Skills and Opportunities Fund public vote now open

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Skills and Opportunities Fund public vote now open

The shortlist is now available for Round 2 2018 of the Skills & Opportunities Fund, and RBS is asking members of the public to have their say on who the final winners should be.

Supporting communities

29 October 2018

The Birmingham Disability Resource Centre, one of the winners of a previous NatWest Skills and Opportunity Fund

Voting is open for two weeks, until noon on Friday 9 November 2018, and voters can select their favourite not-for-profit project from each region.* Full details of how to vote can be found below.

Funding adventures, changing lives

The Skills & Opportunities Fund, now in its fourth and final year, is administered by Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, NatWest in England and Wales and Ulster Bank in Ireland. It offers not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland grants of up to £35k/€35k to fund community projects that provide life-enhancing financial capability and enterprise skills and opportunities to those most in need.

Previous winners include the Hackney Pirates, a charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney. Securing a NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund grant has helped them create their new ‘Hackney Pirates Learning Programme’.

Lily Eastwood, Navigator/Director of Learning said: “Our grant has allowed us to work with over 300 young people in Hackney as part of an after-school learning project. The pupils work on at least two publishing projects, producing books, CDs and websites, using their own pieces of writing. As well as developing their enterprise skills, the programme also develops their literacy, confidence and perseverance so that they can stay on-track in school and beyond”.

Session Leader Andrew McWhirter added: “We’ve seen the self-belief of young people grow enormously through the programme, and feel confident that getting them involved in entrepreneurial activity has directly impacted on their motivation to keep learning and developing, equipping them for success both in school and in later life.”

A vote for stronger communities

Since the Skills & Opportunities Fund first launched in 2015, it has distributed over £8.8m in funding; reaching over 136k people, through the work of a diverse and inspiring network of over 400 community organisations. The Fund has directly contributed to the creation of 1633 new businesses and 1875 jobs in some of the most disadvantaged communities.

Head of Sustainable Banking Integration and Programmes at RBS Thom Kenrick commented: “Voting for the community group(s) you’d like to see receive funding takes just minutes, but as we can see, the long-term effects have the potential to be truly life changing,”

“So please do take a minute to vote and help us to provide many more life-changing skills and opportunities in our communities – every vote makes a difference.”

How and when to vote

Voting is open for two weeks until noon Friday 9 November 2018, and everyone can place one vote in each region.*

To read a brief summary of the shortlisted projects and vote, go to:

* To ensure proportionate allocation of grants, for the purposes of the Skills & Opportunities Fund, the UK and Ireland is divided into eight regions: London, South East, South West and Wales, Midlands and East, North (NatWest); Scotland (RBS) and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (Ulster Bank).

We’re now NatWest Group

Come and visit us for all our latest news, insights and everything NatWest Group.

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