The skills to succeed

We live in an increasingly complex world. There are more options available to young people than ever before – but increasing inequality means that for many, access to those opportunities is limited.

Our work aims to level the playing field. One of the ways we do this is by supporting programmes that help young people build the skills they will need to succeed and to thrive.

Communication, resilience, critical thinking, teamwork, self-belief and leadership skills are not always valued by the education system, but will help young people to step into their futures with confidence.

£570,000has been given to charities building young people’s skills in 2019/20 through grants, fundraising and Give As You Earn


Working in partnership

We invested £570,000 in skills development initiatives this year, which included launching our most recent funding programme, Skills for Positive Futures, supporting children at risk of school exclusion. We also renewed our funding for Street Elite for a further five years.

Adding value
Vauxhall City Farm received a Capacity Building Fund grant in July 2019, enabling them to employ their first fulltime fundraiser. Like many other charities, the farm lost significant income as a result of Covid-19. An emergency appeal, spearheaded by their new fundraiser, has raised over £240,000 so far.

Learning & sharing
We explored youth grant-making for the first time through the Skills for Positive Futures programme, working with and learning from a group of young people with lived experience as we refined the programme and its criteria. The group took part in the shortlisting process and one young person sat on our grant assessment panel.

1,149We have supported 1,149 people facing or experiencing homelessness this year

5charities working to reduce school exclusion as part of the Skills for Positive Futures programme

10.72Every £1 invested in Street Elite returns £10.72 in social value over three years

Case studies

Shanice & Street Elite

Shanice is 23. She was working in temporary part-time roles and looking after her young daughter when she heard about Street Elite: “At the first session there were seven young mums like me.

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Sean & Key4Life

St James White City’s Designated Charity is Key4Life, a charity that works with young men in prison or at risk of going to prison, to help reduce their likelihood of reoffending.

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Joshua & Imperial College London

We have been working with our Strategic Partner Imperial College London since 2017, funding the Maker Challenge for 14 – 18 year olds, and the Proto Maker Challenge for 11 – 14 year olds.

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Skills for Positive Futures

Through our newest funding programme, we are working with five organisations to deliver targeted support for children at risk of school exclusion, equipping them with the skills to make positive life choices.

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Understanding the need

Skills for work
An estimated 771,000 16 to 24 year olds were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in January to March 2020. This an increase of 8,000 compared with October to December 2019 – and the figure has continued to grow.1 In an increasingly competitive job market, young people need the transferable skills to help them stand out from the crowd.

Skills for life
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of change – for organisations, communities and even countries. These are also skills that can help us, as individuals, to navigate the challenges that life throws at us, and can help protect young people from harm.

Science and technology
The world has been described as being on the brink of a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – a time of significant technological innovation and change. At the same time, we have a STEM skills shortage in the UK which is costing £1.5bn per year.Our partnership with Imperial College London helps to engage young people in STEM and prepare them for a changing world.

1 Office for National Statistics. Employment and labour market: People not in work. August 2020.
2 Stem Learning. Skills shortage costing STEM sector £1.5bn. May 2018.


Getting involved

The volunteering opportunities for Berkeley Group staff this year have been very varied, ranging from delivering talks in prisons to assisting young carers on a day out at Longridge Activity Centre, to helping the Vauxhall City Farm team with maintenance of the garden and buildings.


Sharon from St James White City took part in Key4Life’s Meet The Employers workshop in HMP Brixton, together with 13 other employers.

St James / St William cricket match

St James / St William held their annual cricket match at the Oval in July 2019, raising £14,000 for Vauxhall City Farm and Thames Reach.

Keeping active at Longridge

Berkeley staff helped out at a trip to Longridge, where young people tried their hand at kayaking, crate stacking and zip lining.

Vauxhall City Farm

The team from St James / St William Vauxhall spent a day volunteering at Vauxhall City Farm, their Designated Charity. They helped staff clear the community garden, improving the space for the young people who visit.


Other focus areas

A safe place to call home

Ensuring young people have secure, stable accommodation.
1,149young people reached this year

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Access to employment

Enabling young people to overcome barriers to work and kick-start their careers.
875young people reached this year

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Health & wellbeing

Supporting young people to live happy, healthy lives.
1,890young people reached this year

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Read more by downloading our Annual Review 2020.

The Berkeley Foundation

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).

Contact us

The Berkeley Foundation
Berkeley House
19 Portsmouth Road
KT11 1JG

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