Fundraising in the community; sharing our mission with local philanthropists

A substantial portion of our diverse and sustainable funding model is generated from local philanthropists, many of whom live or work within our zone. Our recent event at the Princess Royal shows just how successful these can be to the work we do

  • Our local fundraising events are a chance for us to introduce our work to new networks of philanthropists in West London
  • A new partnership with the Princess Royal in Notting Hill enabled us to raise an impressive £480,000 at a recent event, which will be match funded to total £960,000
  • This will support our expansion plans by creating roles for over 32 new Link Workers supporting 1,100 additional children and young people in the area

On September 27 we co-hosted a fundraising event at the Princess Royal, thanks to the generosity of their acclaimed head chef Ben Tish. Inspired by our programme, which provides young people with the tools and skills they need to progress and thrive into adulthood, Ben donated his time, contacts, and event space, so that we could share our vision with others. The event was attended by over 100 local individuals, some familiar faces mixed with new potential supporters of West London Zone who wanted to learn more about the work we do and the impact we have.

Local philanthropists at a fundraising event for children

Local supporters and philanthropists at West London Zone's latest fundraising event at the Princess Royal, in Notting Hill

The target for the event was soon far exceeded to an impressive £480,000, thanks to the generosity of attendees who donated through pledge cards. Because of our sustainable funding model, this will now be match funded by public money to make a grand total of £960,000. This will support the cost of 32 new Link Workers, impacting the lives of 1,100 additional children and their families; we are well on our way to our current target to support 3000 children by 2025/26.

"This will support the cost of 32 Link Workers, impacting the lives of 1,100 children and their families"

WLZ Princess Royal Fundraising Event

The start of a beautiful relationship

The event is the start of a new partnership with the recently refurbished Princess Royal pub, located in the heart of Notting Hill. This is one of the areas in which we work – an area where many young people don’t have access to the opportunities and support they need to thrive, yet where you can find some of the wealthiest streets in London. The ability to harness support from our local community is key to the work we do, and keeps us true to our values; remaining local and accountable.

The evening commenced with speeches by West London Zone CEO, Louisa Mitchell, who expressed her heartfelt thanks to the crowd for showing such support, and talked about the stark inequality that exists in West London. 

"Our analysis tells us that in this diverse and vibrant community, where such great wealth and opportunity exists, 1 in 5 children are at risk of dropping out or leaving school with low or no grades, poor mental health, leading to social isolation, unemployment and all the challenges that can spiral from that. We set up West London Zone to try to stop that happening, by identifying these children early on in their lives and investing in them now. We want every child in our community to get the best chances in life."

This was followed by a speech by one of our Link Workers, Beth, who spoke passionately of the impact the two-year programme had on a young person she worked with. From near-exclusion and disengagement, he progressed and improved across grades, attendance, and engagement, ending the programme looking forward to learning what opportunities were now open to him. 

WLZ CEO Louisa Mitchell (left), chair of the Development board, Kate Storey (middle), WLZ trustee, John Storey (right)

Finally, John Storey, a valued West London Zone trustee and partner at Goldman Sachs, as well as husband to Kate Storey, chair of the West London Zone Development Board, then thanked everyone and encouraged them to support. He kicked off the event with a hugely generous personal donation, testament to his conviction in our evidence-based approach and impact, and knowledge that we are making a difference in our community. 

Why support children and young people in west London? 

Young people on the WLZ programme

Across Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, and Brent, there are approximately 12,000 children who need additional support to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically – and we are committed to creating this change. Without a holistic support model, these young people are more likely to face challenges in later life, including unemployment, social isolation, and poor emotional and mental health.

With the donations raised, we will be able to double the reach of our programme, as for every £1 donation, we unlock £1 of public sector funding. 

Our Link Workers provide each child with an ‘Individual Support Plan’, which includes:

One-to-one meetings

Set goals for their social, emotional,  and academic  development 

Specialist support programme using our incredible delivery partners

Why does our model work?

Through our data-led approach, we know our model works as around 80% of children ‘at risk’ in social-emotional and mental health needs improved by the end of our programme, with two-thirds moving out of risk completely. Of the children who completed our programme, 64% achieved a minimum Grade 4 in English and maths at GCSE – against a national average of 51%.

One of the reasons for our success – and integral to our programme – are the Link Workers and the relationships they build. This relational approach acts as a bridge across home, school and supporting agencies, joining up the system around families, and helping to mitigate the negative effects of 'handoffs' to different agencies – a frustration highlighted in the recent Independent Review of Children's Social Care

A fundraising event with heart

This event was a great opportunity, then, to talk to some wonderfully generous people in the local community about the work we do – philanthropists who are aligned with our vision and who see the impact our work has on supporting young people to achieve their goals.

The pledges were plenty, the interest in our work was keen, and the event ended in the sure knowledge that we have made some trusted friends who can help us carry our vision forward. 

 Grace Mosimi

 Development Officer 

To find out more about the impact our work has, watch our video here.

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Ben Tish

The Princess Royal

And all of our food and beverage contributors:

Theatre of Wine  |  Neal's Yard Dairy  |  Coates & Seely  |  Liberty Wines  |  Casa Julia Ltd

Freedom Brewery  |  Wright Brothers Ltd  |  Walter Rose & Sons Ltd  |  Brindisa  |  Wignac

Sapling Spirits

together, every child and young person can flourish.