Foundation is in the listening mode

October and November have seen the Foundation in “listening mode”. We hosted our charity network in October and held our Board workshop in November.

28 Nov 2023

Blog 10

These sessions offer us an opportunity to hear directly from our partners and trusted network: ensuring that we regularly challenge our understanding of the wider environment, our role and ensuring that we stay true to our priorities.

What did we learn?

Our UK wide charity partners confirmed the challenging funding environment, particularly for employability services to young people. Funding was fragmenting. Partners asked grant makers to invest in longer-term partnerships and contribute to charities’ own development (training, onboarding, building back reserves).

The ongoing cost of living crisis was impacting disproportionately on young people and particularly those who were more marginalised and on low/no incomes.

Demand for community services (food banks, pantries and larders) was outstripping supply. Volunteering, donations and match funding were declining.

More young people were feeling anxious about their futures with a resulting impact on poorer mental health and wellbeing.

Partners need help in making more connections (with other partners) and grant makers.

What we plan to do as a result

We recommitted to our multi year funding partnerships: we’re in our second year with many of our charity partners and have provided unrestricted “top ups” (for small and medium sized charities). Certainty around our funding has resulted in our partners attracting other funding. We’ll continue to be a multi-year funding Foundation.

The Hymans Robertson Foundation Bursary makes a difference to young people: our small grant funds are distributed through our partners. We trust them to work with young people most in need. We’ll continue to support direct funding to young people.

We’ll continue to connect: promoting our partners’ volunteering opportunities to Hymans Robertson LLP employees and members, and, where we can, introducing partners to other grant makers who may support.

We’ll be a transparent and fair funding partner: we’re delighted to have recently joined Home - Research Charity - IVAR UK and Scottish Grantmakers: we’re committed to learning from others and following current best practice in grant making.

To learn more about the Foundation’s charity network please visit Long-term charity partners ( and, if you can afford to… please make a donation to one of the many charities that make a difference to young lives and communities across the UK.