RBS Skills & Opportunities 2016 winners announced
13 June 2016 - Impact Hub

RBS Skills & Opportunities 2016 winners announced

RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund is a great resource for community projects with high social impact. Find out more and keep your eyes on the next round here: http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/

In the first round of the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund this year, they received an incredible 911 applications. Of these, 90 were short-listed for the public vote; over 30,000 of you had your say, and we’re now delighted to share the winners.
There are 44 winners overall chosen from seven regions across the UK and Ireland, who will share £1.25m in grants. All of these inspiring not-for-profit organisations make a huge difference in some of our most disadvantaged communities; helping people help themselves by gaining qualifications, finding work or starting a business, and at NatWest we’re very proud to be able to offer our support with this, both through the funding and staff volunteering.
London Board Chair, Phil Northey said,

“In London we’re determined to make a difference to the communities that need it most. We’re looking to fund projects that can deliver measurable positive social impacts, which help people succeed by supporting enterprise, education and employability projects in London’s disadvantaged communities. We are particularly interested in projects that leave a lasting legacy and can offer volunteering opportunities for our staff.”

You can find out which projects have been successful where you live, and what they’ll be putting the funding towards at the winners’ page. Some of the winners from London include:
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We are Construction Youth Trust, a registered charity helping young people in England and Wales to build better futures by giving them access to training, information, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry. We support young people whose journey to employment may be challenging due to barriers such as financial circumstances, lack of awareness of opportunities, low self-esteem, gender or ethnicity. We inspire and support young people with a passion for construction through education, practical work experience and employment brokerage.
We’ll use funding for the growth of our ‘Budding Builders’ project, which enables young people from London’s disadvantaged communities to access construction training, education and employment opportunities. We recruit participants aged from 16 to 30, who are NEET (not in education, employment or training); under-employed; homeless or vulnerably housed; and ex-offenders or those at risk of offending. Volunteers also help deliver sessions on self-employment, personal finance and employability skills.
Funding will allow us to expand the courses offered in bricklaying, plastering and carpentry at our training centre, and to market the scheme to more communities. Through the project, participants will leave the course feeling more confident, having acquired skills, accredited qualifications and experience that will lead on to sustainable employment or self-employment, creating a lasting legacy.
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We are Artichoke Trust. Our aim is to work with artists to create extraordinary, large-scale events that appeal to the widest possible audience. We don’t believe that the arts should take place only behind the closed doors of theatres or galleries. Instead, we believe that they should be rooted in communities and the spaces we live in; in our streets, public spaces and countryside. Participatory activities are aimed at priority groups in deprived or isolated areas and past projects from ‘The Sultan’s Elephant’ to ‘Temple and Lumiere’ demonstrate our commitment to transforming lives and places through empowerment, shared achievement and enjoyment.
The grant we’ve secured will fund our next project ‘London’s Burning’, commemorating the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London. 400 young Londoners will play a central part in the project, designing and fabricating the centrepiece to an extraordinary representation of 17th-century London. Skills placements for NEETs (those not in education, employment or training), a carpentry work and training scheme, creative trainee placements and volunteer opportunities will introduce participants to skills including carpentry, design, CNC laser cutting and engineering.
Funding will allow us to introduce participants in this exciting project to the construction and creative sectors, increasing their confidence, motivation and aspirations and inspiring major life changes. For 20 of the participants it will mean the chance to enter long-term education or employment, supported by a legacy fund and the skills and partnerships established during this phase of the project.
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We are London Wildlife Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting our capital’s wildlife and natural spaces by engaging London’s diverse communities in outdoor learning, training and volunteering. Our vision for London is a city where everyone, from all backgrounds, can access and benefit from nature. Founded in 1981, we now manage over 40 nature reserves and undertake a wide range of activities to transform people’s lives through increasing their connection to the natural world.
Thanks to the help of the fund we can run ‘Wild Talent’, an education and employability programme providing accredited training in environmental conservation for Londoners from disadvantaged communities. Trainees will undertake a comprehensive programme of practical conservation training, classroom-based learning and work placements to complete their learning portfolio, and will be fully supported to achieve their Level 2 Diploma in Environmental Conservation. Participants will gain the qualifications, work placements, mentoring and additional support needed to secure employment in the sector.
Funding will contribute to the costs of employing a project co-ordinator and enable us to secure many of the tools and materials needed for practical conservation training. The ‘Wild Talent’ training programme will directly benefit 13 participants, and their training will benefit thousands more, by improving public access to high quality, natural spaces – enhancing overall health and benefitting London’s environment.

The next round of funding opens in August this year when applications will be invited from not-for-profit organisations, including charities, community groups, social enterprises and state-funded schools and colleges. You can check out the full application criteria in advance now, and look out for more information coming soon.