Tech for Good Summit April 2023

The Scottish Tech Army works to mobilise Scotland’s tech talent for good and to aggregate, amplify and augment the tech for good ecosystem in Scotland.

Foundation CEO Marcella Boyle was delighted to join STA’s annual Summit this year, to discuss creating positive change through cross sector collaboration. Marcella has been an Ambassador of the STA for three years, raising awareness of the specialist volunteering tech army to the third sector across Scotland and beyond.  

Marcella joined Ilaria Albanese from JP Morgan Chase, Alicia Clyde from Glasgow Caledonian University, and Peter Proud from Forrit, to discuss how the Tech for Good ecosystem spans all sectors, and that within each there are examples of great work being done, although there is a huge amount of untapped potential in collaboration between sectors. The panel talked about how organisations can join forces across sectors to build on work that is already taking place and what they could achieve by doing so.

Marcella said, “The Summit provides an opportunity to listen and engage with supporters, volunteers and STA customers. I know, from the Foundation’s own charity partners, the specialist support and impact the tech army has in solving challenges. I’d encourage third sector organisations to engage directly with the growing number of volunteers: you really can make a difference to people’s lives and communities”.

Find out more about the Scottish Tech Army and the Tech for Good Summit.

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The Foundation welcomes its new chair

The Hymans Robertson Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of a new chair, Gill Tait.

Gill is People Director and a partner at Hymans Robertson LLP and sits on its Management Board and Partnership Council. Gill was part of the inaugural Foundation Board of Trustees and played a key role in determining the Foundation’s strategy and guidelines.

In this blog, Gill talks about her and the Foundation’s priorities for the future.

“As the incoming chair to the Hymans Robertson Foundation board of trustees, I’m keenly aware of the importance of delivering on our core aims.  These aims have never been more relevant in a time of economic uncertainty, a cost-of-living crisis and the lingering impacts of the Covid pandemic.  Challenges that have hit young people particularly hard.

I have been involved with the Foundation since its inception and am proud of how the trustees have always responded to changing circumstances and the advice of our charity partners who are experts in their field.  The introduction of our bursary and hardship funds have been good examples of this.  As chair, I intend to continue with this approach of working closing with our charity partners and to build that network further so we can make sure that our funding has the greatest impact possible.  We will continue to provide financial support and funding for financial education and employability skills training to young people, drawing on the support of Hymans Robertson LLP colleagues for their volunteering and fundraising contributions, as well as the firm’s ongoing financial support of the Foundation, for which we remain truly grateful.

I’m looking forward to working closely with my fellow board members and our CEO, Marcella Boyle, and I feel fortunate to have their ongoing support and guidance.”

Find out more about Who we support.

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Farewell from Foundation’s retiring Chair

After 3 years in the role of chair of the Hymans Robertson Foundation, and 26 years with Hymans Robertson LLP, Clive Fortes retired in March 2023. In this blog, Clive talks about his time with the Foundation and what challenges the Foundation will face in the future.

“I joined the Foundation Board of trustees in 2018, and when approached to be chair, in 2019, I was delighted to accept the opportunity to help bring a sharper focus to the mission and remit of the Foundation.

I would also say that one of the best and early decisions the Board made in recent years was to appoint a CEO, and we found the perfect person with Marcella Boyle. Marcella brings a wealth of experience in developing and delivering effective and inclusive strategic partnerships, and she is a passionate advocate for the communities that our partners support.

My main goal as chair was to focus on strategy, and supporting our charity partners in the areas where we and they could have the most impact. I felt we should have a stronger relationship with our partners, and in turn, they should have a strong relationship with each other. It was also important to recognise that our partners brought valuable skills they could share. To this end, we helped MyBnk set up in Scotland, and connect to our network of partners, recognising MyBnk’s expertise in creating and delivering innovative, high-impact and high-energy financial education programmes.

Among our best achievements has been the support we were able to offer our charity partners during the Covid pandemic. Because we are a small charity, with strong lines of communication with our partners, we were able to respond quickly to their concerns about young people having difficulty accessing services and be agile with extra funding requests. We then used what we had learned to create the Foundation Bursary which provides direct support to charities working with our most vulnerable communities and people, and has helped many young people with food, clothing, travel, and IT costs, and therefore helping them into training and employment.

Going forward, the Foundation’s main challenge will be dealing with the balance between demand and supply. The current cost of living crisis has shown us the increasing need in our most vulnerable communities, and we must manage our limited resources and focus our time and energy on those areas where we can be of most use.

I leave the Foundation in the safe hands of its CEO, trustees, and staff, and wish the new chair Gill Tait every success. My last piece of advice would be to always think about the impact we make, the very real difference we can make with every decision we take, and that for a relatively small organisation, we punch above our weight, and will easily meet our 10-year strategic goal to distribute £2million to vulnerable communities and young people by 2026.”

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Global Money Week: “Plan your money, plant your future.”

Are you comfortable talking about how much you earn? Or would you ask someone how much debt they’re in? Even in 2023, talking about money can feel awkward or uncomfortable. But with new Young Minds research showing the cost of living is the major worry for over half (56%) of young people, having open and honest conversations about money is more important than ever.

That’s where Hymans Robertson Foundation partner MyBnk comes in. Founded in 2007, MyBnk are a leading specialist financial education charity in the UK, bringing money management to 5- to 25-year-olds in schools and youth organisations. They have been a funded partner of the Hymans Robertson Foundation since 2019, and a key partner in our ambition to help young people move into secure financial futures through financial capability and employability training, and wellbeing support.

This week (20th – 26th March 2023) is Global Money Week, a global campaign raising awareness of the importance of building financial awareness from an early age. This includes ensuring that young people gain the necessary skills, knowledge, behaviours, and attitudes to help them make informed money choices and achieve financial wellbeing.

Throughout Global Money Week, MyBnk will deliver expert-led money management sessions to over 1600 young people across the UK, supported by the Foundation and our other charity partners.

This year’s theme is “Plan your money, plant your future.” This focuses on sustainability and encourages young people to consider the impact of their financial decisions on their own futures, but also on others, wider society, and the environment.

With many of us struggling to afford basic living costs, encouraging young people to plan ahead, save and consider the environment may be more challenging. But giving young people the tools to maximise their income, check any entitlements they are eligible for and reduce costs whilst also minimising their impact on the environment can help them safeguard their financial futures.

To find out more and book programmes for young people, please visit

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2022 Round up

Welcome to our 2022 summary from the Hymans Robertson Foundation.

As we emerged from early 2022 Covid restrictions, we were met with an emerging cost of living crisis in the UK. Vulnerable young people and communities were increasingly impacted by rising costs and already stretched resources and services across the UK.

Our grant making commitments are guided by our principles: to secure financial futures for young people and make a positive change to communities through fundraising and volunteering. In 2022, demand for new grants increased from existing charity partners and those that had approached the Foundation for support. We had tough decisions to make. We continued to listen and be advised by our charity partners, our stakeholders and like-minded funders, ensuring we prioritised our resources to areas of most need and where we could make real differences to young people and communities. Thank you to all our partners, who bring life to the Foundation’s commitments.

We were able to offer multiyear grants to a range of charity partners which included new partners in London and Birmingham.  We also fully embedded our new mental health and wellbeing charity partner, Lifelink, with our charity network, ensuring that young people (and charity staff) who needed support could access expert help quickly.

The Board continued to directly support young people through the Foundation Bursary. £48,500 was committed during the financial year 2021/ 2022 for charities supporting young people and a further £30,000 was approved in 2022 to help young people in real hardship. Our thanks to all the charities who distribute these funds.

Find out more about the impact the funding has directly had on young people’s lives.

In 2022, our volunteers kept going that extra mile. Our extended charity network has offered specialist, active and virtual volunteering opportunities for Hymans Robertson LLP’s staff, and the mutual benefit from volunteering is now widely recognised by LLP’s staff. Although we’ve not quite returned to pre-pandemic levels, we have seen a fantastic increase in volunteering hours and fundraising activity during the year.   

Our Board of Trustees also experienced change, with new colleagues joining and established Trustees leaving the Board including the announcement from our own Chair that he’s stepping down in March 2023. Without the direction, challenge and support of our Board, the Foundation simply couldn’t deliver. Thanks to all our Trustees for your support and commitment.

Read our 2020/21 financial year annual report.

2023 brings the Foundation ongoing challenges, such as the cost of living and energy costs crisis and the need for charity partners to seek additional funding for existing and new services. The Foundation will continue to listen and support our charity network and, where possible, make meaningful introductions for our charity partners with other funders and bodies. Our support for our partners has, and will continue to be, a key element of our work and our partners tell us, a real and tangible benefit of being a Foundation partner. Our value goes beyond our funding. We remain fully committed to contributing real value to young people and communities across the UK.

Marcella Boyle


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Bursary Fund for Young People

In October 2020, the Hymans Robertson Foundation announced funding for the launch of its Bursary. Previously, Foundation grant funding was directed towards supporting employability and financial education programmes delivered by our charity partners. However, through working with our partners, we recognised the need to provide direct financial support to young people. Together, the Foundation and its partners co-designed criteria which would support financially vulnerable young people between 16 to 25 years old.

Now in its third year, Bursary funding is managed by 10 UK charity partners that distribute funds to young people facing financial barriers.  The intention of the Bursary is to support young people to move into or maintain a positive destination and provide financial help towards costs including energy/care/food/clothing/IT and data kit and travel.  Maximum grants of up to £300 are available, although the average grant is typically much lower, which indicates that relatively small amounts of funding can make a big difference to young people. Our partner MyBnk acts as a referral partner, further supporting young people to improve their own financial education through online and in-person programmes.

In the first six months of 2022, the Bursary supported nearly 180 young people across the UK. Some of these young people used funding to buy workwear and clothing for interviews. Young people were also supported to achieve necessary qualifications (food hygiene, first aid, construction) which could strengthen their applications with employers.  

“X was a participant (in a Barnardo’s employability programme) and had a keen interest in construction. He was awarded £200 from the Bursary to attend CSCS training and to then sit a test. He worked hard and passed on the first attempt. As a result of this and his Barnardo’s programme, he was offered a position as an Apprentice with an employer”.

Working with young people, our charity partners support and review Bursary funding applications.  For example, the increasing costs of energy and food have been well reported and our charity partners advocated for further Bursary funding. Responding to this need, in October 2022, the Foundation Board approved a further £30k of funding (bringing the Bursary grant to over £90k this financial year). We have directed the additional funding to mitigate ‘hardship’, particularly helping young people with care and energy costs.

Foundation CEO Marcella Boyle said, “The Foundation recognises the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, with more vulnerable young people being disproportionately impacted. The Hardship Bursary provides charity partners access to further Bursary funding to support eligible young people.”

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Foundation reaches £1million grant-giving milestone

Over £1million of grants to charitable causes has been distributed by The Hymans Robertson Foundation, representing a huge milestone since it was first established in 2016.

The Hymans Robertson Foundation is the principal means of charitable giving for the leading pensions and financial services consultancy, Hymans Robertson LLP. With a 10-year strategic ambition to distribute £2million through charitable giving by 2026, the Foundation has reached a significant milestone of £1 million distributed to its charity and community partners. The Foundation strives to make a difference to the lives of people and communities in the UK facing disadvantage, with particular focus on helping to secure betterfinancial futures for disadvantaged young people by supporting the delivery of financial capability and employability skills training via strategic charity partnerships.

Commenting on the latest milestone from the Hymans Robertson Foundation, the Foundation’s Chair, Clive Fortes said: 

“In its short life, the Foundation has funded charities through multi-year grants across the UK that deliver vital financial education and employability support to vulnerable young people. Securing financial futures is a key priority for the Foundation and, through our funding to charities, we see the positive impact we have had on young people securing and maintaining a positive destination. On behalf of the Board, a huge thanks to our funder and to the charities we support.”

The Foundation’s Bursary for young people is a key element of its mission to improve the financial futures of disadvantaged young people. In 2021/22, bursary grants were distributed via charity and community-based partners, to support young people aged 16 to 25 to remain in, or move into, education, training, volunteering or employment. The small grant funding programme covered a range of items and expenses including essential digital/data kit, travel, clothing, PPE equipment, educational materials, driving lessons, energy and food and care costs. A total of 266 young people across Scotland, North-East England, the Midlands and in London were directly supported through this scheme in 2021/22.

Commenting on the support provided by the Hymans Robertson Foundation, Katherine Bell, Corporate Partnerships Manager at The Princes’ Trust, said

“We are delighted with the support that the Foundation has provided to the young people we work with.  The Foundation’s 3-year funding commitment to us ensures we can deliver programmes aimed at securing young people’s financial futures. In addition, the Bursary Programme is one of the most flexible ways our charity can help young people. The cost-of-living crisis is increasing the barriers to accessing employment and education, for example the costs of travel, and clothing that is suitable for interviews.  Recent bursary awards have covered items including monthly bus passes until first wage, clothes, and shoes for first interviews, laptops, chef whites, and fuel vouchers.  This all has tremendous impact and long-term benefits.”

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Catching up with the LSA

Lucy Steers and Sarah Gilmour, trustees with the Hymans Robertson Foundation board, were recently invited to visit our charity partners, the London Screen Academy.

Nancy Horlock, Foundation Director at the Screen Academy Foundation, showed Lucy and Sarah around the Academy, housed in a converted 1930’s factory in Islington (historically significant as the location where a British electronics company manufactured the UK’s first television set in 1936.)

Lucy said, “It was great to visit Nancy and her team, and chat through all the brilliant work they do. We loved seeing the impact our funding has for the academy and its students. The academy is looking to make the film and media industry more inclusive and is specifically looking to support young people from lower socioeconomic and disadvantaged backgrounds to get the vocational skills they need to get into paid employment in the industry. From outreach programmes to attract students into the academy to alumni support once they leave, the academy is doing amazing things to help young people towards a better future. “

The Hymans Robertson Foundation recently approved 3-year funding for a neurodiversity project with the London Screen Academy, and the trustees plan to visit again in the spring to catch up with Nancy and her team, and to meet students who are supported by the funding.

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Trustees’ Week 2022

Trustees’ week runs from 7 to11 Nov 2022, and is an annual event showcasing the great work trustees do.

There are almost 1 million trustees across the UK, and the positive impact they have is crucial to the charity and voluntary sector.

Foundation Trustee Tracey Washbrooke recently re-joined the board, and said, “When I first joined Hymans in 2013, I was aware of the Helping Hands teams and supported some of the fundraising activities in the office. I then signed up for some volunteering with Mencap doing a half day session with young people on a college course looking at money matters – that was just the start of my journey as I had always been interested in community and charity work (e.g. fundraising through sponsored events and being a Trustee for two small charities in the North of England). I am now based in the West Midlands and first joined the Foundation as a Trustee in 2017 seeing it as a great opportunity to support a range of charities and young people across the UK. After rejoining Hymans in April 2022, I returned to the Trustee Board in October 2022 and am looking forward to getting involved with projects, fundraising and volunteering!”

Find out more about Trustees’ Week.

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HRF support for financially vulnerable young people across the UK

The Hymans Robertson Foundation has confirmed the charity partners receiving multiyear funding over the next 3 years. We are continuing our partnerships with Barnardo’s, the Prince’s Trust, MyBnk, FARE Scotland and Works +. New partners include London Screen Academy and St Basil’s. Our funding supports a range of employability, education and financial education services focussed on young people across the UK.

In addition, the Foundation will provide 2-year funding to LifeLink. Our new partnership with LifeLink is a response to the growing need of young people to access support for their mental health and wellbeing. Support will also be extended to charity partners’ staff.

Our total committed funding to our charities over the next 3 years is more than £470,000.  For our smaller and mid-size charity partners, we are also providing an unrestricted grant towards their core costs.

The Foundation’s CEO Marcella Boyle said, “We recognise the challenge of the cost-of-living crisis, particularly the impact and added stress to communities across the UK. Our support for our charity partners enables them to focus on supporting low income and financially vulnerable young people, and we are proud to continue to work with these vital organisations.”

In addition, the Foundation continues to fund the Hymans Robertson Bursary for young people. The bursary offers up to £300 for eligible young people across the UK to support them to stay in or achieve a positive destination in education, learning and employment. Over 100 young people have already been supported in 2022, with bursaries meeting the costs of travel, clothing for work, examination costs, IT and data kits, fuel and care costs. 

One of the bursary recipients told the Foundation, “The bursary has really helped me feel like I can go to college and maybe get a career I like, and it also gives me a break from caring responsibilities.”

Find out more about who we support and the impact we have.

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