Fitzrovia charity to use grant to boost bi-lingual advice services

The City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, has awarded £99,000 to Camden-based Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association (FNA) to support its free bi-lingual information and advice services.

Based in a central London area known for having wide disparities of wealth, FNA provides holistic advice on welfare benefits and education to Asian and elderly people living in Fitzrovia and nearby areas. With many of them coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and less aware of the services and support available to them because of language barriers, the FNA is an essential drop-in centre in this part of central London.

Besides boosting FNA’s current advice services and referral network, the grant from City Bridge Trust will also help the charity to pilot a support group, identifying and closely monitoring participants and the service they receive. In addition, there will be evening legal sessions set up to meet the increasing demand from local young workers who are often living in over-crowded flats or derelict buildings, facing problems such as housing, unemployment and personal finance issues.

Linus Rees, Director and Trustee of Centre for Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, said:

"We are very pleased to have been awarded this grant from City Bridge Trust. The bright lights of the West End obscure huge inequalities of income, poor housing conditions, and a lack of amenities for residents. This will enable the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association to continue and improve its work to relieve poverty in our area."

Mr Ahmed, 52, originally from India, said:

“Fitzrovia advice centre has been an invaluable source of information and help for me regarding my personal paperwork, whether it is regarding the local council or government. The bi-lingual advice worker has been extremely helpful during my benefit appeal and the advice given has been truly useful in winning my appeal.”

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, said:

‘Making real differences in the local community is not simply an empty slogan, but something that Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association has been achieving for the past 40 years. Every year, hundreds of local people benefit from better economic circumstances and an enhanced quality of life as a result of its advice and support. We are delighted that our grant has safeguarded this vital service, on which many disadvantaged and marginalised Fitzrovia residents rely.”

City Bridge Trust is the grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation. It supports London’s charities and provides grants totalling around £15 million per year.

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries: Julie Zhu, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 7332 3451

About the City of London CorporationThe City of London Corporation has three roles: we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration and skills projects. The Corporation supports education - with three independent schools and three City Academies – plus a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. And – with its heart in London’s Square Mile - 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, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.

The City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, makes grants totaling around £15 million annually to charitable projects across London. More information can be found at