Big changes start locally

Virgin Money foundation celebrates turning five years old with communities it has helped

LINKES
  • Awarded almost £10m of grants to support community groups across the UK
  • Funded 348 organisations making over 400 awards
  • Virgin Money Foundation launched in 2015

Social enterprises and community groups in Glasgow, Newcastle and Norwich are among a number of organisations helping Virgin Money Foundation celebrate its 5th birthday.

Since its launch in 2015, almost 350 groups have benefited from nearly £10 million in funding. The Foundation has also helped more than 1,000 young people in the North East into employment and a further 1,200 to find a home. Through the £1.7 million #Iwill Take Action fund, a joint investment from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, more than 5,600 young people were encouraged to lead social action, positively impacting over 46,000 members of the wider community and enabling positive social change.

The Foundation has a range of services that supports the community groups it works with. During 2020, 400 organisations benefited from free training and masterclasses, including finance, HR and marketing. It also offers bespoke skilled volunteering, which is provided by Virgin Money colleagues.

Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director of the Virgin Money Foundation, said: “It’s wonderful to think that the Virgin Money Foundation has awarded almost £10 million to a huge range of community-based organisations over the past five years. The Foundation was created to help grass roots organisations make a positive and sustainable difference to the communities in which they live and work and through our funding, training and skilled volunteering, we do exactly that.

“During these challenging times, we’re especially delighted to be supporting the extraordinary organisations working hard to ensure communities are resilient and people’s needs are met. I am extremely proud of what’s been achieved in such a short space of time and am looking forward to the next five years.”

Since launching five years ago, the Virgin Money Foundation has extended its reach from the North East to Glasgow and Norfolk while also reaching out into Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester through a variety of small grants programmes.


Case studies

Streetwise

Streetwise, a Newcastle-based charity working with children and young people aged 11-25 years provide free, confidential, non-judgemental information, advice and support services, to help them make informed choices and is one of the 348 groups who’ve benefited from almost £10 million in Virgin Money Foundation funding.

Mandy Coppin, Chief Executive at Streetwise Young People’s Project, said: “In 2019 we secured funding from the Virgin Money Foundation to help support and develop a 12 month Social Action Project identified by young people and designed to raise awareness and reduce the stigma and impact of period poverty.

“With the support of the Foundation, Streetwise staff worked alongside a steering group of eight young people who designed and delivered the M Card Project, which raised awareness of period poverty across the city, challenging the stigma associated with periods, exploring issues around gender while gaining valuable skills in planning, preparing and delivering presentations. Without the support of the Virgin Money Foundation none of this amazing work would have been possible.”

Two groups to have benefitted from the extended reach are Cranhill Development Trust, a community group in Glasgow and The Feed, a not-for-profit social enterprise and charity providing catering services based in Norwich.

Cranhill Development Trust

Marie Ward, Chief Executive at Cranhill Development Trust said: “The Virgin Money Foundation supported Cranhill Development Trust at the height of the COVID pandemic, providing much needed funds to enable us to reopen our building to the public at a time when most other funding support was only available for food provision. Virgin Money Foundation has enabled us to get back to working directly with local people across Glasgow city, providing essential services to those who need face-to-face contact.

“Many of the people we work with don’t have devices such as laptops/tablets and even if they do, many have no access to the internet where they can benefit from the online services set up to support them. Virgin Money Foundation helped many of our local people to get online and Cranhill Development Trust is able to provide digital support. This means people can join online classes, stay connected to their families and friends.”

The Feed

Lucy Parish, The Feed’s Chief Executive said: “When we received the funding from Virgin Money Foundation, we were embarking on a brand new project to open a Community Café and training centre to provide training to people who face a barrier to employment.

“The money we received enabled us to not only establish a successful café and catering social enterprise, but has given us the opportunity to grow and flourish and we now generate a large proportion of income from our own trading activities.”

Lucy also thanked the Foundation for their ongoing support which she says has been ‘invaluable’. “We’ve had the chance to participate in marketing campaigns which raises our profile and the people we work with at the Foundation have shown a genuine level of support and care about the success of our organisation,” she said.

ENDS
Media contact:

Tel: 0800 066 5998

E-mail: press.office@virginmoney.com


NOTES TO EDITORS

About Virgin Money Foundation

  • 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 throughout the UK over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of communities that have experienced social and economic decline. Since launch it has awarded almost £10million in grants to community organisations across the UK. 
  • Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects.
  • Visit virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk for further details.
  • The Virgin Money Foundation. Charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 9457101. Charity No. 1161290. Registered Office: Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE3 4PL.

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