Project information

St Mary Magdalene Development Project

PDT are working in partnership with St Mary Magdalene Church, on an innovative project to create a hub of new community, arts and heritage activity within the church. We believe our project will be an exemplar of how a church can become relevant again, particularly in a deprived, urban community.

3 years upon the completion of capital works

Charity information: Paddington Development Trust

Paddington Development Trust logo
  • Need


    The community is second lowest on the index of deprivation for London with 74% of households affected by at least one dimension of deprivation. Social isolation, poor health, and low levels of skills and confidence are endemic in the area. Many residents are excluded from the social, cultural and economic opportunities of central London. Some are at risk of alienation from wider society, or even radicalisation (Mohammed Emwazi – Jihadi John - was a pupil at St Mary Magdalene Primary School).


    Funding from The Big Give will help meet the costs of a Volunteering and Routes to Progression Manager who will develop and manage a range of volunteering and training opportunities. This role will lead on organisational aspects of volunteer management, recruitment, training, referrals and routes for progression. They will provide individually tailored routes and ensure cohesive, joined up delivery with PDT’s wider core skills development, employment and training programmes.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce social and cultural isolation


    » Volunteering opportunities will enhance understanding of the heritage of the area and foster a sense of citizenship and belonging.

    What success will look like

    Through growth of volunteer numbers, measured against the volunteer target number of 180.

    Aim 2

    To provide enriching experiences which have long-term benefits for local residents.


    » Creation of 180 volunteering opportunities in the first 3 years of the programme providing the opportunity for the development of transferable skills
    » Formal training and accreditation through a variety of avenues, including apprenticeships and adult employability work placements.

    What success will look like

    Through monitoring and measurement of the number of people going into employment.

  • Impact


    Through the Activity Programme we will engage with the local community to reduce isolation, and provide jobs and training opportunities. This will be delivered through the creation of 3 full time and 4 part time jobs, a range of casual positions and 180 volunteering opportunities in the first 3 years. Success will be demonstrated by meeting measurable targets: job creation, increasing the number of volunteers and the number of local people participating.


    There are some risks involved in the project, which we are confident we can tackle if they do arise:
    1 - Finding the right person for the role
    The role will be advertised widely and we will only appoint once we are confident in our choice.
    2 - Not enough local people participate
    We have strong links with the local community and have developed the project in partnership with them. We will advertise opportunities locally and use our existing relationships to maximise local participation.


    We will keep donors updated through our website, where news regarding all of PDT's projects is regularly posted, as well as through our Twitter feed and on Facebook.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £42,824

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £42,824 Salary Salary for the Volunteer and Routes for Progression Manager
  • Background


    The community in the Westbourne ward of North Paddington lives in an area of high deprivation: 60% of residents are of origins other than white British, with 43% born outside the UK. 83% of children under 15 belong in families that are dependent on workless benefits – the highest proportion of any ward in London. There is also a lack of facilities, which is a major issue as the community surrounding the church has strong levels of deprivation but has no communal meeting space in the area.


    The local community from all backgrounds and all faiths and none; local businesses, and visitors to St Mary Magdalene will all benefit from this project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since its formation in 1997, PDT has been a driving force in the regeneration of North Paddington, working hand in hand with local people to develop and deliver services that local people need and want. PDT has directly raised over £30m and levered in an additional £100m for the provision of youth, educational, employment, enterprise, adult services and new local facilities. In 2015 we were awarded the City Corporation’s Sustainable Communities Award.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Toby Gale

    Project Director

Nowadays we really need to encourage that [inclusion] and so we can reduce the gaps between different religions and cultures, especially that our community is a mixture of everything now. Hopefully when the community gains this knowledge we will never have monsters called Isis in our future.

Local resident