Backgrounder

Founded in 1924 and still based in the building built for it in Battersea, south west London, Katherine Low Settlement (KLS) is a long established and much loved officially registered charity providing essential services to the local community and surrounding borough of Wandsworth.

KLS runs a wide range of community projects and offers valuable services to provide education and encourage social networking, physical wellbeing and other constructive activities in a community of over 5,000 people. Together with local people, partners and associates, it also campaigns against intolerance and injustice. Services include 60 Plus – a range of learning and activities for the elderly, ESOL – English for non-English speakers, Love to Learn – a number of courses aimed at children, and other courses for those in need.

The populace served comprises a wide range of the young and old, individuals and families, older people, those on low-income, and newly arrived, displaced refugees. Topically, KLS is playing a key role today in working with partners and helping the local community meet hardships imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

KLS recognises there are many other expert charities and community groups working with, for example, disabled people, domestic abuse and mental health sufferers in the Battersea area. The charity partners with them – some 45 other charities and community groups – providing premises and organisational development support.

This means the combined resource is able to meet even more of the diverse help sought by local communities, supporting more than 4,000 people each month. For example, prior to the Coronavirus lockdown, over 500 people a week used the KLS building for community activities and events. To boost funds, rooms are also available for affordable hire.

Regarding origins, Katherine Mackay Low was an American philanthropist living in London. After her death in 1923, friends raised funds to build a headquarters in Battersea, naming it the Katherine Low Settlement.

Arising from the settlement movement of that time, KLS still operates from the building built for the charity in 1924, located at 108 Battersea High Street, London SW11.

The populace served comprises a wide range of the young and old, individuals and families, older people, those on low-income, and newly arrived, displaced refugees.

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