Kingsley Hall Church & Community Centre has been providing a place for everyone from the community to come together for almost 90 years.
A Charity Bank loan helped the charity to complete the first phase of an exciting redevelopment project. Here, Director and Church Leader Chris Kapnisis describes how Kingsley Hall is continuing to build on this long legacy bringing community support to its most disadvantaged.
“Kingsley Hall has a really rich heritage. It was founded in 1929 by two sisters who wanted to give back to the community and inject some heart and soul into Becontree Estate, which was the largest estate in the world at the time. They were inspired by their Christian faith but also wanted to build a hub that was open and accessible to everyone. Its main objectives were to provide care and welcome for people from all backgrounds and of all ages.
“Kingsley Hall has grown significantly over the years, but community remains at the heart of everything we do. It is a vibrant centre providing facilities, services and activities for everyone, from parent and toddler groups through to tea dances for the elderly. We carry out youth work, support people from a background of homelessness and vulnerability and those who live with disabilities, and have many active, inclusive faith congregations.
“In order to continue responding to the needs of our community, we recently launched a large redevelopment project. The first phase of this was completed earlier this year with the support of a loan from Charity Bank. We built a brand-new extension to the existing nursery where an additional 40 children could be cared for, which in turn allows us to reach and support more families with disadvantaged backgrounds. Above the new nursery extension, four self-contained apartments were built to provide homes for key workers who live in and contribute to the community.
“As soon as we met the team at Charity Bank we could tell there was an excellent alignment of values and we were really keen to work with them. We didn’t want to simply take out a loan from a commercial lender but rather to develop a partnership with a lender that understands and shares our sense of community and social impact. This has been clear with Charity Bank throughout the whole process and it’s been really rewarding working with them.
“It’s also very important to us to know our repayments are going towards financial upcycling, supporting other communities and helping to contribute to an ongoing social impact. With Charity Bank you really get the twin benefits of a fair financial return – it’s a great bank regardless – and the assurance of knowing your investments go towards making a real difference to people.”