St Luke’s community centre is based on Central Street in the South of Islington and first opened its doors in 1982. It runs a whole range of events and activities and is open seven day per week. The centre has almost 70 members of staff engaged across a range of services. These staff are supported by over 60 volunteers who complement the services and ensure everything is in place for our 70,000 visitors each year.
Crucial to our services is the involvement of our business partners and their staff. St Luke’s works with twenty four corporate partners in many different areas. The businesses vary from large multi-national firms to small local businesses. During 2018, we calculated that, if we were to engage staff to do the work our corporate volunteers do, it would cost is in excess of £60,000 per year, and this is just the basics!
Our corporate partners generously give to St Luke’s which pays for two members of staff. In financial terms alone, this accounts for almost five percent of the centre’s turnover. Our corporate volunteers help out with a vast range of activities at the Centre. They work with our older members on helping them to make more use of mobile phones, tablets, pcs and ipads. They provide one-to-one support to local unemployed residents searching for work through our weekly Job Club and business start-up support through our Firm Futures initiative. They take part in our cookery classes for children and families and supervise the cooking which takes place regularly. As importantly, they enjoy the benefits of the classes also when they can sit with the families and taste the delicious dishes which have been put together.
At all our events, and especially at Christmas, our corporate volunteers are hugely involved in every aspect of the particular event. At Christmas, they lead on our Christmas appeal, they wrap the gifts for each participant at the parties, they prepare the tables, they serve the food, they clear everything away and help with the wash-up and cleaning. Importantly, they sit and chat to our service users and support them in any way they can.
St Luke’s community centre depends greatly on our corporate partners. It is real evidence of the involvement of businesses in the communities in which they are based. It is so heartening to see and experience the good work that they do for the most vulnerable in our community and to see them give back so generously in just about every way they can.
We say a big Thank You to all our corporate partners and their staff who are our volunteers. We just could not do the work we do, without you. Thank you!