Beyond bricks and mortar: celebrating 10 years of the L&Q Foundation
This Autumn, L&Q, one of the UK’s largest housing associations, is celebrating 10 years of the L&Q Foundation, which has invested over £50 million in projects and services since its founding in 2011.
Established to bring together L&Q’s social and economic programmes, the core purpose of the Foundation is to improve people's lives by investing in communities. Funding and delivering an impressively broad spectrum of projects, L&Q Foundation is made up of a 50 strong team, who work in partnership with a significant number of organisations and residents.
Demonstrating the transformational impact of the charitable foundation, projects in the last five years have generated £104 million in social value.*
Working directly with residents, since 2015, projects delivered through the L&Q Foundation supported 2,661 people into paid employment, and helped 2,734 sustain their tenancy, through a wide range of services including access to financial support. Over 12,300 people have used Pound Advice, a service that helps people manage their debts, which saw a 50% increase in demand in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another project welcomed by more people than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic has been the Place Makers Fund, which awards grants to local groups, organisations and charities to deliver projects in their areas. The fund was repurposed in 2020 to allow for faster approvals for funding applications. This allowed 65 projects to be funded last year (compared to a total of 60 projects funded in the previous 18 months), the majority of them directly supporting communities during the pandemic.
New projects due to commence this year include a £400,000 initiative with Sport England. Called Get Set Go, it will create sporting projects with residents and local community groups, increasing opportunities for psychical activity through participation in activities such as cycling and walking, some of which will be delivered from two of L&Q’s community centres.
The Foundation is also due to re-launch its award-winning Learning to Succeed (LTS) project, which works with schools across London. LTS provides educational sessions tailored to the personal growth of students and raises awareness of careers in the built environment. To date, the project has worked with 30 schools across London, with L&Q staff and partners volunteering in these sessions for students.
Matt Corbett, Director of the L&Q Foundation, comments:
“Hitting this 10-year anniversary is a major milestone. The success of the Foundation demonstrates how housing associations can deliver and fund meaningful projects that go beyond just bricks and mortar and help create sustainable communities.
The beauty of the L&Q Foundation is the breadth of projects we support, helping us reach a huge number of people and communities. Supporting residents into work and assisting them with money management has a huge impact on individual lives.
Together with residents, communities and some fantastic organisations, both local and national, the L&Q Foundation has had a huge impact in the last 10 years, and we look forward to many more years to come.”
* Social value measured using the HACT wellbeing valuation approach.