A helping hand from The Hoxton Trust

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Nearby our Anthology Hoxton Press community is The Hoxton Trust, a small local charity which dedicate their time to supporting the local community around Hoxton and Hackney in a variety of ways.

We recently caught up with Paul Fleming, Executive Director of The Hoxton Trust to find out more about the charitable organisation and how you can support them further …

Hi Paul, can you tell us a little more about The Hoxton Trust and its history?

The Hoxton Trust was established in 1983 as a community development to address the physical environment of the local area. At the time, Hoxton was very unfashionable, with high levels of poverty and deprivation and a very poor quality urban realm. As well as renovating three buildings – 150-156 Hoxton Street, now the Pie and Mash shop, the tattooist, and The Hoxton Trust office – there was a piece of land next to number 156, where a row of shops used to be and had stood derelict for over 30 years. A group of residents proposed to the council it be turned into a community garden. This was agreed, and charitable status was subsequently applied for and granted. The land was then landscaped and turned into a community garden, know still as The Hoxton Trust Community Garden.

What services and support do you provide for the community?

The Hoxton Trust exists to make the area of Hoxton and Shoreditch a better place for everyone who lives and works there. We do this by supporting those most economically and socially disadvantaged with opportunities to build their levels of skills, knowledge, and confidence. We offer a range of services from providing free legal advice and assistance; and managing and maintaining the community garden for the health, wellbeing and general enjoyment of everyone.

Can you tell us a little more about the garden?

Our award-winning garden is a private space for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in the area. It is maintained by our volunteers and is not a council-run park. The garden provides an oasis of beautiful green space in a densely populated urban area where more than 80% of people rent a flat (three times the national average), most without their own garden.

 As well as a place to be, the garden hosts numerous groups and community events that help reduce isolation, break down barriers and boost social cohesion. In an area that has changed rapidly over the last four decades and continues to change, the importance of the space cannot be overstated.

The garden is home to around 150 different plants and over 20 types of trees, including Eucalyptus, a Quince tree and a rather rare Foxglove (Empress tree).

How have things had to adapt for the Trust over the past year?

For a time from March 2020, everything closed and we acted as a hub for a couple of mutual aid groups that had sprung up. The garden was then able to reopen at the beginning of May 2020 and our legal advice service started up back again in the middle of May 2020. The legal advice method of service had to be completely redesigned. We have moved from a purely face to face mode with all documentation and case management held on the server to a purely telephone/ e mail model with all documentation held on the cloud.

Footfall in the garden is still less than pre-covid levels due to fewer people being out and about.

What are you most looking forward to as restrictions ease?

As a community based charity it’s been very painful having to detach ourselves from the community for the past eighteen months. So it’ll be great to see people face to face again in our building and garden.

How can people get involved and support you?

We are a small local charity, entirely reliant on volunteers and donations. Whether you have a lot or a little time to give, or a lot or small amount of money to donate, it all helps.

We have some great volunteering opportunities in the garden, our legal advice service or in the office. E mail paul@hoxtontrust.org with contact details and how you would like to help. We’ll offer you a full induction and training, make sure you won’t be out of pocket with lunch and travel expenses where relevant and you’ll be joining a team of friendly people! To donate, simply visit: www.hoxtontrust.org/donate.

What do you love most about Hoxton?

It’s dynamic, lively, happening. It’s such a diverse place with so much energy and there is always something going on. It’s a real privilege to be part of the community.

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Anthology Hoxton Press is a development of one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses available in trendy Hoxton, to find out more get in touch with the team: 020 3308 8913 / hoxtonpress@anthology.london

 

 

Published on 05|08|2021

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