Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

As cold nights draw in, fuel prices sky high and thousands suffering the personal and financial consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, this winter will be a challenge for vulnerable people.

Among the most recognized charitable causes that help individuals and families in difficulty in East London is Community Links.

Formally established in 1977 and originally operated out of a disused Routemaster bus, the affluent charitable city of Canning has offered advice and support to those suffering from deprivation in the area for decades.

However, 2021 has already been a remarkable year for charity.

In February, it merged with Catch 22, another charity that designs and delivers community services across the UK, and in April, co-founder Kevin Jenkins died at the age of 62.

Community Links Life President Kevin Jenkins.  Photo: Kevin Jenkins

Co-founder of Community Links, Kevin Jenkins died this year
– Credit: Kevin Jenkins

People along Bethell Avenue to welcome the funeral procession to Kevin Jenkin's OBE and founder of Ambi

People at Bethell Avenue welcome the funeral procession to Kevin Jenkins, who co-founded Community Links
– Credit: Ken Mears

Now it faces one of the most challenging winters in recent memory.

The communities where charities work were already facing many challenges before Covid-19-Newham had e.g. 14 percent unemployment and child poverty of up to 50 percent.


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During the pandemic, districts in east London recorded some of the highest deaths in Britain.

Chi Kavindele, director of the charity, said it was “preparing for a harsh winter”, especially in terms of short-term relief, e.g. Food banks.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Ronnie Wood opens music studios at Community Links in Canning Town

Community Links Director, Chi Kavindele
– Credit: Dave J Hogan

He said: “Ultimately, however, we want to help build communities that thrive and are resilient in the long run – beyond just surviving one winter at a time.

“It means helping people gain access to support to get into meaningful employment, digital skills training and other opportunities to help themselves in the long run. We call this our early action approach, and it underscores much of what we do as a community hub. ”

The charity offers a range of services to people in difficulty in the area, including legal advice on housing, debt, employment and consumer issues backed by lawyers from magic circle firms.

It also provides a range of services that include help for young people in employment, emergency food support and a health service designed to increase screening participation among low-income populations.

Members of the public can email advice@community-links.org or call 02074739681 to learn more.

The charity food bank is available from 4pm to 5pm on Wednesdays at 105 Barking Road, Canning Town.

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