Example 1: Bursary scheme to encourage students to go to Oxford University
In 2012 the Danson Foundation made a gift of £1.5m to St Anne’s College, Oxford, transforming the provision of undergraduate bursaries. The benefaction helps to fund the education of students from the lowest-income backgrounds, underpinning the College’s undertaking that all students with the ability to succeed should have the opportunity to do so, regardless of their background.
Tim Gardam, Principal of St Anne’s said: “The Danson Foundation’s benefaction is a magnificent statement of support for all that St Anne’s stands for – our commitment to give opportunities to talented students whom Oxford otherwise might overlook. It is a wonderful example of the generosity on which St Anne’s now depends as Government funding falls.”
The Danson Scholarship Scheme will become the principal source of St Anne’s funding of the college costs of bursaries from students in the lowest income brackets and is also designed to support the College’s efforts to increase applications from schools in disadvantaged areas. Danson scholars will become ambassadors for the College, active in outreach to schools, ensuring that prospective students are able to transcend the financial barriers that may dissuade them from applying.
In addition to bursary funding the Foundation also runs the annual Danson Internship Programme, which welcomed its first intake of students in summer 2013. As internships are becoming more necessary while remaining too often unpaid, the Programme invites applications from all undergraduates at St Anne’s for a four-week paid placement. Those involved benefit from careers advice over the course of the mentoring programme, as well as the opportunity to network and make professional connections that will outlast their university years. With a payment of £1,200 for the month it is ensured that no student is excluded from the scheme on the grounds of cost, enabling the very best applicants to reach their potential regardless of their financial backgrounds.
Example 2: Investment in education for women in Uganda
PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools) is a global charity/social enterprise hybrid which uses an innovative SmartAid programme to expand access to quality, sustainable secondary education across sub-Saharan Africa. There are now 12,000 students in PEAS schools across Uganda and Zambia – including 1% of Uganda’s total secondary students. PEAS is committed to the core values of access, quality and stability; furthermore the organization fights for gender equality in education by ensuring that at least 50% of students in any school are female.
The Danson Foundation funded the building of the Samling Kazingo school in 2012 and Samling Kichwamba opened in 2013. The Foundation’s third school, Samling Mpigi, is due to open in 2016.
As of the end of the academic year in 2014 Samling Kazingo had quintupled its initial intake to welcome 570 students. Samling Kichwamba has tripled in size to offer 286 places. 3,000 students will study across the three PEAS/Danson Foundation schools by the end of 2020.
The Foundation is delighted that Samling Kazingo school has 54% female students, unique in the local area. The success in encouraging enrolment of female students at Samling Kazingo owes much to the inspiring female leadership of the Director Stella Monica Kcyaongoro and Headteacher Angelica Tumwebaze.
Example 3: Supporting disabled children in Cambodia
Grace House Community Centre was established in 2008 in Siem Reap, Cambodia and aims to “[enable] the community to become sustainable through education, family support and healthcare.” Its approach to this goal is holistic, covering a wide range of programmes. As part of its mission Grace House provides particular support to children with disabilities, ensuring that they receive an education and have access to a safe, caring environment for respite or long-term care.
In 2015 the Danson Foundation funded the building of a new classroom at Grace House in order to improve the quality of education offered to the Centre’s high school aged students. The Foundation has also provided funding for the construction of a specialized day centre for children with special needs, ensuring the provision of accessible, high-quality facilities for more than a dozen young people.
Example 4: Improving access to mental healthcare and education in the UK
As part of The Danson Foundation’s dedication to improving the lives of young people, this year we have shifted our focus to include their mental wellbeing. We see a world in which children and young people are properly supported to live mentally healthier and happier lives. In line with the recent emphasis on ‘parity of esteem’ between physical and mental health, we believe improving access to mental health services and education is absolutely essential.
In the coming years, The Danson Foundation hopes to empower parents and schools to implement effective support for children and young people’s mental health. Furthermore, we hope to facilitate increased knowledge and understanding of the mental health conditions that affect young people via education schemes across the population and by funding high-powered research.
We look forward to collaborating with many specialist partners, both within the third sector and government, to achieve these ambitions.