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Maximise The Canvas community space!

Funded on Spacehive 27 August 2019 Delivered 21 June 2021

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Maximise The Canvas community space!

Gossip Projects Limited By Gossip Projects Limited

We're a not-for-profit vegan cafe and community hub incubating grassroots positive activism. We need to maximise our potential for social change by improving our spaces to better serve our community.

Tower Hamlets Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 27 Aug 2019!

Just off Brick Lane in East London, The Canvas is a blank canvas for innovation, creativity and positivity that supports the growth of new ideas that improve the lives of others. We offer free space to community groups and charities in return for a small donation to our Pay it Forward board that feeds the homeless. We're 5 years old this year, and have achieved incredible things in our current space, enabling the growth of 50+ events and ideas every month. But, as our community have told us, much of our space is only just adequate... and that is not good enough. We have a commitment to the community ideas we are incubating, and they deserve an adaptable, fresh and welcoming space to grow. We asked our community what they'd like to see more of; recycling initiatives, a garden project, pay-it-forward childcare that feeds the homeless. All this is possible with your help. Please support us in maximising The Canvas' potential as a platform and launchpad for positive social change.

What we'll deliver:

  • Transform our Community Hub: a new floor / a window / energy-efficient lighting / better heating
  • Improved accessibility for wheelchair users and the hearing impaired
  • Garden project: rejuvenate our outside space into a community growing project
  • Bring in the people! Eye-catching digital signage in our cafe promoting the community initiatives being launched
  • Maximise our kitchen's charitable impact: extra storage for when we deliver large meals for the homeless
  • Much-improved Creative Venue: equipment to better support the emerging artists we host each week

Why it's a great idea:

London is amazing, but it's big and sometimes we can feel disconnected from others. The Canvas is proof that if you offer Londoners space to be amazing, they will be. We host 50+ events every single month, all of them around improving mental and physical health, tackling loneliness, encouraging creativity, and championing equality and sustainability. The Canvas offers Londoners a zone 1 event space, dedicated to being a platform for positive social change; and we're even feeding the homeless along the way. With our current facilities we can provide 200 meals at Crisis a month; we want to increase this to 400+, and partner with more shelters in the area. Since '14 we've enabled the launch of 100s of ideas to London. Our Community Hub hosts a different event every single day: mental health support for young people, community housing co-ops, LGBTQ+ peer-led groups, animal welfare meet ups, free mindfulness and family yoga. But the space isn't being used to its full potential... YET!

Steps to get it done:

  • Hub floor fitted, plus new lights, heating and furniture in - start promoting our new space
  • Garden transformed - start growing our own veg and herbs
  • Wheelchair access and hearing loop installed
  • Window in the Community Hub in - we have light!
  • More meals served to homeless thanks to new kitchen equipment
  • Start marketing our newly improved facilities in the cafe on digital LED board

The Canvas is completely independent, and owned by ex-actress and puppeteer Ruth Rogers. Launched in '14 as a space for the community that could be a blank canvas for positivity and creativity, it has evolved over the years to become a living, breathing embodiment of all the best parts of humanity: generosity, positivity, kindness, hope and love. We are striving to build a successful business model based on generosity, and believe that humans are amazing; you just need to give them space to be so.

Location Tower Hamlets

About the space

Custom Location


London Borough of Tower Hamlets

How will the money be spent?Total £20,906

Hearing Loop installed - £2,971 (14%)
Labour - £2,685 (13%)
Community garden created - £2,203 (11%)
Kitchen equipment to enable more meals for the homeless - £2,148 (10%)
Community Hub floor: eurothane long-lasting protection - £2,125 (10%)
Flexible furniture options for events: 45 bamboo chairs - £1,530 (7%)
Wiring, electrics and improved access to plug points - £1,200 (6%)
Community Hub: dimmable, adaptable lighting (x6 LED track lights) - £774 (4%)
Community Hub: tongue and groove flooring - £630 (3%)
Improve toilet facilities - £610 (3%)
Other - £4,030 (19%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Hearing Loop installed
Community garden created
Kitchen equipment to enable more meals for the homeless
Community Hub floor: eurothane long-lasting protection
Flexible furniture options for events: 45 bamboo chairs
Wiring, electrics and improved access to plug points
Community Hub: dimmable, adaptable lighting (x6 LED track lights)
Community Hub: tongue and groove flooring
Improve toilet facilities
Other Read More
  • Skip hire x2 days
  • Flexible furniture options for events: 8 bamboo table tops + folding table legs
  • Improved tech throughout space
  • Spacehive fees
  • Fire retardant curtains
  • Community Hub: window
  • Digital signage to promote new community events
  • Baby changing unit
  • Community Hub: heating units x2
  • Re-paint both event spaces
  • VAT
  • Community Hub: storage
  • Community Hub floor: vapour sheet
  • Transaction Fees


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • We'll use extra funds to:
  • * Buy a coffee machine, which will save us £5.5k per year (we currently hire one as we can't afford to buy one)
  • * Create an online booking platform so Community Hub members who've used the space before can automatically book slots when they need them, making the process quicker and simpler for them and us.
  • * Re-Paint our Shopfront and Shutter

Total £20,906

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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