Harnessing all our Assets to Social Change
The Foundation continues to champion new ways of thinking on economic issues for social benefit to bring about systems change. As ever, we continue to do this through our grant making but increasingly you will see the Foundation begin to use its wider assets and influence to achieve its goals, working as both an investor and campaigner. We have a new Social Investment and Engagement Fund from which we will make impact investments, such as the significant sum of community shares we are purchasing in the AWEL community wind co-op near Swansea. This is a local energy project which is owned and controlled by the community for its own benefit. It is expected to generate £3 million over its lifetime to help eradicate local fuel poverty. This fund will make us direct shareholders in a small number of strategically chosen companies taking forward our shareholder activism in support of our objectives; so for instance we are looking at the utility sector with a view to encouraging partnerships with community energy as part of low carbon transition plans.
On the policy front, just last month the Foundation worked with grantees and partners to respond to a government consultation in support of mandatory company reporting of the ratio between the pay of those at the top and the average employee. This will help us all to understand and have sensible conversations with companies on issues such as value and pay with reference to the whole workforce.
Within the Foundation, we welcomed three new Trustees – Patrick Hynes, Kathleen Kelly and Stephen Muers. Click here to read all about them. And we said a big thank you to three retiring Trustees – Jim Gilbourne, Raj Thamotheram and Whitni Thomas, who all played key roles in the development of the Foundation. We are grateful for the time and considerable energy they brought to the Board.
Finally, we said farewell to our Grants Manager, Andrew, who many of you knew well during his nine years with the Foundation. Andrew will be much missed but we are delighted to announce that Abigail Gibson has been promoted to take on the role. Many of you will have had contact with Abby over the past six months since she joined us as Grants and Social Investment Officer. Keep a look out for further recruitment opportunities on our website!