Jeff Hayes, chair of the board of trustees, reflects on a difficult year. With his term coming to an end in April, this will be his last Christmas message as chair.
Christmas is here again, although we’re all looking forward to enjoying time with our family and loved ones, it’s difficult to remain positive.
The past few years have been testing for the millions of Londoners living in poverty, and real optimism at the start of 2022 as the effects of the pandemic eased was quickly dampened. Over the last 12 months, the challenges have piled on. A generational increase in living costs has caused even greater hardship for people struggling to make ends meet, and impacted everybody – not just low-income Londoners, but those on middle incomes too.
At Trust for London we recognised the extra strain being faced by many organisations responding to the crisis, and significantly increased our grant allocation to provide extra support. The Board also approved a 10% uplift to existing grants to support organisations with rising costs.
The board will want to continue to do all it can to support those in poverty in London. At the same time, there will need to be recognition that our underlying endowment will also be stretched during this time. Volatility in the market has seen the endowment fluctuate substantially, and it is vital that we protect its security so that we are able to continue to support Londoners for generations to come.
As always, civil society has given us hope, stepping up to support those struggling through this crisis. I therefore want to convey my sincere thanks to the charity workers, community leaders, volunteers and organisations that continue to work so hard during this challenging time.
I also wish to give my thanks and gratitude to my board colleagues, and each and every member of staff for their unshakeable encouragement and insight to ensure we’ve directed support to where it’s most needed.
And with that, stay safe, and I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.