Who are we?
Renaissance Foundation is a specialist youth charity based in East London working with young people aged 13-19 living with significant life challenges. We work with young people from three hard-to-reach and often overlooked groups: young carers, young transitioning hospital patients, and school pupils at risk. Research has shown that these three groups tend to suffer in various degrees from difficulties at school and a lack of development and employment opportunities. Their life challenges impede their ability to prioritise plans for the future, including making adequate preparations and attaining the confidence and experience necessary for entering employment.
Why these three groups?
The responsibilities that come with caring for a close relative has a detrimental effect on a young carers ability to perform well at school and to prioritise their own mental and physical health. Their responsibilities at home often lead to a lack of opportunity for socialisation, impacting their confidence and ability to prepare for adult and work life.
Similarly, the time taken up by medial treatments and prolonged stays in hospital prevents many young hospital patients from attending school, socialising with their peers and seeking any form of preparation for the workplace. Their transition from paediatric to adult health care forces them to take on greater responsibility which they often feel psychologically unprepared for leading to strong feelings of anxiety. Presently, Renaissance Foundation remains the only charity focusing on this specific area – which is why our work is so important.
School pupils at-risk often do not fully benefit from educational opportunities due to harmful environmental distractions in their lives, for example family unemployment, gang exposure and poverty. In fact, nearly 49% of young people living in the borough of Tower Hamlets, the area in which renaissance Foundation concentrates its work, live in poverty.
Renaissance Foundation was founded in 2003 by Sat Singh who was inspired by his own experiences and frustrations of growing up in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. Since our initial foundation, we have been continually recognised through the Anne Frank Award in 2007, the Marks and Spencers Business in the Community Sieff Award in 2011, and a personal commendation from the former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.
Renaissance Foundation provides long term support with high impact with an aim to change and improve the lives of every young person who receives our support. Our 3-year programme is designed to raise aspirations, increase resilience, and develop vocational soft skills. The highlight of the programme is our annual visit to the Nobel Peace Prize where we have been representing youth from the UK since 2006. Through our workshops and social events, we help broaden horizons by teaching practical skills like critical thinking, public speaking, and computer literacy. We regularly partner with leading companies and institutions to help deliver a dynamic and innovative programme, encouraging our young people to think about their future careers. Above all, we provide a safe place for our young people to talk, share and develop.