Swindon-based Zurich Community Trust to donate £900,000 to support three charity partners

By Jessica Durston - 7 July 2022

  • Image supplied from Magic Breakfast (credit - Ginger Pixie Photography)

    Image supplied from Magic Breakfast (credit - Ginger Pixie Photography)

The Zurich Community Trust - based in Swindon - has announced that it will be supporting three charity partners with a donation of £900,000 in total.

The Zurich Community Trust (ZCT) has revealed its new charity partners for the next two years will be Magic Breakfast, Barnardo’s and Dementia UK.

The three charities support young people’s mental health (Barnado's), provide breakfasts in schools for children and young people affected by food insecurity (Magic Breakfast) and support those living with dementia and their carers (Dementia UK). 

Each will receive £150,000 a year for the next two years, together with non-financial support which includes:

  • Funded apprenticeships for charity partners
  • Employee and volunteer skills-based courses and wellbeing webinars
  • Paid-for online charity governance reviews
  • Free memberships and subscriptions to third sector bodies
  • Access to Zurich’s Personal Development and Wellbeing Learning Hub

The charities were said to have been chosen with input from Zurich employees, who voted from a shortlist for the causes and communities that are important to them. The original list of shortlisted charities was said to have been formed after taking into consideration the programme’s equality, diversity and inclusion policies, impact of funding, and opportunities to engage Zurich employees.

The charity Magic Breakfast provides healthy breakfasts to children and young people who arrive at school too hungry to learn, and expert support to their schools. The grant will support over 3,000 children each year in 15 schools across the UK.

Lindsey MacDonald, CEO for Magic Breakfast said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as Zurich Community Trust’s new National Partner focused on food insecurity.  This generous commitment has reached us at a crucial time.

"The combination of both the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis means the numbers of children and young people at risk of being too hungry to learn is growing by the day. We’re looking forward to working with Zurich Community Trust to truly make a difference to the lives and prospects of these children around the UK.”

ZCT’s grant for Dementia UK will fund two full-time Admiral Nurses to provide specialist care for families as well as contributing towards running costs for a new bookable ‘Virtual Clinic’ service.

Dementia UK has been ZCT’s partner for the last four years.  During this time, ZCT has funded the cost of a full-time Admiral Nurse and running costs of their Helpline, providing almost £500,000.

Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO for Dementia UK said, “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of Zurich Community Trust’s charity partners for the next two years. This support will complement our impactful 2018-2022 partnership with Zurich Community Trust and help us support many more families facing dementia when they need it most.

"It will also help to expand our virtual clinics service by funding two dementia specialist Admiral Nurses who will provide care for families through online bookable appointments. We developed these clinics a year ago in response to the pandemic and the service has been in high demand ever since. As a result, we’ve just extended it to a five-day service. On behalf of everyone at Dementia UK, I’d like to say a big thank you to every Zurich colleague who voted and made this partnership possible.”

The £150,000 grant for Barnardo’s will contribute towards the running and development costs of the Barnardo’s Education Community, an online facility that helps teachers and schools support children and young people with their mental health. ZCT will help cover the cost of running the existing service and develop it, meeting the requests of educators.

Michelle Lee-Izu, Corporate Director of Development and Innovation for Barnado’s said: “We are extremely excited to be chosen as one of Zurich Community Trust’s charity partners for the next two years, alongside Dementia UK and Magic Breakfast. At a time when so many children are struggling with their mental health, this partnership will enable us to provide support and guidance to teaching staff so they are better equipped to help children before they reach crisis point.

"The annual grant will help fund The Barnardo’s Education Community (BEC), a service set-up during the pandemic in response to a rise in children needing support with their mental health linked to loss, bereavement, anxiety and increased caring responsibilities. The portal has already been used by over 70,000 teaching staff and with Zurich’s support we are able to reach thousands more. On behalf of everyone at Barnardo’s, a huge thank you to every Zurich colleague who voted and showed their support for Barnardo’s.”

Steve Grimmett, Head of the Zurich Community Trust said: “We’re proud to partner with these charities to support their vital work in communities throughout the UK.  The three issues chosen by Zurich employees – young people’s mental health, support for those living with dementia and the provision of breakfasts for children affected by food security - are three issues affecting so many people across the UK.

"The effects of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis mean that these grants will go towards helping those most in need.  We are excited about working with these incredible charities as they help to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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