As in the country as a whole, poverty in London is unevenly distributed with many areas experiencing social deprivation and high unemployment. According to the 2001 Census figures only 51.4% of adults (aged 16-74) in Hackney are employed. In Tower Hamlets, this figure is 49.1%.
Located on the border of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, Spitalfields experiences high unemployment, a high crime rate and poor and overcrowded housing.
Part of Spitalfields Crypt Trust, The New Hanbury Project is working to combat these issues by supporting some of the most marginalised people in London - those suffering from emotional problems associated with alcohol and drug misuse, homelessness and long term unemployment.
'I used to meet my dealer in the church gardens, and now I’m clean and planting seeds in the garden and watching something I have done grow.' New Hanbury student.
The project gives individuals opportunities to learn new skills such as DIY and computing, chances to pursue voluntary and paid employment, and access to counselling sessions.
Spitalfields Crypt Trust runs a number if initiatives for homeless and vulnerable people, including Acorn House, a hostel for men with addiction problems. Due to a 100% cut in government funding, Acorn House is being combined with the New Hanbury Project.
The new project will comprise a 16-bed recovery support unit with an ethos of abstinence, and a training and education centre giving people the best support possible whilst they are undertaking their recovery journey.
‘People who are struggling without anything to do in their lives are given a stepping stone back into mainstream society. Seeing people change is the most satisfying thing; they wouldn’t keep coming if it didn’t help.’ Sheona Alexander, Project Manager.
Through our provision of investment and resources, people like Sheona can begin to create sustainable change, even against a backdrop of funding cuts. Many more communities need this kind of multi-faceted investment to develop tools to combat poverty now and in years to come.
Please help us to ensure people in your region have the support they need.