From education to employment

500k to help London organisations step into social investment market

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Nearly half a million pounds has been awarded to support charitable organisations across the capital looking to get their foot on the ladder of the social investment market.

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, and UBS have awarded a total of £429,240 to 12 London organisations through their fifth round of the social investment programme Stepping Stones. This brings the total awards given to £3,231,340 to 77 organisations since the launch of the fund in 2015.

City Bridge Trust, which is London’s biggest independent grant giver, and UBS launched the Stepping Stones Fund to support charities and social enterprises in London who want to access the social investment market. Funding helps organisations develop their ideas, bring in new technical assistance and get products ready for market.

The latest round of grantees range from employability programmes helping young people into work to a social enterprise helping new parents transition into parenthood.

One grantee, Strengths in Communities CIC, is a social enterprise specialising in supporting parents in the early stages of parenthood and ensuring babies have the best start in life. Life changing skilled support is offered during pregnancy, birth and beyond to mothers, fathers and babies.

Another, Talawa, is a charity working to address the lack of diversity in the theatre industry, addressing barriers to entry, as well as support for those at the early stage of their careers. London-based but with a national remit, Talawa stages theatre productions, holds readings of works from promising black writers, and offers feedback on scripts.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, commented:

“We have given funding to a whole host of exciting initiatives, ranging from programmes giving careers a kickstart to organisations promoting social mobility and diversity in the workplace.

“This funding will allow charities to move forward with their visions and make substantial progress with their social investment initiatives.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”

Sarah Wallbank, Chief Executive of Yes Futures, added :

“The grant will be a huge catalyst in enabling us to develop our programme model and team capacity in order to raise future social investment, so we can meet the increasing demand we are getting from schools for our programmes, and substantially grow our impact to many thousands of young people across the UK.

“We are excited to be embarking on this journey with support from the City Bridge Trust.”

The success of the Stepping Stones Fund is underpinned by a strong partnership between City Bridge Trust and UBS. It is an effective combination of the Trust’s grant making expertise, and the skills and insights of UBS’ volunteers. The role that the non-profit and private sectors play in working towards the public good is ever more important when public finances are under pressure.

Nick Wright, head of Community Affairs at UBS said:

“We are delighted at the impact the partnership with City Bridge Trust has made in helping to support the development of this important market.  While more remains to be done, the Stepping Stones Fund has enabled a larger and more diverse range of social businesses to explore and prepare for social investment.”

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.  

The Trust has awarded around 7,900 grants totalling over £380 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


About the City of London Corporation: The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

About City Bridge Trust: City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of Bridge House Estates, a Registered Charity, with its primary aim the maintenance and support of five Thames bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars and the Millennium footbridge.

City Bridge Trust was established in 1995 to make use of funds surplus to bridge requirements and provides grants totalling around £20m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.  The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of the Bridge House Estates.

About UBS: UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS’ strategy is centered on our leading global wealth management business and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by Asset Management and the Investment Bank. The bank focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient, and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook. 

Full list of grantees:

Action West London


ROJ Women’s Association – Kurdish & Turkish Women’s Centre


Bonny Downs Community Association


Baytree Centre


Hatch Enterprise


London Irish Centre Charity – Community Services


Selby Trust


Speakers Trust Limited


Strengths in Communities CIC


Talawa Theatre Company


Toynbee Hall


Yes Futures



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