39 charities tackling social exclusion will receive grants totaling just over £175,000 – the largest number helped in a single year since the VINCI UK Foundation began its mission to strengthen communities in 2016.
The VINCI UK Foundation, which is funded by VINCI businesses across the UK, has announced grants totalling £175,178 in 2021 to 39 charities focusing on improving access to training, employment, housing, healthcare, mobility and leisure activities for society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The grants – between £3,000 and £7,000 – will go towards purchasing or upgrading transport, equipment and facilities to aid the charities in their efforts to alleviate social exclusion and strengthen communities.
“We are thrilled to be able to help more charities than ever before with both financial and practical assistance. These charities perform a vital role in our society, yet as small, local organisations they often don’t receive as many donations as they ideally need. So it is a pleasure and honour for us to make a tangible difference to the incredible work they do,” says Ruth Ottley, head coordinator of the VINCI UK Foundation.
This year’s chosen charities include:
Sponsored by VINCI Construction Grands Projets, FoodCycle combines surplus food, spare kitchen spaces and volunteers to create free healthy meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. Although based in London, the charity operates across the UK. The £3,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will fund a professional dishwasher and various kitchen goods for the Wandsworth Road project in London. FoodCycle Wandsworth Road provides ‘Cook and Collect’ takeaway meals for local vulnerable people, using perfectly good surplus food from local supermarkets and food distributors that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Inspire Suffolk
Sponsored by Eurovia, Ipswich-based Inspire Suffolk offers life-changing personal development programmes, motivational educational courses and engaging sport activities for local young people experiencing severe disadvantage and social instability who need opportunities for purposeful reintegration into society. The £4,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will support the charity’s Reducing Digital Deprivation project, which provides teaching and learning equipment to support disadvantaged young people in gaining the skills and confidence to reengage in education.
- Listening Ear
Sponsored by VINCI Construction UK, Listening Ear provides BACP-accredited counselling and emotional support for 1,400 children, young people and adults across Merseyside who are affected by bereavement, loss and domestic abuse. The £4,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will go towards IT equipment that will help reduce waiting times for therapy.
- Rainbow Hub
Sponsored by Soletanche Bachy, Rainbow Hub is a children’s charity based in Mawdesley, Lancashire, which offers a range of therapeutic services to children and young people with disabilities caused by neurological conditions or brain injury. The charity receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of supporters to maintain the services it provides to around 100 children and their families across Lancashire each week. The £3,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will go towards installing a sunken trampoline in its therapy room for Rebound Therapy. This trampoline-based therapy helps to improve muscle tone and increase balance, co-ordination and sensory integration for those suffering with physical disabilities.
- Royal Surrey Hospital Charity
Sponsored by Freyssinet, the Royal Surrey Hospital Charity supports the provision of services over and above what the NHS is able to fund at the hospital. The £6,600 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will go towards the purchase of an interactive motion-controlled wall projection system for the Children’s Accident and Emergency Department. This sensory equipment will help to alleviate stress and anxiety for children and young adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs, creating a calm, safe and inclusive environment for these individuals as they access vital healthcare, often in an emergency situation.
Sponsored by VINCI Energies UK & RoI, the Soundabout Inclusive Choirs are musical communities without barriers for people all ages and all abilities, with a focus on giving a voice to people with severe and profound learning disabilities. Soundabout launched its first Inclusive Choir in Oxford in 2019. During 2020 and 2021 the choir has continued to meet and sing together on Zoom, and five new choirs have been established in Bristol, Leicester, Peterborough, the West Midlands and Wiltshire. The £4,266 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will equip Soundabout’s growing Inclusive Choirs to come together regularly to make music, perform and connect.
- Street Connect
Sponsored by Nuvia, Glasgow-based Street Connect offers life-changing support to disadvantaged and marginalised individuals struggling with issues such as addiction, homelessness and poor mental health. The £4,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will help the charity to replace a host of spreadsheets and documents with a CRM system to store and manage all service delivery data. This will ensure staff can efficiently access up-to-date information regarding current support needs and engagement, wherever they are located.
- The Turnaround Project
Sponsored by Belfast International Airport, The Turnaround Project aims to reduce barriers to employment for those who have completed a prison sentence or are serving their sentence in the community – and support them to plan a better future. The Belfast-based charity does this by offering training and employment experience before people complete their sentences and a more supportive working environment afterwards. The £5,000 grant from the VINCI UK Foundation will go towards providing four real-work employment places for people during a crucial period of transition in their lives at its Outwork landscaping and grounds maintenance social enterprise.