EQ Foundation update

The fire at Grenfell Tower was probably the most horrific incident to occur in the UK so far this century. In addition to the tragic loss of life, the survivors and many others have had a life changing experience and many are still hospitalised.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail   by John Spiers, 6th November 2017

Immediately after the fire the EQ Foundation supported an initiative by our friends at the Big Give and last month we had a chance to see how the money is being used. All of the decisions are being taken by well-established local charities, coordinated by the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation. Most of the £6.4 million raised has now been paid out to survivors and next of kin.

We are still in the early phases of recovery but we were struck by a strong sense of community that has been created and also a determination that change must happen to make the future better. It is appalling that a location only a few miles from the richest zone of London suffers from some the worst deprivation in the whole of the UK.

We are involved in several programmes that should have an impact in this area, particularly involving the Kensington Aldridge Academy which was located next to Grenfell and is now in the exclusion zone. This highly innovative school was first opened in 2015 and really impressed us when we visited over a year ago. The entire school – 960 pupils – has been relocated onto a temporary school site since the fire.

We suggested that the Access Project might like to run one of their programmes to provide one on one tutoring to help promising students gain access to leading universities. We were also pleased to help LIFEbeat (a small charity we have known for several years) provide two special residential camps during the half terms for pupils from the academy.

We have also begun to support West London Zone (WLZ), a highly innovative organisation set up in 2014. WLZ is founded on the belief that the challenges facing children and young people are too numerous and complex for any one agency – including their families – to manage alone. Working closely with local schools, it identifies young people most in need of some extra support, which might be a combination of academic, physical activities and therapy. It then brings in the support from a partnership of local charities. This work is coordinated by Link Workers, based in the schools, who work closely with children and young people to help them make use of the opportunities on offer. Behind the scenes, the WLZ ‘backbone’ team collects data on their performance with a sophisticated data management system.

From zero to new school premises in nine weeks

Photos show the construction of ‘KAA2’, the temporary school built in just nine weeks to house Kensington Aldridge Academy after the Grenfell fire. The temporary school opened on Monday 18th September. It serves 960 pupils and includes 8 science labs, 2 IT suites, 2 libraries, a drama studio, dance studio and autism centre.

About the EQ Foundation

The EQ Foundation is a registered charity (No. 1161209) which supports programmes that improve social mobility and provide early intervention. Quality of leadership is paramount plus a high standard of governance via the board. The programmes must be able to demonstrate that they are achieving positive outcomes and that they deliver long lasting benefits.

For more details visit: eqfoundation.org.uk

About the author: John Spiers

John is the CEO of EQ. After gaining an MA in Engineering at Clare College, Cambridge he went into the City as a research analyst for 10 years.

In 1986 he set up Bestinvest and over the next 20 years it grew to become a leading private client advisory and wealth management business with over 50,000 clients. In 2007 Bestinvest was acquired by 3i.

Since then John has built up a portfolio of other interests, including the establishment of a Foundation to support various charities. He has taken a particular interest in projects aimed to increase the use of Early Intervention to reduce child abuse. He has also retained a close interest in investment, being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and a member of the Investment Committee for Clare College.

John enjoys competitive sport and participates in historic motorsport and international croquet.

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