October 26th, 2015

Kili for Canaan

On News Years Eve, I (Fiona) and one of our brilliant volunteers and friends, Marianne, will be jetting off to Tanzania to take on a six day trek to the ‘roof of Africa’. 

It was whilst summitting the Beeston Bump, Norfolk (63m above sea level), that we were inspired to embrace our mutual love of adventure and challenge, and conquer a slightly taller hill – Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m above sea level). When we started telling people what we were planning, many of you asked us who we were trekking in aid of. So we decided it would be fitting that whilst we were fulfilling one of our mutual dreams, we would also try to raise as much as we can to help some other young women, who haven’t been given the breadth of privilege and opportunity we have had in life, to realise their potential.

If you would like to keep up to date with our preparations and the trip itself we’ll be posting both here and on Mariannes blog, www.kiliforcanaan.wordpress.com.

And if you would like to make a donation you can do that through our giving page, https://my.give.net/kili4canaan


October 7th, 2015

Reflections from the ‘newbie’

Being the ‘newbie’ at Canaan Project has been fun and challenging. Having been in my previous job for 6 years, it has taken some getting used to having to be the new person in the team and the one asking all of the questions! I’ve learnt lots of new things already, including how to play ‘Jungle Speed’ which is a confusing game of colour and shape matching which, as the name say, is a rather fast moving game. The girls have been very patient with me as I have been learning from them the rules and basics of the game. I thought I was doing ok at it and then they declared that we would now play it at ‘normal speed’ which is when I realised how much they had slowed it down to be able to teach me!

Having been told by many of the girls that Tanya had prepared an epic Christmas meal, so the pressure was on to be able to make decent food in the kitchen!! In the past couple of weeks we have had a mixture of successes and mini disasters in the cooking department! We made Peri Peri chicken and sweet potato, which tasted amazing and was great to sit round the table and eat it together, the girls who helped to make it were full of pride for the delicious food they produced. Nando’s better watch out!

On the total flip side, we attempted to make chocolate crispy cakes for a charity coffee morning, which I thought were the simplest cakes out there…but somehow melting the chocolate led to an utter flop! I wondered how the girls would react to the failed chocolate crispy cakes, but they found the whole thing really funny and were pleased in the end that they hadn’t really worked as planned because it meant they could eat the mixture themselves! So we ate the random sludge and laughed about it together. It was a good moment to share with them.

The role of a youth worker is to support, guide and teach the young people we work with, but so many times through the work we do they teach us something more about the world or maybe even ourselves. My short time so far at the Canaan Project has been lots of fun, and I hope I am always up for being taught by the young people we work with – especially the ability to laugh when things don’t go to plan and eat the cake anyway!


2015-07-14 16.27.01
September 7th, 2015

Endings and beginnings 

This summer has been a time of change at Canaan Project as we said goodbye to two of our youth workers, Tessa and Tanya. Inspired by their experiences of working with Bangladeshi people in Tower Hamlets, Tessa and her husband Phil have made the exciting decision to move to Bangladesh for two years where Phil will be teaching and they both hope to get fully immersed in the culture and language. Tanya came to the end of a really successful Graduate Placement with us and we are thrilled that she has got a full time role working for another great charity, Urban Hope, serving young people in Islington.

They have both been a huge asset to the Canaan Project and will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers and especially the young women who they have made such a big impact on. Change can be difficult and we were able to have some really positive discussions about past experiences of change, the loss but also opportunities that it brings and our responses. We ended on a high with a surprise party, organised by the girls, to celebrate some great memories and wish each other well on our next steps.

Its now the beginning of a new term and a new season and we are excited to be welcoming Chloe to our team for a new chapter in Canaan’s story. We’ve had a busy week of sharing stories, meeting people and making plans and are really looking forward to catching up with our girls when sessions start back this week.


Ussain Santas
December 13th, 2013

We did it!

Last Sunday the long awaited day finally came and we got to don our Santa Suits and put all our training in to practice. 10 Canaan Project staff and trusty volunteers joined several thousand other Santas to run 5km round Victoria Park to raise money for our charity of choice – Canaan Project! It was a sight to behold. Its not every day you see a sea of Santas doing lunges and squats in the park and definitely turned a few heads. There was an amazing atmosphere and our team did us proud. We all managed to complete the course, suits intact and without swallowing our beards. Some of us even managed to find a bit of energy for a victory dance!

We’ve been so touched by the generosity of those who’ve sponsored us. The donations are not only an amazing help towards funding our work but also a massive encouragement that people share our belief that our work and young women are worth investing in. So I want to say a big thank you to all of you who have supported us. And if you haven’t made a donation yet and would like to, there’s still time! Just follow this link give.net/canaanprojectsantarun.


November 4th, 2013

Run Santa, Run!

The Canaan team and some of our friends are going to be taking part in a sponsored Santa Run on 8th December to raise money for the projects valuable work. Running to raise money for a charitable organisation is something that we see every year and we know that the hundreds of thousands of pounds that are being raised for the different charities will make a big difference. So what is so fun about running in a santa outfit and sweating for a few hours?

For me, the one that runs for the bus and is out of breath (not boasting), it is taking me out of my comfort zone to raise money for a cause I believe in. That cause is investing in young women’s lives and seeing them flourish. That makes me want to put the effort in and to be fair it is going to be a lot of effort. The money raised will go towards activities and projects that give the young women the opportunity to try new things, have positive new experience, enabling them broaden their aspiration and reach their dream – skies the limit right?

As Whitney Houston said “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside…” That is what we are working towards.

I am going to be that Santa that is going to be running with a purpose and that is supporting the work that the Canaan Project does, but also for each one of those young women we come in contact with. I want to run to make a difference.

You can make a difference with us by sponsoring us at https://my.give.net/canaanprojectsantarun


September 27th, 2013


Hey beautiful people! My name is Tanya. I am excited about being the new member of the wonderful Canaan Project team. It is sweet to have the opportunity and pleasure to be working with young women in Tower Hamlets. I have already been blessed by all the girls I have met.

So a little about me. I was born and raised in East London and I love and have a passion for this city and the people in it – especially young people. I love London because it is my home, but also the pure fact that its taught me a lot about myself. My passion for young people started with my youth worker Margaret – what an inspiration. She was there for me to talk to, someone that empowered me and was a role model to me.

I am passionate about empowering and supporting a generation that is not always heard and often blamed for things which they don’t always have the right to be blamed for. I am passionate about working with young women, especially teenage mothers, to ensure they achieve their hopes and dreams, not being written off by themselves or others because they had their child(ren) young. I want young women to reach their potential and know that they can achieve – the sky is the limit.

Over and Out.

Bond (the surname!)

June 21st, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

‘What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.’ T S Eliiot, ‘Four Quartets’

This Blog is a personal blog from me (James Fawcett), I am going to leave the Canaan Project at the end of August 2013. It has been an amazing journey for the last 5 1/2 years! I have learnt so much and thank the Canaan Project for allowing me to grow, experiment and develop over this time. I have learnt so much personally, and professionally, the young people have been incredible and taught me so much! I am moving to Cambridge with my wife Laura and she is going to train to be a Priest and I am going to be doing some child care for my daughter and I am exploring avenues to keep my ‘hand in’ with the Youth Work!

The Trustees have appointed a new Project Manager and that is Fiona Harriss, she will be starting her new role on the 1st July bringing with her a fresh vision (of which we will share next week). This is really exciting Fiona brings a wealth of experience and a clear passion for working with young people in Tower Hamlets. She has developed some amazing work with young women over the past few years that is a ‘stand out’ example of good practice. I’m excited for the future and am sure Fiona will move the charity on in an incredible way.

Over and out, James.

November 23rd, 2012

Tessa’s new!

Hi, I’m new too! I’m Tessa. I’ve just moved from Chester, where I’d been living for the
past three years studying Christian Youth work, to live here, in the lovely Tower Hamlets, and work for the Canaan project as a Youth worker. Originally I’m from Birmingham though. I feel very honoured to be working for such an awesome charity and cannot wait to get properly started.
November 7th, 2012

Hey, I’m new here…

Hello everyone, I’m Derek. I’ve just started working with the Canaan Project as a Student Youth Worker. Here’s a little about me… I’ve come all the way over to London from the small place of Northern Ireland, and even before that America. So basically, I was born in America and lived there for 15 years until my family moved to Nothern Ireland which has been my home for the last 5 and a bit years. I was doing Youth Work in the church I attended back in Northern Ireland for about two out of three years I was there, and had a great time doing it. So much so anyway, that I decided to study it in university. Now I am going to the University of East London to study and am doing a placement here with the Canaan Project. It’s awesome being able to work in this organisation and I am definitely looking forward to being a part of all that’s going on here and can’t wait to just ‘get stuck in’ and involved!

March 11th, 2011


We have a new worker! Can I introduce Sifa. She is our new Finance and Administrative Assistant. She is working for us for 4 hours a week keeping us in check and making sure people get paid. We really appreciate her and her role. Without someone doing all this stuff we can not work effectively with young people. At this point it is also appropriate to thank Dave (the Trustee) because he has done this role over the last 3 years and set us up.

This means the Canaan Project has the grant total of 3 staff!