This page provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Groundwork London and our work.
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
You can get in touch with us via e-mail, telephone or post. For more detail, visit our Contact us page.
When are you available?
Our offices are staffed between 9.00am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, except for public holidays. At other times you can leave a message on our answerphone and we will return your call as soon as possible.
What is your purpose or vision as an organisation?
Groundwork aims to, 'build sustainable communities in areas of need through joint environmental action'. So what does this mean?
Build sustainable communities - This is the core of what we do. Building sustainable communities is complex; there is no standard template. We adapt our broad range of skills and knowledge to deliver projects that address specific local needs.
Areas of need - Our work is focused on those areas that most need our support. London is unique, in that there are areas of relative poverty next to areas of relative wealth. This means that, in London particularly, we take a more holistic view of the work we are delivering.
Joint / Partnership - We always look to build partnerships: to add value and to build on what is already happening in local areas. We also believe that true, sustainable change is led by local people, so they are always at the centre of our work.
Environmental action - Our roots are in the environment. When Groundwork was first conceived in the 1970s, it was with a view to improving the 'physical environment of the urban fringe'. We have come a long way since those early days and today we are focused as much on the 'people' as the 'place'. We are an environmental organisation at heart, however, and we continue to live and work by those ideals. We look to ensure all of our projects are environmentally sustainable, using locally sourced, environmentally-friendly materials. We deliver over 300 projects a year in London that focus on improving the physical environment. As well as working with people and organisations to help mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Long-term, our vision is of a London of made up of sustainable communities which are vibrant, healthy and safe, which respect the local and global environment and where individuals and enterprise prosper.
What sort of work do you do?
As above, building sustainable communities is a complex process. We combine our skills in and knowledge of landscape design, community engagement and empowerment, employment and skills training, youth work, education, and environmental advice and training, to develop and deliver projects in partnership that address specific local needs.
Uniquely, we can combine this wide range of skills and experience to deliver the bespoke, joined-up projects that local people and places need. We are also able to combine this practical work with an in-depth knowledge of national, regional and local policy. This ensures that our work is relevant and sustainable. We use what we learn from developing and delivering projects to help feed into future policy for the likes of the GLA, GOL, LANTRA and many others. This creates a virtuous circle that helps to bring us incrementally closer to a London of sustainable communities.
Due to the bespoke nature of our work, explaining Groundwork on a page is never easy. You can read more about the sort of services we offer by visiting our services page. However, we often find the best way is to discuss your specific need with you. We can offer our advice and work to understand how Groundwork can support you. Do feel free to contact us to talk about how we could best work together.
Are you part of the Council?
No. Groundwork London is an independent charitable trust. We work in partnership with a whole range of organisations from the public, private and third sectors, and local authorities are key partners on many of our projects. By working in partnership we can ensure the best results for local communities, finding the right solution for the needs of local people and the areas in which they live.
Where does your funding come from?
Like all charities we are constantly having to stay one step ahead in terms of securing funding. Groundwork is fortunate to receive core funding from CLG and from the local authorities in the areas where we work. We use this money to pay for certain essential overheads - premises, development work, communications - and also to leverage in further 'match' funding.
All our other revenue is raised from a variety of different funding pots. This includes the BIG Lottery, charitable trusts, private businesses, the European Union, landfill tax, and a whole lot more.
Do you make any profit from the projects?
No. We are a charity, so any money we raise is used on the projects themselves. If we produce a surplus, this money is fed back into projects that may not have attracted enough funding. We do operate a for-profit arm, Groundwork London EBS. Groundwork London EBS provides advice and training to organisations on improving their environmental performance. Any profits made from this work are used to fund local environmental projects. Often it can help us fund the more innovative side of work that, often, it is difficult to secure funding for.
Where do you work?
Groundwork works across London. We believe in having offices as close as possible to the communities in which we work, whilst still keeping overheads low and using our funding appropriately. To achieve this we have a number of offices in London: