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How much Fund can you have?

03/05/2019

SG UK Foundation assists nearly 2,000 young people in education and employment with Societe Generale staff proud to help.

Nine community organisations, equipped with £207,000 of grants from the SG UK Foundation Fund (The Fund) have ensured that 1,900 young people aged 13-25 have received over 1,600 hours of learning support, with over 140 of the beneficiaries securing employment.

Launched in April 2017 and now entering its third year, The Fund was created to support Societe Generale’s citizen agenda at a local level with the priorities of professional integration, helping find jobs, tackle illiteracy and foster integration through education, particularly sports, arts and cultural activities.

The Fund remains open to fresh applications and welcomes staff to propose new organisations dedicated to educational inequality and employment for young people. Feedback from the Societe Generale staff that volunteered revealed that 87% felt prouder to work at the bank and 89% felt more connected to their community, while 100% would volunteer again.

In the first year of The Fund, 144 young people gained a qualification as a direct result of one of the projects, with 28 entering further education or training.

The Fund (formerly known as The Societe Generale Community Fund) is a five-year grants programme that seeks to improve educational and employment opportunities for young people in East London (Tower Hamlets and Newham), Richmond and Bristol, communities that neighbour Societe Generale offices.

Established by the SG UK Foundation and working in partnership with the East End Community Foundation, The Fund awarded grants of up to £15,000 to seven not-for-profit, grassroots, community organisations in its first year, and offered repeat funding for these initiatives as well as cash for two more in 2018.

The projects range from Newham All Starts Sports Academy, SportInspired, which delivered its first sports festival in February 2019, and Grit: Breakthrough Programmes, to YOH’s and Transform UK’s work in supporting young people. The Fund’s beneficiaries also include Cardboard Citizens, a performing arts programme in Tower Hamlets, and Fight for Peace, an initiative in Newham that engages youth through martial arts and boxing. Last year’s additions include Unique Voice CIC, which works with secondary school children attending a pupil referral unit in Bristol using literacy and drama-based games to encourage learning.

Those that have benefitted include Jessica*, who enrolled on The Fund’s Kick London programme in Richmond. A year ago, Jessica was struggling with drug problems and ‘existential depression’, a condition that meant she lacked hope for her own future, with her school fearing she would not even sit her exams. Through Kick’s events, Jessica was able to build a sense of purpose and belonging, which led to a rapid decrease in her drug use as well as an instant improvement in her mental health. She now has seven GSCEs to her name!

“I was in such a bad place,” said Jessica*. “I found it difficult to trust anyone who was trying to help me, but I want you to know how grateful I am for the part you played in putting me back on the rails. I thought that would be next to impossible.” – Jessica, aged 16. *Name has been changed.

DO YOU KNOW A CHARITY OR COMMUNITY ORGANISATION THAT COULD BENEFIT THROUGH THE FUND?

Applications for the grants programme are open. If you work with a charity of community group that could be eligible for funding, please click here to find out the process.

Contact LONCSR for more information.