How the Foundation Bursary is making an impact

In October 2020 we launched the Hymans Robertson Foundation Bursary, aimed at supporting young people aged 16-25 years in education, training, volunteering or employment with small grant funding for essential digital/data kit, travel, clothing, energy and food bills. Through our charity partners, young people were able to apply for grants that would make a difference in their lives. The Bursary was extended during 2021 and the Foundation Board has now confirmed its approval of a further £60,000 funding for this financial year.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, our Bursary fund provided essential financial support to nearly 270 young people across the UK with an average grant award of £140.  The impact of a small amount of funding, when needed, is evident from the stories that young people shared with us. We are pleased to share this short video from one of our Bursary partners, The London Screen Academy.

From April 2022, we have extended the range of charity partners supporting the distribution of Bursary funding across the UK.  We will also encourage young people to take advantage of MyBnk’s financial education support, ensuring that young people are better advised and equipped to manage their finances.

Please get in touch direct if you could benefit from the Bursary or financial education support and we can connect you to the appropriate charity partner.

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Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Hymans Robertson Foundation Partners with Lifelink to bring professional counselling and wellbeing support to more young people throughout the UK.

The Foundation is delighted to welcome Lifelink to our charity network. Through working closely with our partners who are supporting young people across the UK, we recognise that young people are experiencing high levels of anxiety and social isolation. Poorer levels of mental health and wellbeing are adding to the barriers some young people already face moving into, or staying in, positive destinations.

Now in its 30th year, Lifelink is a social enterprise and registered Scottish Charity, focused on supporting people to make positive changes in their lives, by helping them realise their own abilities to cope with stress and find ways of overcoming anxiety and depression. Lifelink is bringing professional counselling and wellbeing support to the young people supported by our existing charity partners, as well as to those who support them through this work.

Read more about our partnership here.

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Our 2021 Roundup

Welcome to our 2021 summary from the Hymans Robertson Foundation.  Our impact is delivered through our charity partners. On behalf of the Foundation’s Board, I recognise the hard work and commitment our partners have made throughout the pandemic: supporting minoritized young people and communities. Without them the Foundation cannot deliver against our priority areas: securing financial futures for young people and making a positive change to communities through fundraising and volunteering.

During 2021 we continued to listen and be advised by our charity partners, our stakeholders and like-minded funders, ensuring we prioritised our resources to areas of most need and where we could make real differences to people and communities’ lives.  The Board saw the early impact of the introduction of the Foundation Bursary and approved at least a further 2 years (and increased) funding during the year. We also engaged with new charity partners in Birmingham and London during 2021: ensuring that we extended the Bursary’s reach to young people in those cities.

Some of our partners distribute the Bursary to young people directly and the stories from young people have shown the impact that direct funding can have on young people’s lives. Please see our annual report which provides more information on our Bursary and 20/21 impact.

We invite our charity partners to our Board meetings throughout the year. Our Board always benefits from direct engagement with our partners: highlighting areas which are working well and areas of emerging need which could be supported by the Foundation in the future.

In late 2020, our charity partners collectively highlighted the growing and urgent need to support more young people with mental health and wellbeing support. The Board recognised that young people had additional barriers to opportunities resulting from poor mental health and wellbeing and that our own charity partners’ staff needed support and training in this area.  At the end of 2021, we were able to appoint a new mental health charity partner to working directly with young people and provide complementary training to charity staff. I look forward to sharing more of this new partnership shortly.

Finally, a big thanks from the Foundation team to the Firm’s volunteers and fundraisers. Our charity network has brought through specialist, active and virtual volunteering opportunities for Hymans Robertson LLP’s staff and, despite an ever-moving horizon with restrictions and lockdowns, volunteers have continued to support local and Foundation charities throughout the year.  

As we leave our 5th anniversary year, the Foundation has demonstrated its strong social purpose and impact. The new year lies ahead and given the tumult of 2021 we will continue to be a flexible, thoughtful long-term funding partner: showing agility in our Foundation funding commitments, particularly exploring how and where we can support charity partners build back reserves or contribute to core costs. We are also partnering with an increased number of Foundation charities and I look forward to sharing more news on that in the coming months.

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Can technology really offer ‘social good’

As part of Hymans Robertson Better Futures 100: technology campaign, Marcella Boyle, Chief Executive Officer for the Hymans Robertson Foundation discusses ‘tech for good’. The Foundation has built such strong relationships with our charity partners; it’s great to see how our support goes some way to helping build better futures for generations to come.

The Hymans Robertson Foundation (HRF) recognises that harnessing the expertise of technology and digital talent offers “social good”.  We offer specialist volunteering opportunities to the firm’s own staff and leverage our strong relationship with the Scottish Tech Army (where our CEO is also an Ambassador).  The Foundation continues to explore new opportunities to bring skilled volunteer staff to help our charity partners scope and then resource technical / data / projects which can make a real difference to the people they work with and the communities they serve.

Last year, we took our “Tech for Good” support directly to young people. As the pandemic deepened, our charity network reported on the increasing isolation facing young people: impacting on their mental health and wellbeing and creating barriers for young people to keep connected with school / training / work and socially.  Our partners were delivering digitally but not all young people could engage. Was there a role for the Foundation to bridge the data and technology gap?

Working with our Foundation partners, we designed the Bursary: a direct grant for young people who needed financial support to “keep connected”. Over the last 12 months we have supported over 100 UK young people in total and nearly 50 young people to buy kit and data: removing barriers for the young person to keep in school, progress to further / higher education or take up employment opportunities. “This money will be a big help towards my laptop for my new college studies as the laptop will help towards my studies and future work.”

Barnardo’s is one of the Foundation partners that disperses the Bursary across the UK. Tommy McDade, Acting Head of Employment, Training and Skills UK/Barnardo’s told us:-

“HRF Bursary has been used for a wide range of things but I am particularly pleased to see how much it has supported young people when they have secured a job or apprenticeship… (it) really does help the young person to start the job and settle in without worrying about these things”.

At our September charity partners event, the Board of Trustees heard, first hand, the positive and direct impact the Bursary has had on young people. With a small amount of direct funding, young people have been able to re-engage and stay connected.

If you’d like to hear more about our Bursary, how to volunteer for digital / technology project / support for young people, get in touch. We are keen to share and help you advocate / influence your own employer organisations to do even more. 

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Action on Financial Education

Our CEO, Marcella Boyle, has written a blog for our funder (Hymans Robertson) on the importance of action on financial education for children and young people. Marcella shares recent UK money statistics from The Money Charity, research on inconsistencies in financial education for the younger generation by Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) , and the work the Foundation’s partner, MyBnk is doing to try to plug this gap through its Money Works programme, which it also delivers to the Foundation’s other charity partners:

“With our extended charity partner network, we recognised the need (particularly in young people’s employability programmes) to offer specialist education in managing finances. Building financial capability is a key priority for the Foundation.”

You can read Marcella’s full article, plus find links to further research, on the Hymans Robertson website: “Building better financial security through education

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Tech for Good

This month (28 April 2021), our CEO, Marcella Boyle, was pleased to join a panel discussion as part of the Scottish Tech Army (STA) “Tech for Good Summit“, alongside STA’s Alistair Forbes, Geoff Huggins from the Scottish Government, Ilaria Albanese from JP Morgan Chase, and Jane Morrison-Ross from South of Scotland Enterprise. The panel discussed Scotland’s opportunity to strengthen and develop “tech for good” volunteering within the third sector in Scotland. 

The panel focused on the very much alive and kicking, Tech for Good Ecosystem in Scotland, and the roles and contributions that organisations can make as part of the overall mission, including how the ecosystem supports the charity, volunteer, employer and customer. The challenge identified by STA is how to aggregate efforts and amplify this to reach further.

Catch the replay and discover more here: “Tech for Good Ecosystem – Aggregate and Amplify

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Extending our Bursary – supporting more Young People across the U.K.

This month, we recognize a sad one-year anniversary as the ongoing pandemic and its restrictions continue to impact on people and communities.

The Prince’s Trust launched its annual Index (January 2021) with very sobering feedback from young people across the UK[1].  This year’s Youth Index, which surveyed 2,180 16-25 year olds from across the UK, reveals:

  • 60% of young people say that getting a new job feels “impossible now” because there is so much competition
  • a quarter (24%) of young people claim that the pandemic has “destroyed” their career aspirations
  • Young people state that they are more likely to feel anxious now than at any other time since the Youth Index was first launched over a decade ago

Bursary 2020 Background

In October we launched the Hymans Robertson Bursary, aimed at retaining 16-25 year olds in education, training, volunteering or employment. The Fund is nationwide and supported by four Foundation charity partners (Barnardo’s, FARE, Prince’s Trust and Works+). Our financial education partner (MyBnk – Delivering expert-led financial education to young people) also provides wrap services around the Bursary for young people receiving funding.

Our Impact

Over the last 3 months, charity partners identified over 50 young people in the Scottish Borders, Glasgow and North England to be supported by the Bursary. Young people have been able to access funding for a range of employability and training needs (including driving lessons, interview clothing, work and training kit (tools, digital and data).  We also recognize that needs relating to mental health and wellbeing are increasing and the Bursary has been able to support young people access wellbeing sessions with trusted providers.

“the funding gave me the chance to settle in at work without worry about how I was going to get there for the first couple of months”

“the Bursary has allowed me to progress to the Employability Fund Stage 2 course”

“I have just progressed to further training and I’ll be able to do my course work independently at home with my laptop”.

“I’ve secured a new job and feel supported and far less chaotic than I did before. I’m feeling positive about my future”

What’s Next?

The Foundation is committed to supporting young people who, with a little help, can access or continue in training, volunteering and employment. From April 2021, we will double our funding for the Bursary Fund and involve a wider range of our community based charities across the UK. That means over 200 more young people will be supported in 2021/22.  Similar to our crisis approach (Hardship Fund), we will work with our local offices and communities to ensure the Bursary is accessible to young people most in need.

Get In Touch

If you feel the Bursary can support you or vulnerable young people you know, please get in touch. We can connect you to one of our charity partners who can help you access Bursary funding.


[1] Youth Index 2021 | Research, policies and reports | About The Trust | The Prince’s Trust (princes-trust.org.uk)


For information please contact Marcella Boyle, CEO, at [email protected]

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Our 2020 Roundup

The Foundation started the year with a clear plan to further develop relationships with our charity partners and offer opportunities for Hyman Robertson LLP’s volunteers and fundraisers, to continue to deliver support to young people and our communities. The full extent of the global pandemic took hold, our plans adapted and funds were redirected. Despite everything 2020 threw at us, there have been some memorable and positive achievements we want to recap on.

The Hardship Fund

The Fund was launched in April, with extra funding released to help charities across the UK to meet the immediate and urgent needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. By the time funding closed, just over £45,000 had been donated to more than 30 charities, helping to provide urgent food and care packages, vital PPE, counselling and support, educational and digital tools.

Moving online

With face to face support either limited or prohibited, we worked with our Foundation partners to move our financial education support – delivered by our partner MyBnk – to an online delivery model, rolled out directly to young people who could engage remotely via our other partners. This change meant we’ve been able to help over 500 young people since the start of the pandemic.

The Foundation Bursary Fund for Young People

In October we launched the Bursary, aimed at retaining 16-25 year olds in education, training or employment. With young people disproportionately impacted by the UK recession and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, our charity partners advised us of the urgent need for greater intervention in supporting young people in a positive destination.  The Fund has been rolled out nationwide via our existing charity partners and will operate for at least 18 months until April 2022.  In the first 3 months, the Bursary has supported over 50 young people in Glasgow, the Scottish Borders and North England. Here’s the impact of the Bursary for some young beneficiaries:

“the funding gave me the chance to settle in at work without worry about how I was going to get there for the first couple of months”

“the Bursary has allowed me to progress to the Employability Fund Stage 2 course”

“I have just progressed to further training and I’ll be able to do my course work independently at home with my laptop”.

More work is planned to expand the bursary to Birmingham/Midlands and London area in 2021.

Looking ahead

2020 has shown us that we work best when we listen and respond to the needs of community based charities and young people. We want to thank all our partners who continue to work in hard hit communities and with young people who now, more than ever need practical and expert advice to secure a positive future.

Thank you for reading this Roundup.

Marcella Boyle

CEO, February 2021

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Scottish Tech Army Podcast

Our CEO, Marcella Boyle, recently joined a podcast with Alistair Forbes and Rebecca Still from the Scottish Tech Army (STA), to discuss the opportunities and impact of digital, tech and social media resources and support available to charities through the pandemic.  

The STA has over 1000 volunteers supporting the third and public sectors.   If you think your charity could benefit from additional and expert support, why not get in touch with the STA in Scotland or Covid Tech Support for UK, Northern Ireland projects.

The podcast was hosted by Hymans Robertson LLP and is part of their ‘Fintech Feed’ technology focused podcast series. You can listen to this podcast online via the link below:

To listen to other episodes of the Fintech Feed click here.

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Charities in challenging times, ICAS webinar 11 November 2020

On Wednesday 11 November, our CEO, Marcella Boyle, is joining an expert panel hosted by ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) Glasgow & West Area Network, to discuss how challenging times have affected charities and the third sector – in particular the impact of Covid-19 on raising funds and delivering services, and the importance of good governance.

For more information please refer to the ICAS website.

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