February 2022 news: a setback, updated application requirements and more
Published on February 15, 2022 by Newham Solidarity Fund

Dear Neighbours,

We hope this update finds you safe and well, despite the bleak weather and bleak national economic forecast. The need for solidarity in our communities is as apparent as ever, so we want to start by thanking you for your interest in this project and its aims. We are nothing without you!

Unfortunately our first update is a difficult one to share. In January we discovered that we had approved grants to people who are not eligible to receive from the fund, and who had misled us into believing that they were. This project partly relies on trust, and it’s unfortunate that trust has been breached.

We’ve identified the methods used to bypass the fund’s rules and taken steps to prevent something similar happening in future. One of these steps is adding the new requirement that the proof of address provided must be a photograph of a paper proof of address. It must still match the name on the bank account provided and it must still be dated within the last six months.

We don’t like to add new requirements because ease of access is a top priority, but we have to make sure grants are distributed fairly. We’re going to continue with our values - trusting our neighbours to take what they need and give what they can - while ensuring suitable checks are in place.

A further update comes via our partners Accountable, who manage the financial side of the fund by holding money in their bank account and making transfers to approved applications. We couldn't have built the fund as we have without Accountable, and since we started in October 2020 they've waived all transaction fees for covid-19 response groups. From today, 15th February 2020, Accountable will implement a 5% transaction fee on new incoming transactions. There is no charge on payments out, and our existing balance is unaffected.

The final item on this round up of our latest news concerns in-real-life events! Our 'Winter Stall' with Newham Anti-Raids, London Renters' Union and Newham Copwatch on 30th January was a fantastic success; we raised over £200 and, even better, met loads of people who wanted to learn about the grassroots groups organising locally. We even met two new people who have joined the core organising team for Newham Solidarity Fund! Any extra help we can get is a huge boost, so if you're reading this wondering about getting involved yourself, please drop us a line.

Our next planned event is a pub quiz at the Pretty Decent Beer company tap room on Saturday 9th March. There'll be prizes, trivia galore, and all funds raised will go to our neighbours in need. We hope to see you there!

Thanks for your support and best wishes,

The Newham Solidarity Fund admin team

 

RONALD GOODEY

Posted on February 15, 2022

I'm really sorry to hear this. It's such a shame that people abuse this lovely project and the teams hard work. 

Hopefully the change will stop the people abusing the system. 


❤️  1

Mon

Posted on February 15, 2022

It's really disguisting that some people should try and con this charitable organisation.
Especially during those difficult times.
Some of those applocation did look suspicious: I'm glad you're adding extra security. 
One question: How should we submit photo of paper based proof of address if we have all electronic bills now? Print off online version and take a photo of that?