Showcase brings the social aspect of ESG to the fore.
A special day in the basis.point calendar, Showcase is about bringing together people who want to make social change with people who can make that change happen. And the result this year was exhilarating.
From the onset, the focus was unquestionably placed on bringing the S in ESG to the fore. Each of our charity partners presented a short update on the impact that investment from basis.point was having for their organisations but more importantly on the lives of vulnerable young people experiencing educational disadvantage.
Showcasing the Impact of Social Change
What really took Showcase to another level though, was the involvement of some of the teachers, home visitors, programme alumni and beneficiaries of our programmes.
It was a privilege to hear from Grace as she shared her personal story of how participation in the Foroige NFTE programme took her from a dark place, of low self esteem, lack of belief and brink of becoming another school drop out statistic, to a place where she exudes self confidence, has genuine belief in her own ability and has what every young person should have… “Agency”.
We also had the privilege of hearing from Aaron O’Doherty. Aaran participated in the BITC mentoring programme as a 5th year student in CBS Westland Row. He was paired with an employee from KPMG, who encouraged and guided him through his senior cycle. Aaron completed a higher certificate in computing at NCI and worked in a number of jobs. He stayed in contact with his mentor and the real magic happened, when 10 years later, he applied for a payroll position in KPMG. His mentor put in a good word for him and now he is moving on up the ladder and is giving back by mentoring himself at his alma mater CBS Westland Row.
The expansion of our geographic reach was highlighted in many of the presentations and we welcomed a number of programme directors for the first time. Limerick Youth Services outlined their Moving on Up Programme, Kinia presented our new Maths Whizz Programme and our enthusiasm for 21st century learning skills was heightened by the infectious presentation on Changemaker Schools with DCU.
A thought provoking and challenging panel session chaired by Ronnie Griffin, HSBC, drew on the incredible impact of investments outlined by each of our partners to date, and opened up the debate on how our collective ambition and collaboration could work even harder.
What became clear was that the desire to work in partnership with the For Impact Sector has never been stronger.
Telling the story together, demonstrating ROI, how this impacts the bottom line and defining metrics, each remain a challenge. Yet the case for support is well proven. The concept of joining together to amplify impact fits with the demands of employees of the 21st century workplace. And ultimately driving the S agenda will be of benefit to each of us. Each of our panellists concluded that there is strong reason for optimism and a genuine momentum towards working together.
Investing in Belief: Transforming the Lives of Young People through Philanthropy
The opening address for the evening session was delivered by John Coughlan, Youthreach worker and business mentor on the Foroige NFTE programme.
He spoke of the role of Youthreach in providing an alternative to mainstream education for young people who for one reason or another are no longer able to cope with mainstream education.
John illustrated the impact that the NFTE programme can have with two powerful before and after stories.
Sean arrived at Youthreach, from a very challenging family background, hoodie pulled up over his head and unable to make eye contact. John discovered his passion for Liverpool FC and worked with him to build a small business centred on his passion and his enjoyment of woodwork. He is still in the programme and the change is like night and day. The hood is down, he is still shy but is able to maintain eye contact and has a growing confidence and pathway to prosperity.
Erika came to the programme with serious depression and mental health issues. Her attendance was terrible. Again John hooked into her passion which in Erika’s case was art. Together they came up with the idea of window art. They took her passion and skill and through it unlocked a desire to learn. Although she still struggles with mental health she now has a well developed tool kit and an underlying confidence that enables her to cope. Her business is thriving, she has a number of large commercial contracts and is talking of expanding her business to keep up with demand,
John offered a heartfelt thank you to each of us in the room and urged us to keep supporting these programmes.
The impact that these programmes are having on the lives of young people is phenomenal. The skills that they learn, the creativity that it unlocks, the confidence that they gain is truly transformative.
At the end of the day, our work is about investing in belief, giving young people a sense of agency and doing our best to ensure that no single child is left behind. And our shared drive and commitment towards this common goal can make us all feel very hopeful for the future.
Philanthropy is not an ask, it is an offer to be part of something great. And as talk of keeping the S agenda alive in the ESG conversation continued, each of us privileged to have shared this experience came away enthused, encouraged, and imbued with a new optimism for the future. And a desire to work harder to make this change happen.
Sincere thanks to the Laura Trimble and the team at HSBC for generously hosting the event. Showcase 2023 was a Carlsberg moment for basis.point, for the funds industry colleagues in the room and for each of our educational grant beneficiaries. Thank you.
View our Impact Report 2022