Charity supporting vulnerable pregnant women receives cash boost after surge in demand

An east London charity supporting pregnant women who are homeless or have been in abusive relationships has received £90,000 to expand its services after a surge in demand.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable arm, awarded the grant to charity Alternatives Trust East London.

The funding will support the women and their families to find immediate housing in a hostel or refuge, assist with securing long-term housing and help with their immigration status. The charity will also work with the women to secure access to benefits and employment.

Over the last year, the charity, based in Newham, has helped a growing number of African and Albanian women who have suffered sexual exploitation. 79% of people currently coming to the charity are homeless and 90% have a background of abuse.

All women using the services are living in poverty and are sometimes destitute. The majority come from an abusive situation and have little or no support from friends or family in the UK.

Alternatives Trust East London will also deliver emergency food, baby equipment and clothing and support to address long-term causes of extreme poverty.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“This charity is responding to a big increase in demand for its services which are providing invaluable support to vulnerable women in East London.

“It is receiving referrals from the local authority because there is no publicly funded alternative delivering this type of support for women.

They are not only helping the women, but supporting their families to give them a better future. City Bridge Trust is committed to making London a fairer place to work and live.”

Support to Parents manager Julia Dexter added:

“We are currently working beyond our capacity. We have more clients coming than we have the ability to care and support with the quality we know we can give.

“This grant will enable us to prevent clients slipping through the cracks and allow us to help, empower and give hope to many more.”

Sarah Moriah is a trustee of the charity. She was a client, then became the charity’s Social Enterprise Manager and is now successfully running her own business. She said:

“Having been at a group that started with four mums, I have seen the numbers grow tremendously and new challenges arise each time. This grant will help ease the burden of the current staff and improve services to the user which is brilliant’.

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage and inequality across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.