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hardshipfund

Our 2021 Roundup

Welcome to our 2021 summary from the Hymans Robertson Foundation.  Our impact is delivered through our charity partners. On behalf of the Foundation’s Board, I recognise the hard work and commitment our partners have made throughout the pandemic: supporting minoritized young people and communities. Without them the Foundation cannot deliver against our priority areas: securing financial futures for young people and making a positive change to communities through fundraising and volunteering.

During 2021 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 people and communities’ lives.  The Board saw the early impact of the introduction of the Foundation Bursary and approved at least a further 2 years (and increased) funding during the year. We also engaged with new charity partners in Birmingham and London during 2021: ensuring that we extended the Bursary’s reach to young people in those cities.

Some of our partners distribute the Bursary to young people directly and the stories from young people have shown the impact that direct funding can have on young people’s lives. Please see our annual report which provides more information on our Bursary and 20/21 impact.

We invite our charity partners to our Board meetings throughout the year. Our Board always benefits from direct engagement with our partners: highlighting areas which are working well and areas of emerging need which could be supported by the Foundation in the future.

In late 2020, our charity partners collectively highlighted the growing and urgent need to support more young people with mental health and wellbeing support. The Board recognised that young people had additional barriers to opportunities resulting from poor mental health and wellbeing and that our own charity partners’ staff needed support and training in this area.  At the end of 2021, we were able to appoint a new mental health charity partner to working directly with young people and provide complementary training to charity staff. I look forward to sharing more of this new partnership shortly.

Finally, a big thanks from the Foundation team to the Firm’s volunteers and fundraisers. Our charity network has brought through specialist, active and virtual volunteering opportunities for Hymans Robertson LLP’s staff and, despite an ever-moving horizon with restrictions and lockdowns, volunteers have continued to support local and Foundation charities throughout the year.  

As we leave our 5th anniversary year, the Foundation has demonstrated its strong social purpose and impact. The new year lies ahead and given the tumult of 2021 we will continue to be a flexible, thoughtful long-term funding partner: showing agility in our Foundation funding commitments, particularly exploring how and where we can support charity partners build back reserves or contribute to core costs. We are also partnering with an increased number of Foundation charities and I look forward to sharing more news on that in the coming months.

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Our 2020 Roundup

The Foundation started the year with a clear plan to further develop relationships with our charity partners and offer opportunities for Hyman Robertson LLP’s volunteers and fundraisers, to continue to deliver support to young people and our communities. The full extent of the global pandemic took hold, our plans adapted and funds were redirected. Despite everything 2020 threw at us, there have been some memorable and positive achievements we want to recap on.

The Hardship Fund

The Fund was launched in April, with extra funding released to help charities across the UK to meet the immediate and urgent needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. By the time funding closed, just over £45,000 had been donated to more than 30 charities, helping to provide urgent food and care packages, vital PPE, counselling and support, educational and digital tools.

Moving online

With face to face support either limited or prohibited, we worked with our Foundation partners to move our financial education support – delivered by our partner MyBnk – to an online delivery model, rolled out directly to young people who could engage remotely via our other partners. This change meant we’ve been able to help over 500 young people since the start of the pandemic.

The Foundation Bursary Fund for Young People

In October we launched the Bursary, aimed at retaining 16-25 year olds in education, training or employment. With young people disproportionately impacted by the UK recession and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, our charity partners advised us of the urgent need for greater intervention in supporting young people in a positive destination.  The Fund has been rolled out nationwide via our existing charity partners and will operate for at least 18 months until April 2022.  In the first 3 months, the Bursary has supported over 50 young people in Glasgow, the Scottish Borders and North England. Here’s the impact of the Bursary for some young beneficiaries:

“the funding gave me the chance to settle in at work without worry about how I was going to get there for the first couple of months”

“the Bursary has allowed me to progress to the Employability Fund Stage 2 course”

“I have just progressed to further training and I’ll be able to do my course work independently at home with my laptop”.

More work is planned to expand the bursary to Birmingham/Midlands and London area in 2021.

Looking ahead

2020 has shown us that we work best when we listen and respond to the needs of community based charities and young people. We want to thank all our partners who continue to work in hard hit communities and with young people who now, more than ever need practical and expert advice to secure a positive future.

Thank you for reading this Roundup.

Marcella Boyle

CEO, February 2021

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One Year On… My reflections on the last 12 months

In my April blog, I highlighted The Foundation’s response to support the immediate and urgent needs of vulnerable people and communities across the UK through the launch of our Hardship Fund.  To date, we’ve supported around 30 charities through the Hardship Fund across the UK. Our funding supported people and families in refuges and homeless shelters, provided food, PPE and welfare care packages, and funded a range of counselling services for young people.  Please view our September blog for an update on Tranche 2 of our Fund which has now closed to applications.

The pandemic, lockdown and now evident recession have amplified the challenges facing the UK’s most vulnerable people and communities.  In this post, I wanted to reflect on the positive consequences of the pandemic: partnership working with purpose.

Our relationships with Foundation charity partners have deepened and strengthened. This has been evident through FARE’s recent employability programmes in Glasgow, supported by MyBnk (providing a continuing focus on financial education and resilience).  Charity partners are increasing their joint working by developing joint funding applications, supporting referrals.  The Foundation can also signpost charities to the excellent pro bono services from Scottish Tech Army and Covid Tech Support. A special shout out to Kirsty McIntosh at Scottish Tech Army for her unwavering support and guidance!

We have actively listened to our charity network to jointly design the Foundation’s sustainable support with local charities and younger people in education, training, employment and volunteering.  In the coming month we will announce an additional funding initiative directed to young people with our youth based charities fully engaged in its future delivery.

Finally, a thank you for all the ongoing support and interest in the Foundation.  I’d particularly like to highlight the work of our Hymans Robertson partners: Helping Hands colleagues who have been key to engaging local charities with the Foundation. We want to hear from you if you have safe volunteering or local fundraising opportunities which we can support in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Keep Safe

Marcella Boyle, CEO


 

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Hardship Fund Update

In April 2020, The Foundation launched its Hardship Fund as a response to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The Foundation recognised the need to immediately support charities working with our most vulnerable communities and people. The first tranche of funding was directed at existing Foundation partners.  In June, the launch of a second tranche of funding expanded eligibility to include community-based charities across the UK supported by staff at Hymans Robertson LLP.

In the last 3 months, we were able to support a further 24 UK charities with emergency funding to provide food, care and PPE packages. As charities responded to online and remote delivery of services, funding was also used to support the provision of data and technical gadgets enabling young people to access counselling and welfare services.  

Our charity partners have demonstrated care and support to their communities throughout. Their resilience has been outstanding and humbling.  Our Chair, Clive Fortes, commented:

“It’s sobering to remember how much £250 can support: 15 families for 2 days with essential food supplies; 6 counselling appointments for young people in distress. At a time when many charities are facing reduced income and meeting increasing need, The Foundation was compelled to take immediate action.”

We are pleased to share a few of the responses from our charity partners on the positive impact that hardship funding has had:

The Hymans Robertson award has helped us to purchase PPE so that we can re-open our building to the families we support and ensure that the important connection between counsellor and family can be established.” Edward’s Trust

“We are very grateful to The Hymans Robertson Foundation for their grant, which will go towards helping Sebastian’s Action Trust provide emergency provision packs to families of seriously-ill children. Whilst lockdown restrictions for many of us are easing, for our families, the reality of isolating at home stays the same. With this grant, we will be able to provide six families with much-needed emergency provisions’ packs.” Sebastian’s Action Trust

We were delighted to receive the funds which have been used to purchase PPE and new, cleanable seats for our waiting area. As restrictions have lifted, we have opened our Glasgow office to run a Low Vision clinic in partnership with NHS. It has been fantastic to once again welcome our service users and provide much needed face to face services.” Visibility Scotland

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Announcing the launch of the Hymans Robertson Foundation website

The Hymans Robertson Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of its first ever website. Its aim is to provide an easy and accessible way to engage with the Foundation and find out about its work across the UK, its charity partners and the volunteering it supports.

Clive Fortes, Chair of the Foundation:

“Our website is launched at a critical time for the Foundation, our charity partners and the young people and communities we support.  Our ambition has been to secure financial futures for young people and support communities across the UK, it’s never been more needed.”

As the website was under development, the full force of the covid-19 pandemic was beginning to take hold. In response to the unfolding crisis and resulting increased demand for services delivered by charities across the UK, the Foundation set up a Hardship Fund to provide emergency funding support to its extended network of charity and community organisations. To date, +£30,000 has been distributed to over 20 charities across the UK. More information is available here.

Marcella Boyle, the Foundation’s CEO, commented:

“To support ongoing delivery, we must stay connected and influenced by the needs of the vulnerable people we support.  The Hardship Fund is our contribution to providing immediate support, alongside our existing investment in time, volunteering and funding to our charity partners.”

If you are interested in the work we do you can follow us on Twitter.

Testimonials:

At such an acute time, we thank you for speedily enabling us to respond when it is most needed – to those struggling the most.

Steph Walker, TLG (UK)

I just wanted to thank Hymans Robertson for the very generous funding and also for all the support you have given over the years. Please pass on my thanks to the whole organisation. This is a difficult time for all and we really appreciate your support.

Sophia Symons, Home-Start (Lambeth)

I am delighted to read that the Hymans Robertson Foundation will donate to our services. The impact of this funding will be huge for the people we support in these services – this is such a challenging time for people with a learning disability, and the generosity of your organisation is truly invaluable. Thank you.

Naomi Love, Mencap (Birmingham)

I’m delighted to hear that we have been awarded (funding) from the Hymans Robertson Foundation, which will make a real difference to the vulnerable families we support, who can now access extra nights at our family flat.

Caroline Milton, Haven House (London)

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