United Kingdom

Small Grants Fund: Making a big impact in local communities

Deutsche Bank supports local initiatives often overlooked by other funders via the Deutsche Bank Small Grants Fund. Many local groups provide an invaluable service within their communities, responding directly to local needs and making a significant impact with limited resources.

Small Grants Funds

Kamara, 19 – Former student and now mentor of YESS – Education for everyone.

“Some people can’t deal with mainstream edu­cation. At YESS you get one on one attention. If I hadn’t come to YESS, I would have left school with minimum qualifications. I don’t know where I’d be right now.”

YESS graduate Kamara, 19, is now working as a student mentor at YESS

Through the Small Grants Fund, Deutsche Bank is able to focus its support on small charities and local organisations that share its commitment to helping young people reach their potential and improve life chances. The Fund is part of Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, Born to Be, which aims to break the cycle of youth unemployment through early intervention.

The Deutsche Bank Small Grants Fund has distributed over £750,000 to local groups since it began in 2006, through our partner organisations the Community Foundation for Merseyside, Foundation Scotland and the London Community Foundation. Panels of Deutsche Bank employees decide which groups to support in their local areas. This year the Fund provided 31 grants in London, Scotland and Merseyside. Setting up an endowment to support local causes currently attracts 50 % match funding from the Government.

Three of the groups that benefitted are highlighted below:

London – Exposure

Exposure will deliver the ‘The North London Apprentice’: a project which offers 20 secondary school students hands-on work experience over three months. Participants will be trained to deliver business pitches, research new markets and tasked with the very real job of securing new advertising revenue for Exposure Magazine, their quarterly youth publication.

The proposal presents a clever use of funds. By supporting young people in gaining employability skills, they also contribute to the financial sustainability of this innovative, youth-led project.


Merseyside – Liverpool ADHD Foundation

The Liverpool ADHD Foundation ensures that people suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) get the support they need to ensure a positive future.

Young people suffering from ADHD are particularly vulnerable to exclusion from school – especially GCSE students who experience acute distress with exam pressure due to the disorder’s characteristics. The project will identify 32 young people at serious risk of exclusion and support them in the final two years of their secondary education to help them remain in school, achieve their potential and improve their employability, by providing support tailored to their ADHD.

Liverpool ADHD Foundation

Scotland – Bankie Talk

Bankie Talk prepares and delivers talking newspapers for visually impaired young people.

The grant will enable Bankie Talk to work in partnership with five local secondary schools to provide volunteering opportunities for final year pupils to will edit and produce the youth magazines. The school students will gain transferrable skills; including presentation, editing and IT software skills, as well as gaining an understanding of some of the more vulnerable members of their community. This aids transition during the crucial period in which school students leave school for further education and employment. 

Bankie Talk

Case Study: YESS – Education for everyone

One of the very first beneficiaries of the Small Grants Fund was Yess. The London Education Charity gives students facing exclusion from education a second chance. Educational underachievement can lead to a life in the margins of society for young people, or worse. Unemployed and on the streets, they are vulnerable to the temptations and dangers of crime. Exclusion also has a wider social and economic cost.

Instead of excluding troubled students, local high schools can refer them to YESS, where they can work through their difficulties and study for qualifications in a more sympathetic setting.

YESS is located in one of the most deprived areas of London. Chaotic home lives are common among its students. YESS provides them with the one to one understanding, a structured approach and the positive role models they need to succeed in education and in life. It has an inspiring effect. Students obtain qualifications they thought were beyond them. Many stay in touch after they leave. Some return to help the next generation.

The YESS center is an important place in the local community. It’s a haven for the students as much as a school, a safe and positive environment where they can concentrate on building a better future for themselves.

Small Grants Fund

More than GBP 750,000

to local groups in London, Scotland and Merseyside

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