over 1,000 children and young people by connecting them with some of the borough’s biggest businesses operating in financial services, tech, and media. The BIG Alliance now works in every secondary school in the borough.