Helping Hands Programme Impact Films

The first film, ‘Don’t Tell Me, Show Me’, features Eartha Pond, the founder and CEO of ESP Foundation. The film captures the essence of leadership in action, highlighting the challenges, triumphs, and moments of profound impact experienced by girls and young women supported by the Girls Allowed Programme.

Eartha Pond, CEO of ESP Foundation, spoke at our Helping Hands Community Celebration.

“Young people’s voices help us to develop our work and help them to find their way; that’s what Helping Hands allowed us to do. We created a safe space in the North of the borough. Anyone who knows the area knows the wide diversity in terms of the population; we have a large Muslim cohort of young people; to have that safe space where girls are taking off their hijabs and wearing short sleeves where they don’t get to do that outside of the home is something really, really special.”

The three key areas for ESP Foundation in the future are:

  1. Ambitions to deliver regularly as a school partner
  2. Expand to include Boys Allowed as a Programme
  3. Use Girls Allowed as a mentoring tool within schools

To find out more about ESP Foundation, please visit their website.


Our second film, ‘My Harrow Road’, features Deujean Bernard, the founder and Managing Director of Harrow Road Soup Kitchen, a local organisation that offers support for the local community, reducing food poverty, building community cohesion, and collaborating with partners to increase opportunities for young people within Westminster. The film exemplifies the power of grassroots activism and the ripple effect of collective action.

Deujean Bernard, founder and managing director of Harrow Road Soup Kitchen, spoke at our Helping Hands Community Celebration

”The Helping Hands Programme was the first funding we received as an organisation and has since then supported us in securing further funding. They have helped us by offering guidance and assisting our organisation’s development. Building strong governance, designing effective services, and expanding partnerships are crucial to organisational growth and effectiveness. It’s especially valuable that they have helped community voices and empowered us to drive the changes we want to see. Their support extends beyond just monetary aid, fostering a sense of empowerment and agency within your community.”

The three key areas for Harrow Road Soup Kitchen in the future are:

  1. Expand our Community Outreach offer to other local wards
  2. Support more local young people through our mentoring programmes
  3. Create more opportunities for community members to share their thoughts on work being done to address youth violence.

To find out more about Harrow Road Soup Kitchen, please visit their website.

Our Programme Lead, Marium, shared her reflections on the last two years and our Helping Hands Community Celebration event.

”Over the last two years, I have worked with young people, our local youth and community organisations, community partners and statutory partners to develop the Helping Hands Programme to address the impact of Youth Violence on our communities, shaped by insights gathered from impact mapping sessions, community listening activities, and being visible in the community.

Central to our approach is capacity building, where we support organisations and individuals in accessing our Community Fund and its support offer, offering programme and service design, aid in delivery, training, and establishing sustainable processes within organisations. This collaborative effort involved every young person, practitioner, community member, leader, and funder.

Reflecting on the accomplishments of projects funded through the Community Fund fills me with a profound sense of privilege to be part of such an inspiring, considerate, and impactful community. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the programme thus far and those who joined us to celebrate these achievements.”

Carol Archibald, founder of Oyin and local resident, shared:

“After 20 years of dedicated service in the youth sector, I’ve witnessed a growing need for girls and young women to embrace their inherent strength and proactively nurture their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Over the past three years, Oyin has meticulously refined our approach, drawing insights directly from girls and young women in Westminster.

This ensures that our programme isn’t just a well-intentioned initiative but a thoroughly tested and informed endeavour. We aim to provide a secure environment where participants feel empowered to learn, evolve, and feel comfortable being vulnerable and authentic.

This means confronting the negative barriers that hinder their confidence, trust, and resilience. Without the invaluable support and guidance of Helping Hands, our SWERVE programme would still be a distant aspiration rather than the thriving success it is today.”

By elevating the voices and stories of these unsung heroes, we hope to inspire viewers to recognise their capacity to effect change in their communities.

General enquiries:

Young Westminster Foundation brings together youth organisations, young people, businesses, Westminster City Council, government, schools, funders and the wider community to create opportunities for Westminster’s young people. We’re part of a growing network of Young People’s Foundations (YPFs) established nationally by John Lyon’s Charity. Through working together at a local level, we hope to develop cross-sector solutions to some of London’s greatest challenges, including serious youth violence, emotional health & wellbeing and youth employability.

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