Big changes start locally

Three charities benefit from first awards from Virgin Money Foundation's new Ripple Fund

Edberts House


  • Edberts House in Gateshead awarded over £216,000 for a new community hub
  • Emmaus North East awarded £250,000 to tackle homelessness in South Shields
  • Award-winning Scotcash will expand into Edinburgh with £300,000 grant

The Virgin Money Foundation (the ‘Foundation’) has announced the first grants awarded under its new Ripple Fund.

The Virgin Money Foundation seeks to back people and organisations with the vision, drive and ability to tackle social and economic disadvantage in their community, supporting them by investing both the financial and non-financial resources of the Foundation in their work.

The first three grants under the Ripple Fund have been awarded, two to charities in the North East and one to a Scottish-based charity.

Nancy Doyle, Executive Director of Virgin Money Foundation said: “Tackling the root causes of disadvantage is key to regenerating communities here in the North East and across the UK. Our new fund aims to enable activity that can have a positive ripple effect beyond its immediate context and help community hubs to flourish, learn from one another and export best practice.”

Edberts House

Grant of £216,508 to redesign a community hub in Gateshead

Edberts House is an award-winning community regeneration charity with proven success in transforming a run-down estate in Felling into a thriving community. Crime has reduced in the area and its work has gradually created wider ripples as it has expanded its influence across adjacent neighbourhoods and now into major regeneration projects in East Gateshead.

Its original base in shop units on the estate is no longer fit for purpose given its growth. The grant of £216,508 from the Ripple Fund will enable Edberts House to redesign their community hub into a modern and fit for purpose space, helping their community development work continue to thrive.

Sarah Gorman, Project Director, Edberts House said:

"The Virgin Money Foundation’s values sit perfectly alongside our own. This collaboration will support real progress over the next three years, particularly as we join with business leaders to look at economic development. Our transformed hub will give us an exciting platform to continue to transform East Gateshead."

Nancy Doyle said:

“Edberts House is a fantastic example of community development. Despite being a small, local project it was recently awarded a national NHS innovation award for its social prescribing work and punches well above its weight. The work it has done to support the community deserves to be championed and we are proud to be backing it through the Ripple Fund.”

Emmaus North East

Grant of £250,000 to support homeless people in South Shields

Emmaus Communities are a unique response to homelessness, having been established and proven in the UK and Europe. Emmaus communities have a track record of being both a response to disadvantage and a vehicle for regeneration.

The grant of £250,000 from the Virgin Money Foundation will enable Emmaus to open its doors in the North East for the first time. Emmaus North East will initially give accommodation and work to 15 homeless people in South Shields, enabling them to develop a pattern of work and an opportunity to be part of a community.

Sue Wilson, CBE, Chair, Emmaus North East said:

"The Ripple Fund award to Emmaus North East will make a huge difference to our project. We can finish the residence and provide training facilities for our 'companions’, formerly homeless people, to enable them to make a confident fresh start eventually moving on to independent living and mainstream employment."

Nancy Doyle said:

“Emmaus has a strong track record in supporting people to exit homelessness and, after they have worked tirelessly for 9 years to set up Emmaus North East, we are proud to be coming on board to provide funding to complete the building work and launch the Emmaus community in the region.”


Grant of £300,000 to expand into Edinburgh

Scotcash offers a range of services to individuals in financial difficulty including affordable loans, money advice and white goods packages.

Ten years after first opening their doors in Glasgow, Scotcash will use the grant of £300,000 from the Ripple Fund to open a new service in Edinburgh.

Sharon MacPherson, Chief Executive, Scotcash:

“We are delighted to be awarded funding from Virgin Money Foundation. This will go a long way towards helping financially excluded citizens in Edinburgh access the financial products and services they need. We know that many people with low incomes pay much more than better off families because they can’t access banking, affordable credit or savings. This award from Virgin Money Foundation will allow Scotcash to expand our already successful services to Edinburgh and promote financial inclusion across local areas where these services are needed most.”

Nancy Doyle said:

“Tackling the root causes of disadvantage is key in the goal of regenerating communities across the UK. Financial exclusion is one such issue that holds people back, keeping them in a cycle of poverty. Scotcash have proved over the last decade that they can help people gain control of their finances. We are excited to see the sphere of their impact ripple out into Edinburgh and are proud to be supporting their new initiative.”


Media contact:

Tel: 0191 279 4676



List of all grants under the Virgin Money Foundation Ripple Fund
Edberts House Gateshead £216,508
Emmaus North East South Shields £250,000
Scotcash Edinburgh £300,000

About Virgin Money Foundation

The Virgin Money Foundation Ripple Fund focuses on the development of hubs in communities which have faced social and economic decline, as well as addressing issues of exclusion that perpetuate disadvantage. In each instance the charitable activity being funded is the work of a local organisation working to regenerate their community or replicating a successful project into a new area. Funded organisations will work with the Foundation to inform the further development of the Ripple Fund.

  • The Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England, and growing to operate nationally over time.
  • It promotes the sustainable regeneration of economically and socially deprived communities in the UK. This includes providing investment in community housing and building projects, promoting opportunities for youth work and training, as well as investing in projects designed to relieve unemployment.
  • The entire running costs of the Virgin Money Foundation are met by Virgin Money; as such, 100% of donations – including £8m over 4 years contributed by Virgin Money and by the Cabinet Office – will go towards helping the Foundation to achieve its charitable objectives.

The latest on Twitter

Follow us @VMFoundation(Opens in new window/tab)
Tweets by VMFoundation