Annual Report 2023

Growing our positive impact on the lives of people in need

We are delighted to report on our first full financial year of operation – one in which we have expanded our reach and delivered on all the goals we set for 2023.

1

Helping those who are at a disadvantage when it comes to engaging with the digital world

2

Supporting projects run by The Access Group charities of the year

3

Helping charities which have previously supported Access staff

Growing Staff-Sponsored Charities in 2023

While we increased the overall budget available for our grant funding this year by 20%, we specifically wanted to ensure that the third pillar – Staff-Sponsored Charities – was given extra support to grow and fulfil its potential and help significantly more charities than in 2022. With the help of our new ambassador team of volunteers, we achieved this and more, approving grants to 30 charities for a total value of £261,000, all nominated by employees of The Access Group.

Our Funding Pillars

In terms of our funding principles, The Foundation continued to focus on charities which fit into one of our three funding pillars:

Bridging the Digital Divide

Organisations who prioritise the mitigation of the digital divide, by supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people through digital education and resources, as well as better access to computing facilities and services.

Access Charities of The Year

Charities who have been selected or shortlisted as The Access Group charities of the year, past or present, with specific projects or activities.

Staff-Sponsored Charities

Organisations that a member of staff of The Access Group has experienced significant support from (either for themselves or a close relative). In this case, we expect the member of staff, to have an active role in the application process.

The Digital Divide Pillar

The Digital Divide Pillar continued to be the largest funding pillar, with 39 grants awarded for a total value of £644,000. We continued to accept charities supporting a broad range of people suffering from digital exclusion. This year our grants focused on both physical and mental health, social exclusion, the young and the elderly and areas of neurodiversity such as autism and learning disabilities.

Charities of The Year

Due to the ‘recalibration’ in our financial year to match with the Access Group, many of the charities of the year in our second funding pillar have extended their patronage into FY2023-24. As a result, fewer new grants were awarded in this 12 month period. However, we have added three new charities of the year to our funding goals in the UK, Ireland and Romania respectively, while also managing to extend funding to other international opportunities where the Access Group operates. Thanks also to the unique way in which the Foundation itself is funded, we were able to extend the value of donations offered to the existing charities of the year in other countries where their patronage extended from FY22 into FY23.

Staff-Sponsored Charities

The introduction of our ambassador team this year brought a significant focus and improved process to our staff-sponsored pillar. Through new and improved communication channels, many more staff members became aware of the Foundation and were inspired to enquire about a charity close to their hearts, resulting in 30 varied and worthy charities receiving a grant.