The London Borough of Islington is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, with poverty hidden by a more visible minority of wealthy residents. Help on Your Doorstep was set up to find sustainable ways of tackling the causes of deprivation and poverty.

The beginnings

In the early 2000s, piloting work supported by the Government’s New Deal for Communities programme demonstrated the need for a service which could connect disadvantaged people with existing local services. This led to a Connect service being set up in the EC1 area of Islington in 2005. This project achieved recognition in 2008 when it was acclaimed as Neighbourhood Renewal Project of the Year at the Regeneration and Renewal awards. Judges praised the project as “highly innovative” and “very professional”.

In 2009 a group of organisations concerned about the levels of poverty, isolation and health inequalities in Islington worked together to fund the expansion of the Connect service into other areas in the Borough. The service expanded to Finsbury Park (funded by Homes for Islington, the Finsbury Park Neighbourhood Arrangements group and The Richard Cloudesley’s Charity) and Canonbury (funded by NHS Islington, the Cripplegate Foundation and Southern Housing Group).

The arrival of Help on Your Doorstep

In 2009 Help on Your Doorstep was established as an independent charity delivering Connect services and other initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of isolated and vulnerable residents in Islington. Connect initially focused on tackling unemployment, but has since evolved to deal with a broad range of issues including children, young people and family, debt and financial hardship, benefits, housing, learning, volunteering and health.

In 2010 the London Borough of Islington started to support the three existing Connect services through the Islington Strategic Partnership and a new Connect service in Caledonian through Local Area Agreement Reward funding.

Our first Good Neighbours Scheme

The New River Green Good Neighbours Scheme in Canonbury was launched in 2012. This was a natural progression from the Connect service, building our links with residents and local communities the beginning of our emphasis on community.

Celebrating our 5th anniversary

In 2014, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of Help on Your Doorstep. During the same year we started operating our Connect service throughout the whole of the borough of Islington for the first time.

More information about our fifth anniversary and work during our first five years can be found in our Celebrating Five Years Report.

From 2015 onwards

We have been busy continuing our Islington wide Connect service and building our community development work. We have been able to launch a further three Good Neighbours Schemes.

  • In March 2016 we launched the Kings Cross Good Neighbours Scheme for the Peabody housing estates in Barnsbury.
  • In November 2016 we launched the Andover Good Neighbours Scheme focusing on health and wellbeing in Finsbury Park (closed October 2018).
  • In February 2017 we launched the Bemerton Good Neighbours Scheme for the Bemerton and surrounding estates in the Caledonian area.

In the last few years we have strengthened our emphasis on health and wellbeing and adopted the 5 ways to wellbeing approach, which is now embedded in all of our work. Our focus on research, engagement and consultation has also expanded during the past few years. Our unique model gives us valuable links with the local community which we can use to ensure that the community can get involved in shaping local policies and services.

Find out more about our services and how we help.

Support our work to help the most vulnerable residents of Islington