Impetus announces three new charity partners

Young people play rugby with SoHK
School of Hard Knocks puts rugby at the heart of its intervention

Impetus is pleased to announce investments in three new charity partners, each pioneering unique interventions to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in education and employment.

Alongside grant funding, our charity partners receive tailored support from our dedicated investment team to help their organisations grow stronger and better meet the needs of the young people they support.

Streets of Growth enters Impetus’ Connect Fund, which builds and scales effective, impact-led employment programmes that help young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to overcome disadvantage and discrimination.

Our research shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely as their better-off peers to be out of education, employment or training (NEET). There is also clear data showing that young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are disproportionately impacted by unemployment.

Streets of Growth

Founded in 2001, Streets of Growth is a dynamic youth intervention charity working in London’s Tower Hamlets where cycles of poverty, harm, and violence are deeply rooted, and social, economic, and racial disparities present significant challenges for young people – especially those of Bangladeshi heritage. In Tower Hamlets income deprivation affects 56% of children - the highest in the UK - and 16-24 years olds with Bangladeshi heritage face the highest unemployment rate at 20%. 

Through Streets of Growth’s “targeted streetwork” outreach approach, their dedicated frontline team actively looks for at-risk young people in the communities, providing guidance, education, and skill-building opportunities. They work with individuals over the longer term in what they call a ‘relationship for change’ - building trust, safety, shared vision, joint action and sustained progression, to empower young people with solutions to transform their lifestyles, education, careers, and environments.

It’s been such a pleasure getting to know the team at Streets of Growth and see the amazing work they do. From the outset their commitment to finding and supporting the most high need young people really stood out. I’m delighted they are joining the Impetus portfolio, the combination of their skill at building trusted relationships with hard-to-reach young people, and Impetus’ expertise in developing employment programmes promises to deliver great results. We are really looking forward to working with them!

- Adam Alagiah-Glomseth, Impetus Investment Director

The two other new Impetus investments form part of the Engage Fund which, together with the Henry Smith Charity, aims to reduce the number of school exclusions and improve outcomes for young people in alternative provision.

Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are four times as likely to be excluded that their better off peers, while only 5% of young people who sit their GCSEs in alternative provision get their English and maths GCSEs compared to 65% in state schools.

School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks' (SOHK) mission is to empower and support individuals living in complex and challenging circumstances, to fully realise their potential and find meaning and purpose in their lives.

Founded in 2012 SOHK has programmes in more than 30 schools across England, Scotland and Wales. Alongside sport (rugby), participants are offered group sessions where they can gain valuable insights from the facilitators and their peers, and understand different lived experiences. Each participant is also given one-to-one mentoring with an SOHK specialist to explore their personal goals and challenges.

SOHK’s programmes are underpinned by an evidence-based sport-for-development framework called the 5Cs, changing behaviours associated with: confidence, commitment, communication, control and cohesion.

School of Hard Knocks is about the development of the whole person. By enabling self-worth through an environment of genuine acceptance, participants move from a mind-set characterised by threat, instability and confusion, to one that promotes and maintains optimism, emotional resilience and ultimately life satisfaction.  In essence the 'School of Hard Knocks' provides individuals the opportunity to find a meaning and purpose to life.

- Dr Mikel Mellick, Practitioner Psychologist & SOHK Trustee

Empire Fighting Chance

Bristol born charity Empire Fighting Chance (EFC) also joins the Impetus Engage Fund.

The charity works with young people who have faced real adversity in their lives. Reaching over 5,000 young people each year across the UK, EFC uses a powerful combination of non-contact boxing and intensive personal support to give young people aged 8 to 25 the skills, knowledge and inspiration to make positive changes to how they think and behave - and to realise their unique potential.

I feel this is my safe space where I can reveal the true me. It's helped me return to school and have a pathway figured out for my future. I feel a lot more confident about my career choices for when I leave school and what I have to do to get to the next step.

- Grace, 16, participant, Empire Fighting Chance

EFC is currently reaching up to 3,000 young people each year, who’re experiencing socio-economic disadvantage and at risk of, or already excluded from, education. Up to 65% of the young people they support live in the most disadvantaged postcodes in the country. Mental health challenges are prevalent and many participants have been involved in gangs, or violent or anti-social behaviour.

Our partnership with EFC will focus on deepening the impact of their two exclusion-focused programmes.

We are really excited to begin new partnerships with Streets of Growth, Empire Fighting Chance and School of Hard Knocks.
Over the course of three months of due diligence, we were struck by their focus on supporting talented young people facing some of the most adverse circumstances across the country, the strength of their respective programmes and their commitment to delivering meaningful and enduring outcomes for the young people they serve.
It will be a privilege for us to work with their CEOs and teams.

- Sebastien Ergas, Impetus Portfolio Director

Each of these relationships will kick off with a Driving Impact workshop, a round of intensive discussions tackling the who, what, why and how of each charity, which helps to lay the foundations from which organisations can hone their impact.

Find out more

Backing Charities

We find, build and fund high potential charities. Find out more about our unique approach to working with our charity partners.
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Charity partners

Impetus wants all young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the best support. Which is why we back the best charities working with different groups of young people, in different ways, all over the UK.
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Our Impact

Impetus works shoulder-to-shoulder with charities to make them stronger, delivering better results year after year, to more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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