Thank you for helping us raise over £5,000 for our local hospital staff

Staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital
853 readers showed their appreciation to staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lewisham Hospital

Last month, we asked readers of 853 and its sister site, The Charlton Champion, to dig deep and donate to help the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and Lewisham Hospital as they fought the coronavirus pandemic.

We are delighted to report that you responded magnificently – our initial target of £2,000 was broken within just five hours. Within a week, we broke our stretch target of £5,000. The total is now well over that, and we’ll be keeping the appeal running for a few more days.

However, we will close it at the end of the week to allow the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Charitable Fund to get their hands on the cash.

We know this website’s readers care deeply about our home area, and we strongly believe that local media has a responsibility to rally round those who care for us when times are hard. We’re very grateful for your support – thank you ever so much.

Your support is helping this website too

As the lockdown goes on, 853 hopes to continue serving you with timely and original reporting of local issues. Readers’ funding of the site has enabled us to bring Tom Bull – you may remember the stories he wrote as local democracy reporter – on board to produce stories about local initiatives: the Old Cottage Cafe in Charlton, Help Lewisham Hospital and the Greenwich Covid-19 Mutual Aid group. The site has also covered Isolation Help Bexley and there’s more to come.

We have applied for grant funding to help us continue running these additional stories, because so many groups and initiatives are going unreported in an area where the traditional local media has largely given up on serving its communities. However, it may be a few weeks before we hear if we have been successful. In the meantime, and for the future, your continued support in helping fund the site is deeply appreciated.

Our friends at the Independent Community News Network are continuing the campaign for independent news outlets such as this to be eligible to run government public health advertising – so far Westminster is refusing to place ads in the independent sector, preferring instead to help the Sutton-based News Shopper, whose parent company made £108m in profit last year. Even the venerable – and vulnerable – South London Press is being excluded. It is not owned by one of the major groups.

We’ve been grateful for the support of London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, and today, we’re pleased to say that Greenwich & Woolwich’s Labour MP Matt Pennycook has raised the issue in the House of Commons – something we really appreciate. We look forward to seeing what the government has to say.

All we do is only possible because of readers like you donating to the site’s running costs – if you would like to join them, click here.

853 produces public interest journalism for Greenwich and SE London and is part-funded by its readers. If you would like to help keep it running, become a member:

  • Join us on Steady at – donate monthly amounts in pounds
  • Find us on PressPatron at – donate monthly or annual amounts in pounds, or make a one-off donation
  • We’re also on Patreon at – donate monthly amounts in dollars
  • Buy the site editor a coffee (or other beverage) at

Thank you for your support – the site would not exist without it.