Focus: Fundraising - How we got the grant - I Can's Dawn House

Romola Zwart-Mackay, acting director of fundraising and marketing

Why did you apply to this foundation? Over the past three years, I Can's senior management and the fundraising team have developed a good working relationship with the Vodafone UK Foundation and received previous donations.

With both organisations being in the business of communication, there is an obvious synergy. The foundation has a tradition of funding projects across the country for 16 to to 25-year-olds. We felt that it might be interested in funding this further education programme, set up in partnership with West Nottinghamshire College. It will enable students to learn independent living skills when they are not at college. Through the programme, 25 young people will be able to continue their further education with specialist support. It is a model that will be rolled out across the UK from 2007.

What did the application process involve? We submitted a six-page application outlining the case for support for this resource to the decision-making meeting of the trustees. Having clarified a couple of additional questions, we were advised of the decision immediately after the meeting.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? The £112,890 will cover the costs of the building and IT equipment. The Study Centre is one of the critical elements of the Further Education Support Programme at Dawn House.

Did you apply to other funders? No, but we would have done if this had been unsuccessful.


Sarah Shillito, senior manager, the Vodafone UK Foundation

The Vodafone UK Foundation helps 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK and prides itself on not just simply writing cheques for charities. We aim to make investments in local and national projects that give people the opportunity to lead fuller lives, particularly through initiatives around communication.

We also support local communities in areas where Vodafone has a significant physical presence. Funding Dawn House, so close to one of our customer management centres in Newark, means we are backing a scheme that could help young people with communication difficulties in one of our communities.

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