Quadruple impact of CSR activity supporting Wiltshire’s vulnerable young people

By Anita Jaynes on 8 October, 2015

Local businesses with a commitment to supporting vulnerable young people in Wiltshire have the chance to have their corporate donations quadrupled during the UK’s largest matched giving event. The annual Big Give Christmas Challenge is run by the Reed Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reed Recruitment Group.

Melksham-based charity The Learning Curve aims to change the lives of the most disadvantaged people in our community by providing accessible learning and support. As a result of their work, vulnerable people are able to progress into work or further education and better support themselves and their families.

The Learning Curve has been selected to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge with their campaign to raise money to provide a hardship fund to enable vulnerable young people to gain qualifications, as well as providing specialist support and equipment and more basic items such as interview clothing to enable people to achieve their potential. The Learning Curve hopes to raise £6,000 during the Big Give challenge through a combination of pledges of at least £100 each from major donors, matched funding from The Big Give and donations from the public when the Big Give Christmas Challenge goes live in December.

“To make the most of this fundraising opportunity, we need to secure at least £1,500 in pledges by October 16,” said Learning Curve’s manager Kathryn Roynon. “We’re appealing to local employers who want to make a difference to the future generation by supporting vulnerable young people to achieve their potential here in their local community.”

One such young person who has recently benefited from The Learning Curve’s support is Penny. Penny, a young parent of two, was unemployed and suffering from an eating disorder when she first came to The Learning Curve earlier this year. Penny enrolled on The Learning Curve Trowbridge Prince’s Trust Team programme, a free 12-week personal development course. During the course, Penny took part in a variety of activities including an outdoor challenge week, community project and work experience and gained new qualifications. Penny’s work experience host employer Trowbridge Town Council was quick to see Penny’s potential and offered her a permanent job.

Penny said: “I have my confidence and self-worth back which is the reason why I wanted to go on the course in the first place. Another achievement is that I have been welcomed into the Trowbridge Town Council team and I’m working with some amazing people. I’ve been made a supervisor which is so much more than I would ever have expected. I now have a more positive outlook and I’m happier, so my children are happier. I am also doing something for myself and making my children proud. I would like to say a massive thank you to The Learning Curve for funding my child care costs so that I could do the course.”

Kathryn said: “Penny’s story illustrates the impact of our charity’s work transforming the futures of our young people. In the context of significant Government funding cuts for this type of work, we are keen to ensure that it continues. The Big Give challenge is a great opportunity for organisations to increase the value of their donations, as a pledge of £250 would be worth a fantastic £1000 to us with matched funding. We would like to thank local IT security firm Trigonon Ltd for becoming the first company to support our Big Give fundraising campaign.”

Pledges can be made online at https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/pledge/younglearners or by contacting Kathryn Roynon at The Learning Curve on 01225 792500.