2017 was the 150th birthday of QSA.
We celebrated our longevity in tackling poverty for a century and a half.
We also lamented that our work was still needed, but, nonetheless, have now doubled down on delivering on our mission, “to enable people on low incomes in east London and beyond to seek solutions to the issues that affect their lives”.
It has been my privilege to lead QSA for a tenth of its 150 years, and I look upon the challenges of today as I imagine my predecessors did – with a quiet determination to keep pushing forward. We are entrepreneurial and risk confident. We are tenacious.
We know that communities characterised as poor and disadvantaged are often rich with ideas and assets. We see our role as working alongside people in a practical way to strengthen and nurture their own skills and capacities. Right now, we do this against a challenging backdrop; continuing austerity, a housing crisis, record in-work poverty rates and Brexit uncertainties.
Our annual report offers a snapshot of the work we’ve undertaken with 2,990 people this year and the ways in which we’ve sought to support them to address adversity and to thrive. My profound thanks to the people within these pages who’ve shared their stories to illustrate the impact of our work.