In 2015, the London office of Loomis Sayles Investments Ltd. was given a budget to start charitable activity in the UK…
With an aim to support organisations that improve the education, health and welfare of children, Christine Kenny, Managing Director immediately reached out to School-Home Support (SHS). The mission and purpose of SHS, coupled with the charity’s in-depth knowledge of the families it works with, meant the partnership was an excellent fit. The Loomis Sayles andSHS partnership goes beyond charitable donations thanks to Loomis Sayles’ willingness to get involved with families directly, and SHS’ ability to offer engaging volunteering opportunities for staff.
Loomis Sayles’ financial support enables SHS to reach vulnerable children and young people, ensuring they have the support they need at home to succeed on a level playing field at school. Loomis also plays a key role in helping SHS to meet its strategic objectives, especially in tackling educational inequality and raising aspirations through impactful employee volunteering.
“Partnering with SHS truly has been a perfect fit for us and the whole office looks forward to Aspiration Days, and all volunteer enthusiastically to be involved. The children and parents certainly seem to enjoy the day but I know for certain we do- interacting with the children, and coming up with challenges for them that are fun and engaging, brings a sense of happiness and energy to the office that is always welcome.”
– Christine Kenny, Managing Director
Low aspirations: an intergenerational issue
Many of the children SHS supports currently live in poverty, and have low aspirations for their future employment, with their parents typically unemployed or in a low-wage job. As a
result, families have very limited access to professional and personal networks where they can learn about different routes to work. Aspiration sessions are therefore designed to encourage children and young people to work hard at school and appreciate the link between education and future secure employment. Loomis Sayles’ staff generously give up part of their working day to inspire children and their parents from local schools and, in 2018, they provided an invaluable opportunity for families SHS supports to realise the potential employment opportunities on their doorstep.
29 November 2018: an excited group of young London students arrive with their parents at the Loomis Sayles London office, and spend the morning meeting nine members of the Loomis Sayles team to learn about wealth management, trading, and research through a series of fun activities. The delivery of the session was a perfect blend of explaining the work that Loomis Sayles does for its clients, with opportunities for the group to complete tasks in two teams (with Loomis Sayles expert colleagues providing helpful hints). Visiting the Loomis Sayles office is highly motivational, as the opportunity shows parents and children the variety of roles on offer and helps to make the corporate environment less intimidating. Crucially, the children left the Loomis Sayles office feeling confident that working for a company like Loomis Sayles is within their reach if they work hard at school. Parents also had their eyes opened to roles that they previously thought were unavailable to people with their backgrounds.
“We always look forward to participating in the SHS Aspiration Days, especially when the
children are so enthusiastic and ask such good (and tricky!) questions… Always a pleasure“
– Chris Yiannakou, Managing Director, Director of EMEA Institutional Services.
Making a difference at Christmas
Loomis Sayles colleagues also provided Christmas gifts for 13 children from a school in London – we know these children live in poverty and that it would be a struggle for their parents to provide presents on Christmas day. This simple but effective gesture of kindness not only allows colleagues to have a direct impact on the everyday lives of children but also alleviates the pressure for parents who are struggling to make ends meet. For many of the families we support, Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year – with the ability to buy food as the most pressing issue.
Children in school, ready to learn – whatever it takes
Loomis Sayles and SHS share the belief that ALL children and young people deserve the opportunity to make the most of the education available to them. SHS supports vulnerable children who face barriers to learning, including issues such as poverty (including food poverty), domestic violence, poor housing, parents with mental health issues, and low family aspirations.
With Loomis Sayles’ support, SHS works with children who need help to make the most of school – regardless of their academic ability – by promoting parental engagement, raising aspirations, increasing school attendance and improving attainment. SHS breaks intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and poverty by creating sustained change within families. We ensure parents prioritise their children’s education and that teachers are aware of the struggles that young people often face at home. Our approach is to intervene early, helping children and families develop strong and positive attitudes towards school and creating a home environment where education is valued.
Could your organisation help improve the life chances of disadvantaged children by inspiring school students and families we support through a partnership with SHS? Contact Lydia Edwards, SHS Partnerships Executive, to find out more.