Ten Islington establishments with crowdfunders amid the coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 08:56 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:22 24 August 2020

The Union Chapel.. Picture: Union Chapel

The Union Chapel.. Picture: Union Chapel


Cafes, restaurants and venues all over Islington have launched crowdfunding campaigns amid to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elton John performs a special concert for Absolute Radio, at the Union Chapel in Islington, North London. Picture: PAElton John performs a special concert for Absolute Radio, at the Union Chapel in Islington, North London. Picture: PA

Here is a round-up of some of the establishments in this borough looking for support to weather the storm.

Devotion Coffee, located in Cross Street since 2017, is a family-run business which was hard hit by the pandemic.

An important part of the local community, the cafe has been struggling to solely support itself through the family’s savings during the lockdown.

It has set up a crowdfunding page and reached £1,320 of their £1,750 goal. Donate at

The Draper’s Arms is raising donations to support staff welfare and mitigate any financial hardship they may suffer, as the pandemic has resulted in an uncertain future for staff members.

The Old Queen's Head in Essex Road, Islington. Picture: ArchantThe Old Queen's Head in Essex Road, Islington. Picture: Archant

Chip in at

• A staple in the gluten-free community, Romeo’s Sugar Free Bakery is dedicated to making healthy food accessible to all.

Unable to qualify for the government’s Small Business Grant Fund, it has delivered gluten-free bakes across London for free during the lockdown.

However, it has been struggling without eat-in custom and the team at the bakery have set up a crowdfunder so they can “recover and rebuild”.


The Lexington, an award-winning bar, closed its doors for the first time in 11 years during the pandemic.

Slim Jim's Liquor Store in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan MunroSlim Jim's Liquor Store in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan Munro

The venue has committed to paying staff in full, but on top of furloughed wages and rent, has been spending over £25,000 while its doors are closed.

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Donate at

• As part of a national initiative launched by the Music Venue Trust to help prevent the closure of hundreds of independent music venues, Aces and Eight have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay bills, rent and other operating costs:

Slim Jim’s Liquor Store has put on hundreds of live events - a lot of them for free - over the years but Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the business.

As part of the Music Venue Trust campaign, it has launched a crowdfunder towards staying afloat and running events:

The Harrison, live music venue and pub, has set up a crowdfunder as part of the Music Venue Trust’s initiative.

The Lexington.The Lexington.

Having accumulated several costs in the past five months of lockdown, including furlough and rent, reopening the venue in September will be an expensive ordeal.

To help keep this 15-year business alive, donate towards its £5,000 target at

The Queen’s Head, a Kings Cross pub, is struggling to reopen after months of being closed during the lockdown.

The cost of being shut has amounted to over £24,000. The Queen’s Head is not only looking to raise money to get back on its feet, but also to support staff, musicians and all of the people connected to them.


Candid Arts Centre, a self-funded charity organisation, is home to 25 art studios, a gallery, a performance and exhibition venue, a cinema and a cafe and restaurant.

Upper Street's famous King's Head TheatreUpper Street's famous King's Head Theatre

Being the largest space of its kind in Islington, it has not qualified for any of the government-funded grants.

Not only has the centre struggled without its thousands of visitors per week, but the more than 50 creative practitioners which occupied its studios are also struggling to sustain business.

Help secure its future at

• After Union Chapel, award-winning cultural venue, closed its doors on March 18, it has had to spend over £100,000 to keep running some of its emergency response spaces.

Donations will help fund core operating costs, homeless community emergency response work, building maintenance and digital programmes.

The Union Chapel.The Union Chapel.


The King’s Head Theatre relies on ticket sales to survive and therefore made a loss of 80 per cent overnight when the lockdown came into force.

It is looking for supporters to make small donations and contributions. Visit

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