Become a patron of Waltham Forest Echo

We are looking for patrons who can contribute £500 or more towards our goal of a £15,000 stabilisation fund

An image of copies of Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo is looking for patrons who love local news as much as we do.

Local news is too important to be behind a paywall, sent out in private newsletters or locked into a model where circulation dwindles month on month. Local news needs to get in front of people to inform, to stimulate and to entertain.

Local news needs to be written by journalists who are based in the local area, meeting local people. 

The Echo is proud to be in its tenth year of serving Waltham Forest, but we have to ask for some help.

The margins for our work are very tight. We have never had any significant support from grant making bodies or outside investors.

We started the Echo in 2014. We knew that the newspaper industry was facing challenging times. We wanted to make sure that Waltham Forest didn’t end up with no local journalism at all.  

Building a newspaper takes time and money. Each month we distribute 15,000 copies of the paper for free across the borough and publish an average of 90 stories per month to our website. 

We knew it would be an uphill struggle. What we didn’t anticipate was a pandemic and a cost of living crisis. 

What we’re looking for is a small number of local patrons who believe in local news for Waltham Forest as much as we do. Patrons are people who can contribute £500 per year or more to securing the Echo’s long-term sustainability and help us to preserve our free-to-access public interest journalism.

This money will cushion us to negotiate the unpredictable landscape for local news – as we respond to changes in the advertising market and the sometimes inexplicable behaviour of key players including local councils and big tech platforms.  It will give us the space to focus on journalism rather than complicated financial management.

Each month our ad sales team does an amazing job selling adverts. Each month the number of local people and organisations who kindly contribute financially to the Echo increases. Each month we become more efficient at what we do. But each month is a juggling act to pay ever-rising costs, invest in doing more of the news Waltham Forest needs and pay off the costs we incurred getting here.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

One big problem is that the single biggest source of advertising in Waltham Forest is public notice advertising placed by Waltham Forest Council. However, due to the combination of archaic laws around the definition of a newspaper and the council’s inflexible approach to procurement, we are not eligible to even quote for this advertising and all of it is currently placed with Waltham Forest Guardian

The amount spent by Waltham Forest Council on public notices is more than the total annual turnover of the Echo

Patrons recognise the crucial civic duty of making sure that local news in Waltham Forest does not die and the vital nature of trustworthy, reliable reporting and coverage of local events to the functioning of civil society. 

Anyone who lives in Waltham Forest can read our quality news, free from bias and spin. Patrons support us in our duty to provide the people of Waltham Forest with public interest news for free.

Patrons are people who know how important local newspapers and local news are and want to do more than just complain about the long slow death of both.

In 2024 we are looking for patrons who can contribute £500 or more towards our goal of a £15,000 stabilisation fund.  

Patrons who back the Echo in 2024 will help us to secure our position. Patrons who back us into 2025 and beyond will be contributing to the expansion of our activities to cover more stories and reach more people with news they need.  

Patrons will receive quarterly reports from our editorial and management team showing the impact their contribution has made to Waltham Forest. Patrons will also receive public recognition and print and online for their significant contribution to our local impact.

If you think you might be able to help and would like to find out more please email [email protected] and we will send you further information.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

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£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

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