On 15th October, the Social Business Trust (SBT) welcomed its social enterprises and charities, corporate partners and extended network to the Royal Academy of Arts for the 2019 Volunteer Thank You Celebration Breakfast, hosted by Permira.

Attendees of the SBT Volunteer Thank You Breakfast Celebration in The Royal Academy of Arts, Collection Gallery.
Paul Armstrong, Managing Director at Permira and SBT Trustee thanked guests for attending and welcomed SBT Chair, Larissa Joy.

Larissa kicked off proceedings with the important announcement that three new Corporate Partners, Charles Russell Speechlys, Getronics and Refinitiv have joined SBT. The corporate partners will provide fundamental support to SBT’s social enterprises and charities, using the expertise within their companies to grow and strengthen the impact already being made.

The many announcements of the morning continued and Adele Blakebrough, MBE, CEO of SBT took to the plinth to welcome Tempo as a new addition to the portfolio. Tempo exists to enable more people to volunteer, driven by the belief that giving your time and feeling valued improves health, happiness and prospects.  They do this through Time Credits – a time-based currency – that incentivises people to get involved.  People earn Time Credits when they volunteer and spend them on a wide range of activities. Tempo reaches all parts of society and improves well-being of the sometimes vulnerable people it includes in its programmes.

Above: Adele Blakebrough MBE, SBT CEO addresses the crowd and presents the SBT Awards.

Ian Merrill, CEO of Tempo, said,

‘‘Tempo are delighted to be joining the SBT investment portfolio as it seeks to widen its impact by enabling many more people to become involved in volunteering.  The next important step in that journey is to harness digital technology, in a way that benefits people who want to give time to their communities. We are excited about the difference that SBT’s corporate partners will make to that step change”.

A huge success story within the portfolio, The Brilliant Club, has also secured reinvestment. Dr Chris Wilson, current CEO, delivered a rousing speech, bringing to life the work of The Brilliant Club and highlighting the fundamental role SBT and its corporate partners have played in its success. He said,

“The Brilliant Club sees itself as a broker between schools and universities. A middle man between two sectors and institutions who want to work together, but find it difficult. The conduit between people in universities who are incredibly busy but want to help schools, and a group of people in schools who are also busy and want to engage with universities. It is when you conceive of The Brilliant Club like that when you realise exactly how important SBT’s corporate partners have been for the charity’s development. Who better to give us advice on an operating model, without distracting sentimentality, than Bain? Who has more experience of talking an organisation through the effective design of an operations tender, than EY? Who more capable of arranging a phone call at short notice, to talk through an approach to pricing, than Thomson Reuters?… The corporate partners are the difference between working with 10,000 children and 50,000 children”.

Next up, the Unsung Hero Awards, recognising the vital contribution of employees at all levels within the corporate partners, that have volunteered their time . Winners were from across the board of SBT corporate partners, including Bain & Company, Charles Russell Speechlys, Clifford Chance, EY, Getronics, Permira, Permira Debt Managers, Thomson Reuters and Refinitiv. Among them was Jorge Del Prado, from Getronics, for his work with London Early Years Foundation and Tempo. His work with Tempo has been instrumental in securing their investment. He said, “It’s been an honour to support the two charities so far and I hope being able to continue supporting them”.

L-R: Larissa Joy, SBT Chair and Paul Armstrong, MD of Permira and SBT Trustee, applaud award winners.

Dr Kate Chhatwal, CEO of Challenge Partners and Ruth Brock, CEO Shakespeare Schools Foundation also presented stories and highlights from the past year. The morning was brought to a close in a heart-warming performance of an abridged scene from Macbeth, by students of Stebon Primary School – showcasing the wonderful work of Shakespeare Schools Foundation.  

The morning was a celebration of the collaborations SBT facilitates and the impact they have – and continue to make. Adele concluded that since 2010, SBT has positively impacted the lives of 2.4 million people, with over 40,000 hours of high-quality business support.