Smarter Giving

Smarter Giving is our service to help our members direct their charitable efforts locally. We have a special interest in the Church Street Ward, an area just north of Marylebone Road, that has historically had many social and economic challenges. We work with an array of grass-root charities and community groups in all aspects of society from a homeless day centre to a family playgroup, a children’s intensive care unit to sheltered housing for the elderly. View the full list here.

There are a variety of ways that you can get involved and build long-term relationships with these local charities and groups. Our focus for the year ahead is to support local people into employment and inspire young people about different career paths. The Church Street Ward faces challenges with unemployment. There are many low-income families meaning there is limited visibility of the career opportunities available to individuals and how to grasp them. There are also social integration and language barriers.

Local charities have worked hard in difficult circumstances throughout the pandemic to support those that are vulnerable, and this means financial support is more important than ever to help them continue rise to the challenge and support those most in need in our community.

We know every business is different, so we work with you to find opportunities that suit your organisation’s interest, capacity, skills and resources. Supporting local people means your business will be helping to strengthen links with the community and build long-term, sustainable relationships.

  • How You Can Get Involved

    There are endless ways you can offer support and we’ve outlined some of them below. Please get in touch with our Smarter Giving Project Manager Kate to discuss any of these suggestions.

    Please note that we cannot help with one-off volunteering days. We focus on facilitating long-term relations so for one-off team volunteering days, we will refer you to a partner organisation who will support you in finding the right volunteering activity for your group.

  • Supporting Education

    Supporting Education

    • Offer literacy workshops, support for ‘personal statements’ and university applications
    • Set a challenge related to your sector for students to complete

  • Supporting Employment

    Supporting Employment

    • Host a career talk, workshop or tour to inspire local students
    • Conduct a mock interview to help students nail their next interview
    • Take part in a careers fair to showcase your business and speak to potential candidates
    • Provide work experience or an apprenticeship

  • Donating Items and Appeals

    Donating Items and Appeals

    • If you’re moving, refurbishing or simply having a clear out at the office we can redirect your unwanted items to local causes
    • Host a food or clothes drive at your place of work to donate items to local charities
    • Get involved with our annual Christmas appeal – we have collected over 2,000 gifts to date

  • Volunteering Your Time

    Volunteering Your Time

    • Become a mentor for one of the University’s under-graduate students or a local start-up or entrepreneur
    • Lend your professional skills to a charity, whether you’re an expert in IT, marketing, finance or something else

  • Supporting Sustainability

    Supporting Sustainability

    • We have regular opportunities for volunteers to get involved in planting days at local charities and community gardens
    • There are opportunities to financially support new green spaces in the borough of Westminster to give more residents access to green space

  • Some Fantastic Results

    Some Fantastic Results

    Working with member businesses and over 30 local causes has enabled us to deliver some remarkable projects around the Church Street community and pick up a few accolades along the way! Recent successes include:

    • We organised a volunteering session at The Portman Early Childhood Centre who needed help installing planters on their new roof garden to allow local children and their families to grow fruit and vegetables. Volunteers from The Portman Estate, Knight Frank and Home House responded to our call out and helped to move soil for the planters up to the roof and assembled the planter boxes and troughs.
    • Our annual Christmas Giving campaign saw BakerStreetQ members donate food, hundreds of toys, over 100 rucksacks and even Christmas dinners to local charities and causes.
    • We have been supporting the Quarter’s hospitality businesses with recruitment and helped to organise a recruitment day between one of the largest hotels in the area and Westminster Employment service which saw the hotel hire several attendees – all of whom were local Westminster residents. If you’re looking for support with recruitment please email smartergiving@bakerstreetq.co.uk.

    Take a look at our What’s News page for more great examples of members getting involved.