Introduction to the work of the Walcot Foundation (Sept 2016edn)

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1667 Independent Inspired In Lambeth

An introduction to our work


The Walcot Foundation It is believed there are around 10,000 charitable trusts and foundations in the UK and that together they distribute as much as £2 billion each year.

Over the ten years to March 2016 we made grants amounting to more than £18.4 million: 2,478 to individuals and 1,605 to organisations and schools.

The Walcot Foundation is one of them, and has two important features. One is the ability to spend between £1.5 million and £2 million each year in grants. The other is that it serves a geographically small area: Lambeth, an inner London borough.

Most of our work is the result of one person’s generosity: Edmund Walcot. In his Will of 1667 he left land, specifying that the rents were to be used for the relief of the ‘poor of Lambeth’. Today his original gift, with those of other benefactors, is still at work.


Detail from a painting by Charlie Millar depicting Mr Walcot’s Gift. Shown are some of the names of other benefactors whose charities have been subsumed over the centuries by the Foundation’s presentday constituent charities. Many of these were relatively small, and would have been incorporated into larger charities for reasons of more efficient administration. Our earliest origins can be traced to 1618 and the building of Almshouses by Sir Noel Caron, Dutch Ambassador to the English Court from 1609-1624.


We exist for the relief of poverty We interpret our 17th century mandate in ways which take seriously 21st century contexts. What we fund is always aimed at breaking cycles of deprivation. We offer a hand-up rather than hand outs; we seek to tackle poverty by creating opportunity. Our aim is to equip Lambeth people whose life chances are affected by poverty to make the most of educational and other opportunities, leading to them becoming employable and then on to gaining decently or well paid employment across their working lives. The diagram (right) shows our broad approach.

Our grants aim to help our grantees move along these key paths







Lambeth is a densely populated inner London Borough with an ethnically diverse and young population and a great deal of enterprise and opportunity. Yet 30% of Lambeth’s children live in poverty.* These children start school with a disadvantage and because of the challenges low income households face, this disadvantage grows. At the end of their primary school years, Lambeth Free School Meal children have an 11% gap on educational attainment compared to their non-Free School Meal peers. This grows to 13% at GCSEs and widens further to 17% when looking at progression to Higher Education. Poverty limits life chances. The aim of our grantmaking is to change that. * Source: Lambeth Child Poverty Strategy 2016 and using the common definition of children who live in families where the household income is below 60% of the national median and are in receipt of out of work benefits and tax credits


Examples of what we fund Building literacy

Enabling parents

Reversing disengagement

Functional literacy is key to all decently paid work • Intensive one-to-one literacy tuition with specially trained volunteers • Homework clubs for children living in deprived areas • Saturday Schools linked to Lambeth schools that have high numbers of Free School Meal pupils • A pilot project which trains university students to provide free small group tuition to children living in areas of concentrated deprivation

We fund projects that show parents how they can actively support their child’s education • Trained volunteers providing weekly support to vulnerable parents, showing them behaviour management approaches and the importance play has in preparing their child for school • Projects in primary schools offering English language lessons for parents with poor language skills to enable them to help their child with their homework • A range of parenting skills groups and individual mentoring to support parents as their children start primary school

The transition from primary to secondary education can be a time of risk and disengagement • One-to-one support and small group workshops with low income pupils leaving primary school who are likely to struggle with the transition to secondary school • Intensive projects with teenagers on local estates who are at risk of exclusion or becoming involved with gangs to help them reengage with their school • Counselling in a secondary school for pupils from low income households who are struggling with their behaviour and mental health

See our website for more information about our triennial grantmaking priorities 6

Pathways to Employment

Grants to individuals

Grants to open up routes to employment • Enabling estate-based charities to provide one-to-one mentoring and careers advice to local unemployed youth • Projects in partnership with construction firms to help young people get jobs in the building sector • Funding a small-business incubator helping young people start up their own business • Providing employability and language skills to local people with limited English • Pilot project to provide web development training and paid work experience so that low income youth can find employment in the IT sector

The bulk of our grants go to organisations and schools to fund work with our target individuals. We also make grants directly to individuals, principally to help with the costs of further education, qualifications and training In recent years we have helped young people studying for qualifications in interior design, social sciences, business, nursing, social work, accountancy, photography, beauty therapy, civil engineering, biomedical science, criminology, sociology, information systems, psychology, sport & exercise sciences, building surveying, computer science, construction, counselling, digital media arts, genetics, microbiology, hairdressing, humanities, medicine, bioscience, law, film production, marketing, mathematics and philosophy, physics, pharmaceutical science, plumbing & electrical installation, psychology, neuroscience, tourism and hospitality.


How we operate We actively manage our assets This is to have the funds to achieve our aims for today’s beneficiaries and tomorrow’s We focus on what impact our grants will have Broadly, this is a concern with improvement and success in education, training and employment We are fair and consistent We apply consistent eligibility criteria; we do not discriminate on any basis other than income and residence We are keen to learn We are open to new ideas and constructive feedback, always interested in new ways of achieving our aims We do not stigmatise The individuals we exist to help often have reason to feel forgotten by wider society. This is why we aim to give not a hand-out but a hand-up 8

Building on the strengths our grantees already have We view grantees as partners, not as recipients of our charity. We aim to consolidate and build on the strengths and resilience they already have. Our belief is that becoming employable and employed is the best route out of poverty and the social exclusion and lost opportunities that accompany it.

Our ‘added-value’ programmes We run three programmes which enhance the value of our grants by offering grantees access to high quality help • Debt counselling, budgeting and benefits advice • Employment search and careers advice • Organisational capacity and resilience building

Our debt and budgeting advice services Many of our individual applicants carry debt, and have no easy access to professional advice in managing it. We provide that via a grant to an external provider. Our employment readiness and job finding services Likewise, many of those we fund to undertake training or further or higher education find it difficult to access good quality career and job-finding support. We provide that, too, again via a grant to an external provider. The services on offer include careers advice, drawing up training and employment action plans, CV preparation, interview skills, supervised job search help and resources. Beneficiaries are offered drop-in surgeries, one-to-one guidance interviews and contact by email and telephone ranging from one to three times a week. Our organisational capacity development services The third ‘added value’ service is focused on the organisations we fund or may fund. We developed it because of our interest in organisations working with our target beneficiaries. We look for good organisation and management and the ability to effectively deliver the services they seek our funding for. We sometimes identify areas which could be strengthened. Examples include governance or management capacity, or the need for a more robust futurefunding strategy. Our capacity-building service allows such organisations to access high quality mentoring and advice, at no cost. 9

Can you help us? Tell others...

Follow Mr Walcot’s example

Please make us known to people or organisations we may be able to make a grant to by pointing them to

Consider leaving a gift in your own Will, either to us or another charity of your choice. It is one of the best things we can do for our fellow citizens and future generations.

Tell us... Tell us of new opportunities in Lambeth to realise our ambition for low-income citizens. We try to keep alert to these and always welcome ideas and suggestions

Volunteer your skills We don’t expect an open-ended commitment. Sometimes the contribution of a skilled person for a single meeting, or a dozen or so hours over a few months, has been valuable. Find out more at


Tell corporate funders We have developed what we call conduit funding. It means we offer our local knowledge, assessment and reporting skills to corporate givers without any administrative or other fee. In this way we can increase the reach of our work for the people we exist to serve.

Give money If you wish to donate money now, whatever the sum, every penny will be directed to good works and none of it is taken to meet any of our costs. Depending on the sum, we are able

to target it on any of the themes listed on pages 6 and 7. If you Gift Aid your donation it increases in value. Please ask for details.

Support us in other ways You may be a business person able with our help to fund an apprenticeship for a local person; a Lambeth Councillor or MP able to identify synergies between our work and that of the Council or other bodies; or perhaps someone who knows of other funders interested in partnering with us in specific projects. We value our independence but we also value cooperation where it helps us achieve our charitable purposes.

Get in touch via or call 020 7735 1925

“We are of our time, not [Mr Walcot’s]. Our task as the present custodians of the Foundation is to read the signs of our times and to interpret his 17th century charitable purpose in the light of present day realities. This is not always easy, though we are clear that we are most effective when we go beyond the most basic ‘relief of poverty’ and help our target groups gain the education, confidence and skills most likely to help them gain properly paid employment across their working lives, and so help them play a part as full, contributing citizens.” From a recent Governors’ Annual report