New Announcement - Geraldine Blake awarded the Freedom of the City of London

We're delighted to announce that Geraldine Blake, our Director of Collaboration (Regional), has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of her long-standing dedication to supporting the capital's communities.

Geraldine has been a valued member of the London Funders team since September 2016, and has led on projects such as The Way Ahead, London's Giving and supporting the resilience of people in community-facing organisations. Alongside her work with London Funders, she coordinates our member Trust for London's Citizenship and Integration Initiative, which enables Londoners of all backgrounds to have meaningful opportunities to participate in the life of the city and the decisions that affect them.

Prior to joining London Funders, Geraldine was Chief Executive of Community Links, the social action charity working alongside local people to tackle inequality in East London and to share the learning nationally. She also founded and ran a social enterprise, GAP Research, which supported residents and service users to work with public agencies to design effective solutions to long standing problems. Geraldine is also a Trustee of our member the John Ellerman Foundation and is the Chair of IMIX, a charity which aims to change the conversation about migration and refugees to create a more welcoming society.

The award of the Freedom is very timely, following praise for Geraldine's work for London Funders through the covid-19 crisis. She has been responsible for the processes and operations of the London Community Response - an unprecedented funder collaboration which is on course to have distributed over £55m to civil society organisations in every London borough since March 2020. She has been instrumental in ensuring the partnership of 67 funders have been able to make fair, equitable and quick decisions about where funding should be distributed to in the city to address the needs of Londoners, through crisis and into recovery.  Remarkably, she has also found the time to host a community radio show for her local housing cooperative to help keep spirits up in lockdown. 

Responding to the news, our Chief Executive, James Banks said: 

I am delighted that Geraldine has received the Freedom of the City of London in acknowledgement of her incredible commitment to making London a better place for everyone. She has been highly respected in our sector for many years, and she went above and beyond through the covid-19 crisis to support London Funders in making the London Community Response the efficient and effective mechanism for funding that it needed to be.

Thousands of organisations and many more Londoners have already been supported by the London Community Response, and we know will want to join us in congratulating Geraldine on this recognition, and thanking the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation for awarding her this honour.  

Well done Geraldine, we're very proud of you!