As good citizens our staff do good things for a range of different causes. This may be as school governors, sports coaches for children, public service roles, charity trustees and volunteers and many other things.
In addition we have corporate causes that we seek to leverage our combined resources to support. We have two current preferred causes: The Soma Leo Foundation and Community Foundations.
The Soma Leo Foundation
In 2013 the staff of Pound Gates, Contior and Sevatas started to support an Ipswich based charity called Kenyan School Fund. The Fund was running a school in Mombasa with the desire to build a new school in Nyiera, western Kenya.
During 2014 the businesses organised two events specifically to raise funds for this new school and in November 2014 building of the school commenced. In January 2015 we established The Soma Leo Foundation and registered it with the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Soma Leo took on the responsibility to raise the funds necessary to establish the school, invest in further phases of development and meet its ongoing running costs.
Soma Leo is Swahili. It translates as “learn today”. The name has in part been selected by the community we will initially be supporting. The school is called Soma Leo Nyiera Academy. Following a Trustee visit to Kenya in September 2015 we have identified additional priorities to support other schools near Nyiera, in an area called Osieko, and generally help the wider community which suffers with severe poverty.
Directors, managers and staff at Pound Gates, Contior and Sevatas are involved with the charity either as Trustees or by providing all the administrative resources the charity requires. To learn more about The Soma Leo Foundation visit www.somaleo.org
A community foundation is a vehicle for charitable giving. Community foundations work with individuals, families and companies to design bespoke grant making strategies that target particular issues or focus on particular geographical areas. There are 48 accredited community foundations in the UK.
Our staff based around the UK have the opportunity to support the foundation in their community.
In the Ipswich area we support Suffolk Community Foundation. We have created our own Fund with the Foundation which we call the Acorn Fund. Up until the end of 2014 we used this fund to support causes benefiting children and young people in need. From the start of 2015 we have changed the focus of our grant making to align with the theme of ‘health and wellbeing’. We envisage ‘health and wellbeing’ covering a range of possible causes benefitting a range of people, but primarily we will aim to support causes that encourage people of all ages and abilities (or disabilities) to be more active and to lead healthy, balanced lives. This would include charities supporting people with mental health/stress related conditions.
You can learn more about Suffolk Community Foundation by visiting: www.suffolkcf.org.uk. Since we awarded our first grant in October 2013 we have distributed £40,000 to 30 great causes. You can read more about the causes we have supported by clicking here.