May 14, 2018
Our 2017 Annual Report: A Summary
2017 marked a good year for the Harrison Foundation, with us continuing to support causes abroad and also creating our new initiative, The Harrison Centre for Social Mobility (HCSM), to help those at a more national level.
We continued to support the Jumby Bay Fund, who primarily help to provide much needed social and living care for disabled children in Antigua. With little to no state support available, many children are left to the care of their families and, in some cases, are left to fend for themselves. A long term vision of the fund has been to build world class facilities to help care and I’m delighted to say that things are progressing well with works and a custom made facility for these children should be ready later this year.
Continuing the international theme, The Harrison Foundation also offered support in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Whilst Antigua was largely left untouched, its neighbouring island of Barbuda was obliterated, leaving virtually every resident without home or shelter. The Jumby Bay Fund has assisted with evacuation of Barbuda and the subsequent relief operations. It remains our hope that the people of Barbuda can rebuild in a timely fashion.
The Harrison Centre for Social Mobility (HCSM) was launched in November 2017 and works in areas that the Foundation believes can make a difference to social mobility. They include education, training and skills with a focus on making a practical difference to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The approach of the Harrison Centre is radically different to many in the charity sector. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, HCSM’s vision is to be an innovative, pioneering and a disruptive influence, constantly in search of new and better ways to solve entrenched problems of social mobility.
In 2017, HCSM donated £30,000 via the Foundation to charities supporting social mobility in North East England. They include the Newcastle United Foundation; the Beacon of Light in Sunderland; County Durham homelessness charity Moving On; and Changing Lives, which supports vulnerable people on Tyneside.
Looking ahead, in March 2018 the Harrison Centre launched the Social Mobility Pledge – a national initiative to encourage businesses to work with schools and adopt fair recruitment policies to improve social mobility in Britain. Already John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Vodafone, BT, Adidas, ITV, PWC and KPMG are just some of the companies to have signed the Pledge. We look forward to reporting on further progress of the Pledge next year.
At the launch of the Social Mobility Pledge in Parliament, former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP said: “I hugely thank David Harrison and the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility for crucially supporting the work to enable us to launch the Pledge today.”