The Royal Foundation of St Katharine is the umbrella charity for local community support group Limehouse Aid, set up during the Covid-19 crisis.
Limehouse Aid began when 4 local creative people who were seeking to make a positive difference during the Covid-19 crisis; Alex, Blake, Christine, and Joey.
Together, they sought to create a network and connect the many people and groups that were coming forward with offers of help and assistance. This volunteer network grew at its peak to some 250 people. It was proactive in seeking to respond to the needs of the local community and offered support for those self isolating and most vulnerable.
From the early days of Limehouse Aid emerging, The Royal Foundation of St Katharine sought to offer its support. We have a long history of commitment to the community here in the East End and as a significant charity have been able to contribute fresh creative ideas into the life of Limehouse, by opening the Yurt Café and supporting community groups.
During the Covid-19 crisis we became part of the NHS provision for The Royal London and Barts, providing ‘step down’ support for non-covid patients who were, for various reasons, unable to go home. The Yurt Café was also transformed into a much loved grocery store, enabling the local community to continue to feel connected despite the social isolation required.
Building a partnership
Limehouse Aid having started as a community group needed to develop in order to access grants and to partner well with local government and other charities, it needed to have a charitable structure, governance and bank accounts. In 2020, The Royal Foundation of St Katharine was adopted as the charity which Limehouse Aid would sit under.
Our food bank
Limehouse Aid Food Bank is a pop-up food bank run entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers. It began in May 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic as people were looking to support others in their community. We help between 25 and 30 families each week and since starting have helped over 6000 people. The majority of families are on free school meals or have been otherwise identified as needing support by schools and other organisations. The food bank does not replace existing provisions, but provides additional support for those in need.
Most of the food donations come from London charities, namely City Harvest and Tower Hamlets Food Hub. We are incredibly grateful to them both for their support.
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