By Maria Sahin, Resources Officer and Executive Assistant
For many years the Cripplegate Foundation’s aim has been to support residents in the Islington and Cripplegate Ward. We do this by funding local grassroots community organisations and working with residents across the borough. We work to bring about change that will transform the lives of our most disadvantaged residents; from setting up football sessions for children and young people to theatre workshops or mental health support.
In addition to direct funding, we are also delighted to be able to offer support through our shared office. We are located in the heart of Angel. Our office is a very generous space, consisting of the main office, a few small offices that we rent to other community organisations, and a large shared boardroom. We have been sharing the boardroom with the community, free of charge, for several years. Since 2013 we have hosted countless hours and many groups in our boardroom. This, in turn, helped us to understand how we could redesign our space to use it more efficiently, and so that it served the community better.
We wanted to work with a company that would understand where we come from, and what we do, so that they could design a space that would suit our needs. Islington based K2 Space stood out immediately.
They were very engaging and understanding from day one. Instead of submitting any general proposal, they wanted to meet and see us. We found out that we shared more than a location, their values were very similar to ours. K2 Space was selected and given the task to redesign our space.
At the beginning, we were invited to see their new office that had many features we wanted for our space. A bit of colour, less corporate look, more friendly/funky place where people can feel at ease, a place to share ideas, enjoy lunch but also host formal meetings. Not a minor point for us was also to create break-out areas that were attractive for young people from Islington Giving’s Young Grant Makers programme while at the same time being a workspace too.
Another important point for us was to have more offices for two or three like-minded organisations as well, as we had a great experience sharing our office with Help on Your Doorstep from the very beginning.
The team at K2 Space came up with amazing ideas and also accommodated many small ones that we came up with. They were really understanding to the request of reusing as many original features as possible, in order to not create a larger carbon footprint, as well as getting new features that were eco-friendly.
The result of all of this effort is an office space that is better than imagined. Both Cripplegate and HOYD staff loved the new designs from the first moment.
Now, that the teams of The Blagrave Trust and BIG Alliance have joined us at the newly created offices, we have finished our plan and are looking forward to reconnecting with each other, getting back to the office and welcoming new organisations into our boardroom.