Senior figures from across the insurance industry gathered recently to support Hand Of, a charity designed to benefit disadvantaged schoolchildren across the UK.
Alongside a presentation from the charity’s CEOs, the event also featured Headteachers of some of their partner schools, guests from the Parliamentary Archives, and some beautiful music from some of Hand Of’s artists.
Hand Of works in partnership with heritage organisations, archives and artists, to develop projects which benefit disadvantaged children aged 10-12. Many of the children they work with have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, or have Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties; all of them are struggling at school. Hand Of delivers the support that these children need, through projects which help them fall back in love with learning.
Hand Of CEO Louise Snape, speaking after the event, said, “it was wonderful to see so many people there. The support we get from the insurance industry really can change the lives of children up and down the country, and we’d love to see even more of you at the next one.”
This summer, the charity will be in Newcastle with a project called The Tyne and the Tide, which is supported by the North of England P&I Club. I asked Louise how this partnership with the insurance industry came about.
“The project is based at the watch house of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, who have been rescuing people from ships wrecked on Newcastle’s coast since 1864. We were looking into the stories of these shipwrecks and the people they affected, and discovered some amazing documents in the Parliamentary Archives - including 1850s plans to make the Tyne safer for ships, and some war records which mention North by name. North are a part of the story of the Tyne, but they also provide an important link for the participating school, who are always looking for ties with employers in their local community. The participating children might only be 11 years old, but it’s never too early to be inspired - and where better to look for inspiration than to the swashbuckling world of life at sea.”
Peter Hughes (Litmus Analysis) - Hand Of ambassador, and one of the hosts of Wednesday night’s event added “The insurance industry has long struggled with attracting talent, and projects like Hand Of’s begin the process of cultivating that talent at an early age. Rather than focusing on boosting subject specific skills, Hand Of encourages children to fall in love with learning itself - and if you love learning, then every other subject will follow from there.”
“I believe that we need to see a rise of philanthropy in this country, and that the insurance industry can lead the way on this front. Too many businesses offer support only to the largest charities, and fail to spot that the same level of support can be transformational for smaller charities that strike at the heart of the issue. Individually and collectively, we can - and must - do so much more.”
If you would like to find out more about the work Hand Of does or lend some suppoort CLICK HERE (this will automatically generate an Outlook email addressed to Hand Of Director Rob Hughes)