High Trees Community Development Trust is an established community anchor and hub based in Tulse Hill, South London. High Trees works with local people and external groups to build the capacity of individuals and smaller voluntary community organisations, using an innovative partnership approach.
High Trees aims to ensure the individuals it supports have increased skills and a stronger voice, as well as to build active, resilient communities. The High Trees team have been delivering projects and services to local people for over 24 years. Adopting a holistic approach to community development, their work is delivered in a collaborative manner; working with other partners to enhance service delivery, avoid duplication of work and ensure there is a joined-up approach to supporting Lambeth’s most under served individuals and communities.
“Times became financially very hard. I felt that I had so many skills to offer I was going for interviews but was not being offered any jobs. I was rapidly losing confidence in being employed again. A string of events led me to High Trees Development project… The standards of training at High Trees is second to none. As a result, I am very excited and confident about my future prospects and work opportunities.” Gloria, St Martin’s Estate
Guided by the needs of the local community, High Trees deliver a range of projects, including Community Learning and accredited training courses, employment support, volunteering opportunities and work placements schemes. Another key strand of their work is Community Action’, where they nurture individuals and community groups, seeking to build their capacity and advocacy skills. They also deliver services to children, young people and families, where they work on the basis of early intervention, running youth clubs and forums, adventure play, well-being projects, mentoring and youth leadership.
I think Youth Club should be on more so that everyone can come together because Wednesdays everyone looks forward to on Tulse Hill.
Young Person Aged 14, Tulse Hill Estate
Despite their successful approach, the team struggled to gain support for capital development. With help from the Badur Foundation, High Trees initially gained professional architect plans for the refurbishment of the community centre. Gaining professional plans was an important first step, enabling the team to begin their fundraising journey to make the capital project a reality. After a challenging but successful period of fundraising, the Foundation provided further support towards the cost of the works and then helped the team to get over the final hurdle of furnishing the public facing spaces. The refurbishment is now complete and it aims to enable better use of the space to deliver vital support and services to local people.