Testimonials & Feedback

Speech from 10 Downing Street by Prime minister David Cameron on the work
of Renaissance Foundation

' I’ve talked many times before about the problems of our broken society and I’ve always insisted that we really are all in this together. It’s something I care about deeply; it is integral to my politics and that’s why I’m so pleased to thank The Renaissance Foundation today for all its work. Like you I know that young people sometimes need help to achieve their best and that we have a responsibility to get out there and give them the confidence to succeed, because we cannot afford to write off any part of the next generation. We can’t allow some young people to slide into a life of crime, failure and dependency but nor can we simply stand back expect everyone to make it on their own. That’s why schemes such as the ones run by the Renaissance Foundation are so valuable. You know, as I do, that the best way for people to get on in life, is to get into work and you have been showing young people the way -Finding role models, opening young people’s eyes, giving them hope and ambition. You’ve been encouraging people who think success isn’t for them to learn experience for others. You’ve helped people realise that they really ‘can do it’

The thing is, we’re not going to turn our society around by just issuing orders from the top. Government doesn’t have all the answers, instead it will take the commitment and effort of groups like yours; it’s what we need to see more of in this country. So thank you, and the very best of luck '

Our i-Can Do It Programme in Detail

Our current activity centres around an outreach programme that runs over three years and is detailed below. 

Year 1 & 2:  after a series of introductory workshops running over 2-3 weeks, our young people enter the Live Programme which lasts two years and that ordinarily comprises the following:

  • Four sessions each year which are dedicated to resilience. Visits to prestigious events such as Wimbledon and institutions such as Buckingham Palace are devised to broaden our beneficiaries’ perspectives on life. Inspirational talks with leaders who have overcome their own challenges from business, the arts, sports, academia and government reinforce our young peoples’ sense of potential in their life and develop their confidence. Previous speakers have included Lewis Hamilton, Sir Richard Branson, or Muhammad Yunus.

  • Four sessions each year which are dedicated to soft skills. Examples range from visits learning how to broadcast at CNN or Sky News, to cooking lessons with Jamie Oliver, to debating sessions at the Oxford Union. Through these sessions our young people are introduced to a range of experiences that develop their curiosity and allow them to develop new passions and interests, while strengthening their team-building abilities, problem-solving skills and critical thinking.

  • Four sessions each year which are dedicated to offering insight into careers. Young people are taken to the offices of our partners such as Statoil or KPMG for CV and career workshops. They are encouraged to discuss their career prospects with employees and to explore the various paths that are available to them. These sessions also aim to give them the opportunity to develop solid contacts in a large variety of job sectors, from finance to advertising to media.

    (Note that our programme for school pupils at risk follows a different path in year 1. Beneficiaries have an induction process that is school based and then attend a series of 6 visits across the year on STEAM related subjects.)

Year 3:   in year 3 our beneficiaries enter the Young Leaders Programme which typically consists of:

  • A filming/editing project that runs over the course the year. It engages our young people’s creativity and develops their digital skills, providing them with invaluable qualities to enter the current job market.

  • One visit dedicated to international and cultural awareness, either abroad (such as attending the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo) or in the greater London area. The goal is to enhance their consciousness as global citizens and develop their critical thinking and sense of engagement with wider society (Please note we are not requesting fund for our trip to Oslo as this project is currently funded by our Norwegian partners).

  • Our Young Leaders deliver workshops in St Paul’s Way Trust School on higher education and career prospects, which gives them the opportunity to transmit the knowledge they acquired in years 1 and 2 to their younger peers and to build their confidence in public speaking.


  • We recognise the importance of education and provide weekly drop-in sessions. Our offices offer a safe space for young people to do their homework, build ties with other participants, and have fun.

  • Renaissance Foundation is committed to following a programme of STEAM based subjects, and we feel that this includes digital media and content creation. The young people on the programme are given the chance to get involved with filming, editing, photographing, interviewing and writing for the charity website. The young people also create vlogs of what they have personally been up to recently during the programme and upload them to the charity’s YouTube channel.


How Young People Find Us

As a small charity, we have found that we can have a larger impact by partnering with selected and well-respected authorities for the referral of young people to Renaissance Foundation. Instead of directing much-needed funds and energy to the selection process, working with partner organisations means that we can better utilise our time and resources and focus on supporting our participants.

Our partners have a wealth of experience and expertise in the three groups with which Renaissance Foundation works, and the time and energy they have already spent with young people means they are very effective in selecting those who are most in need.

Young hospital patients are currently identified through three partner hospitals: Evelina Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Young carers are identified by two national charities: Re-Think Mental Health, and Family Action. Finally, our ‘school pupils at risk’ are identified by St Paul’s Way Trust School in Tower Hamlets.