In December 2017, we came together with our good friends at Macquarie Group, for our Festive Funding event to be merry for a cause.
The crowd was delighted to hear a special performance by Streetwise Opera, an award-winning performing arts charity empowering people who are or have been homeless.
The first pitch was from Book Clubs in Schools, who raised over £9,000 to grow their programme of inspiring a love of learning for young people in schools across the UK.
With the funding, Book Clubs in Schools hired 4 additional staff members who now run Book Club programmes in 16 schools, with the programme reaching a total of 320 Book Club Leaders, 2,400 Book Clubbers and 16 School Coordinators. Like other areas where the programme has been implemented, the new staff are working to ensure school attendance is high.
"We are so pleased to be part of Book Clubs in Schools. It makes a big difference to our year 7 students to see the older years acting as reading ambassadors. Its great to see them working together, developing new friendships alongside a really positive relationship with reading." - Amy Lloyd, Librarian, Beacon's College
The next to pitch was from Epilepsy Support Foundation, who raised over £11,000 to help support people with epilepsy and challenge the stigma around epilepsy in Zimbabwe.
Epilepsy Support Foundation has done much preparatory work to enable them to fully complete their project, including holding a workshop with key stakeholders, developing epilepsy training manuals for health workers and organising a pilot project that can be scaled up.
We then heard from Just Like Us, who raised over £11,000 to grow the scale and success of their Ambassador Programme, to empower young people to be role models championing LGBT+ equality.
Since pitching, almost 100 LGBT+ student role models have been trained, with Ambassadors delivering talks and workshops to over 13,000 school children across the UK.
The programme has had a transformative impact, with 85% of school children surveyed stating that they understand why LGBT+ equality matters and what they can do to support LGBT+ peers.
Lotus Flower Trust raised almost £14,000 to support their Special Needs Center in rural India to become financially self-sufficient by housing a recycling machine that turns rags into paper.
Since the event, the programme has created a steady income stream for the Special Needs Center, supporting 100 people. The success of the project is spurring further development, with plans for increased housing to expand the Center.
A big thank you to our host Macquarie Group and to all the generous supporters who donated to these great projects.