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40 community organisations set to receive a combined boost of £1.25m from

Winners of the latest round of the RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund will receive funding to support community projects that help upskill people in disadvantaged communities.

The 40 winning organisations from across the UK and Ireland were among 742 that applied to gain funding for community projects that support people in disadvantaged communities to gain financial capability skills, find work or start a business. A shortlist of 85 organisations was put to the public vote and regional boards, before the winners were revealed earlier today.

The RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund, now an integral part of the bank’s Community Programme, was set up in 2015 and has since distributed £5m to good causes through the Fund. In addition to the £1.25m currently being distributed, RBS will be giving away a further £1.25m in the next round of funding, which will open for applications in September this year.

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes at RBS said: “Supporting not-for-profit community organisations is a crucial part of our commitment in making a real, long term difference for disadvantaged communities in the UK and Ireland. Since launching the Skills & Opportunities Fund, we’ve already helped nearly 50,000 people. What’s great is that the public have a say in choosing the winners, with almost 30,000 people voting for the causes they care about.”

Ross McEwan, RBS CEO added: “There is so much inspiring work going on in our communities to help people turn their lives around and to be able to play even a small part in this, is a real privilege.”

Here’s a snapshot of some of the diverse and innovative projects that the RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund will be helping to sustain this year:

  1. Urban Development is a music-development charity providing a pathway in popular music for disadvantaged young people. Their Industry Takeover project will provide intensive training and industry-supported mentoring for 80 disadvantaged young people, as well as enterprise and careers seminars for a further 800.
  2. Welsh Women's Aid is the national charity working to end violence against women and children in Wales, and is a federation of 23 independent, specialist services. With the support of the funding, their Financial Abuse Support Project will be delivered in partnership with the local Citizens Advice Bureaux, with the aim of supporting women affected by financial abuse.
  3. The Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre provides support to Muslim and minority ethnic women across Scotland to help them live better, safer lives free from discrimination and abuse. Their project, Eve – Empowerment Via Enterprise, will provide a practical introduction to enterprise and entrepreneurship for Muslim and minority ethnic women in Dundee.
  4. Work West aims to improve the economic and social profile of West Belfast by motivating and enabling people to establish and expand job-creating businesses. With their I want a chance programme they hope to build young people’s confidence and to encourage their creative thinking, with a view to creating the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
  5. Southside Partnership DLR, Based in Blackrock, improves the circumstances of those experiencing social exclusion and disadvantage. Their project Mind Your Own Business will develop the skills of unemployed people, to help them create and sustain their own businesses.

You can find out about all the winning organisations and their inspiring projects that will be making a difference in communities across the UK and Ireland at the Skills & Opportunities websites for NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank here:

NatWest Skills & Opportunites Fund

Royal Bank of Scotland Skills & Opportunities Fund

Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund

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