Volunteers at a Kingston social enterprise that aims to inspire young black men to fulfil their potential are celebrating after winning thousands of pounds to continue their work in and around London.
The Reach Society has been given £5,000 by Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund to train more role models for black teens and twenty-somethings.
Founded in October 2010, the group’s purpose is to encourage and motivate young men at risk of falling between society’s cracks.
Dr Dwain Neil is a management consultant, and one of three programme directors at the group, which beat off stiff competition from a host of charities to land the prize after topping a public vote organised by Lloyds Banking Group.
And Dr Neil hopes the award will help spread awareness of the Society and what it is trying to achieve.
“We have just completed our second year of operation and we are very clear about what we are doing and the support and recognition we have got is invaluable and something really worthwhile,” he said.
“The management team and I are delighted and the short-term success of the social enterprise is easy to assess but the long-term success – we will have to wait and see.
“We don’t want members of the black community to regard their future as being on the way to prison or going into the entertainment business.
“The jobs available now are doctors, lecturers and if we were to take a sample of 100 young people, most from the black community, we want them to recognise Reach Society.”
More than 200,000 people across the UK took part in a public vote online and at Olympic Torch Relay celebrations between May and September to select who they wanted to receive the cash, part of £660,000 Lloyds Banking Group is investing through the Community Fund.
In total, 132 projects are set to receive £5,000 as part of the Lloyds Banking Group campaign and Community and Sustainable Business Director, Paul Turner added: “Becoming the best bank for customer’s means being the best bank for our communities.
“The group has 30 million customers and has a clear role to play in society helping communities thrive. The Community Fund highlights the Group’s ongoing commitment to the communities we serve and doing more to help Britain prosper.
“We are proud to be able to help the Reach Society continue the great work they are doing and we look forward to seeing the difference the award will make.”
Lloyds Banking Group, the largest financial services investor in UK communities, has provided funding to 132 organisations around the UK through its Community Fund in 2012. To find out more about the Group’s community investment, visit www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/community
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