Week One at the KCF: Social Inequality, Microsoft Excel and Madonna

The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation is a charity which works to raise awareness of the harsh socio-economic contrasts that exist within the borough, and to help residents support local charities and community groups by championing the work of small charities. Essentially, the Foundation wants to make the borough a place where no one is held back by a lack of opportunity, a community where people and organisations work together to improve the lives of its most vulnerable members.

The foundation provides advice and guidance to residents, schools and businesses that want to become more engaged in their community. They also work to initiate campaigns to target specific needs. For example, in April they organised “The Right Royal Ride”, a bike ride in support of local mental health and well-being charities (which was attended, unexpectedly, by the Beckham family).

I arrived at the Foundation at a time of transition, with the old Director (Diana Spiegelberg, who was an invaluable help during the application process and without whom this internship would have been impossible) leaving, and her replacement not arriving until I’m halfway through my time here. Nonetheless the foundation have been very helpful in guiding and directing me, with a trustee being assigned to me to describe in detail my project and help me along the way.

My major project on this internship is to establish contact and market the Foundation to high profile people that live locally, with the eventual goal of convincing them to support (in potential ways I’ll describe in future posts) the foundation. From Madonna to Hugh Grant to Stella McCartney, if they live in the borough, I need to research them, gain as much information about them as I can and assess the likelihood of them being receptive to the Foundation’s objectives.

For now, I’m going through countless emails and the Foundation’s database, as well as newspapers, electoral rolls, interviews, Wikipedia and various trustee/staff contacts to generate as much data as possible regarding these high profile prospects, compiling it all into a Excel spreadsheet. Once I’m done, I can move on to assessing the possible routes the Foundation can use to get into contact with these prospects, as well as our method of approach, something I’ll go into in future blog posts.

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