It would be impossible to introduce this 2020 Annual Review without acknowledging the enormous impact that Covid-19 has had on our lives and communities this year. The effect of the virus on health and livelihoods across the country has been devastating. For the young people supported by our charity partners, it has ushered in a period of real uncertainty, and the biggest rise in youth unemployment for over a decade.
Our work is underpinned by strong partnerships, and so our first priority has been the charities we work with and the communities they serve. We have committed over £650,000 to supporting our charity partners through the crisis. So far, this funding has supported food deliveries for families living in poverty, video counselling sessions for young people struggling with their mental health, additional staff to enable a youth charity to move from group work to socially distanced 1:1 support, and more. It also includes unrestricted grants to all our local Designated Charity partners.
The pandemic has shown just what can be achieved when people come together. I have been struck by the surge in community spirit, the groundswell of support for those in need, and the innovation and collaboration that has been made possible by the extraordinary circumstances. However, it has also laid bare the inequalities in our society. The health impacts of the virus itself, the personal impacts of life under lockdown, and the economic impacts have not been distributed evenly. BAME communities, those living on low incomes, and women are all disproportionately affected.
These inequalities run far deeper than this emergency, and they call for new thinking about the way our society should operate. As we look beyond Covid-19, we all need to play our part in building a fairer future. This means being willing to challenge injustice – within our own organisations as well as in the wider world. It means collaborating to find innovative solutions to the challenges young people are facing. And it means deepening our partnerships with charities, and listening to what communities really need.
2021 will see the launch of a new strategy for the Berkeley Foundation, which will build on what we have learned during our first ten years and set out our vision for the future. I look forward to sharing this with you next year. In the meantime, the last 12 months have seen exciting developments in many areas of the Foundation’s work. We have continued to deliver our 2018 – 2021 strategy, working closely with our long-term charity partners to build a society where every young person can thrive.
I’m delighted that, as part of this, we have renewed two of our major strategic partnerships. We will support Lord’s Taverners to deliver the Super 1s disability cricket programme for another four years, scaling up the programme in Birmingham and around London. We will also work with The Change Foundation to continue the Street Elite programme for another five years – the longest commitment we’ve ever made. The Foundation’s work on these and other partnerships was recognised this year at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards, where we won four categories, including the main ‘Best Business’ award.
Berkeley Group staff have continued to fundraise and volunteer to support the Foundation and our partner charities. This year, over 60% of Berkeley staff got involved in the Foundation’s work, with initiatives ranging from bike rides, golf days and football tournaments, to a sleep out at Southall Waterside in support of a local homelessness charity. I’d like to thank all the staff across the Berkeley Group for the way they have stepped up this year in support of our local communities.
In closing, I want to pay tribute to Berkeley Group Founder and Chairman, and Berkeley Foundation Trustee, Tony Pidgley CBE, following his death in June last year. Tony was a giant of the property industry, but he was also a committed philanthropist who was passionate about the Foundation’s work in support of young people and their communities. He had been an integral part of the Foundation’s Board since its inception and he will be sadly missed by all of us.
I would also like to thank the Berkeley Foundation team for their hard work, commitment and leadership over the last 12 months, and I’d like to welcome Alison Dowsett who is joining the Board from August. Finally, I want to convey my thanks to my fellow Trustees Wendy Pritchard and Elaine Driver, for their sound advice and good governance – ever more important in such uncertain times.
Chairman, Berkeley Foundation
As we look beyond Covid-19, we all need to play our part in building a fairer future. Rob Perrins, Chairman
£350,000Over £350,000 awarded in emergency Covid-19 grants so far.
£3mWe provided £3m to partner charities in 2019/20 through grants, fundraising and GAYE.
+63%of Berkeley Group staff continue to fundraise and volunteer to support our work.
Captions left to right: Rob Perrins, Tony Pidgley CBE(1947 – 2020), Wendy Pritchard, Elaine Driver, Alison Dowsett
The Berkeley Foundation is the working name of The Berkeley Charitable Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1152596), a company registered in England and Wales (Registration Number 8548400).