Best known as an award-winning music venue with a global reputation for international musical events by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Celeste and Elton John, Union Chapel is also a social enterprise supporting people in need. Their Margins Project offers a range of vital services for people facing homelessness, risk of homelessness and crisis in London.
During the pandemic, demand for Union Chapel’s services increased three-fold but they are operating on a third of their income. The charity has given direct support to 1600 vulnerable people, providing food, access to hot showers, essential supplies and shelter. By the end of March 2020, Union Chapel was the last night shelter open in Islington. They were a partner in the UK’s first homeless taskforce, opened a food bank with local partners and offered befriending and deliveries to people on Islington’s estates, providing over 1,500 meals and 600 support packs to over 500 people, as well as providing advice on issues such housing and benefits and support with health and wellbeing.
The funding for the charity, and the upkeep of the building, comes largely from income generated by Union Chapel’s exciting calendar of music and arts events. It’s these events that enable the charity to deliver this community programme which has transformed the lives of thousands of people and will continue to do so.
However, the need for Union Chapel’s support services has increased by 66% since the pandemic and the longer-term impact of covid and the economic situation on those already facing disadvantage and inequality is becoming more acute. Repeated lockdowns have meant the doors of Union Chapel have remained largely closed for much of the past 18 months and income to support these much-needed services has been vastly reduced.
Michael Chandler, CEO of Union Chapel says, “Due to the pandemic, our income generating venue has been operating at much less than its previous capacity. We need your help to keep going as a charity and to grow our community programmes through a new community space. As we reflect on three decades of supporting those most in need and hosting amazing events, we also look to the future and how the pandemic has hit the most vulnerable in our communities. We ask for your support to protect our future generations.”
Frank Turner says, “The last year has been very difficult for the entire music industry and communities more broadly. Union Chapel is a very special place because as well as being one of the best venues in the word, it runs important community outreach programmes. They have of course suffered through Covid and enforced lockdowns as a venue and as a community centre. Let’s keep this amazing venue open and let them do the wonderful work they do in the community as well.”
Funds raised through the crowd funder will support Union Chapel and its community work.
Each contributor to Union Chapel through the crowd funder will be given chance to win one of a raft of experiences, which include a night spent at the sound desk during one of the gigs, backstage tours, and tours of the iconic tour and organ as well as signed Christmas cards by a range of artists.
The link to the crowd funder can be found here .www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rebuild-union-chapel
Frank Turner talking about the crowd funder here .www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rebuild-union-chapel