Listen to our podcast with Hugh Seaborn of Cadogan, Tom Martin of Martin’s Properties and Felicity Buchan, MP for Kensington

Donations to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation’s Covid-19 Appeal provide care and support to the vulnerable within the borough, which suffers from pockets of deprivation, especially in the north end where there is above average poverty rates.

Property companies are permanently linked to the communities around them, particularly family run businesses and great estates who are long-term owners of property and do far more than just buy and sell. In West London two such organisations, Cadogan and Martin’s Properties, have been working hand in glove to support the area’s most vulnerable residents through continued donations to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation.

“Stewarding communities is right at the heart of what we do and before this crisis we were working on a longer term stewardship strategy for the local community that would help it to thrive. Now we have also seen the very real threat that such a crisis can pose to all facets of a neighbourhood – those vulnerable, small businesses and those putting themselves at risk to help others. We have worked with the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation previously and seen what amazing things they can do for local charities on the ground and they need action, now and in the long term,” said Hugh Seaborn, chief executive at the foundation’s principal supporter, Cadogan, who donated £100,000 to the Covid-19 Appeal.

Seaborn also highlighted that there is a common misconception of the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is often renowned for being immensely privileged, but it contains significant pockets of deprivation, and a higher-than-average proportion of pensioner households (15 percent). 

The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, which raises funds for local projects providing support for vulnerable residents, directs funding to less-visible grassroot charities, with help from donations – such as those from Cadogan and the Martin Charitable Trust – the family trust of Martin’s Properties’ executive chairman, Tom Martin.

“If you don’t have that overarching umbrella that can harness and focus resources you are not going to get the power to make the change,” expressed Martin while praising the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation.

Both Cadogan and Martin’s Properties agreed with the notion that the property industry has a responsibility to support its communities and lead the way in bringing industries together to form the unified approach that is needed to make a significant difference.

Martin added “the property sector in isolation can’t make the change, but the point is the property sector cannot stand back and let other people do it on their own. So, we’ve got to be a driving force in what’s happening.”

Felicity Buchan, MP for Kensington concluded the podcast by noting that the government is very aware that the demand on charities is higher than ever, whereas the sources of income are lower due to the pandemic. But with businesses such as Cadogan and Martin’s Properties coming together to support their local community, they are leading the movement towards a better future for the borough.


Hugh Seaborn

Chief Executive


Tom Martin

Executive Chairman

Martin's Properties

Felicity Buchan

Member of Parliament


Andrew Teacher

Managing Director

Blackstock Consulting