Renaissance Foundation was founded in 2003 by Sat Singh. His own experiences of growing up in one of London’s most disadvantaged areas, caring for family members whilst also trying to complete his GCSE’s and experiencing a severe health condition made Sat reflect and think about other young people experiencing similar challenges. With a group of friends, he began to contact community figures and started a series of inspirational sessions given at a local fast food restaurant. This led on to a visit to the BBC and then involvement with other youth media activities.
What was initially set up as a voluntary community group expanded rapidly as a charity, with the support of a grant and mentoring from the Prince's Trust. By 2005, the organisation was invited to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. In 2006, Renaissance Foundation opened its first offices and drop-in centre for young people. It received recognition through the Anne Frank Award in 2007, the Marks and Spencer’s Business in the Community Sieff Award in 2011, and a personal commendation from the former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012. In 2015, the young leaders’ visit to Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize marked 10 years of attending the ceremony.
Renaissance Foundation is now based in Shoreditch where its young people can come in for regular drop-in sessions and homework clubs. This hub offers a safe and inspiring environment for when their home situation becomes challenging.
Here are some highlights from Renaissance Foundation's journey
2003: Voluntary informal youth inspiration sessions start in east London
2004: Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai takes part in the Renaissance Foundation i-Can Do It programme
2005: Renaissance Foundation is invited to attend the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo
2006: Renaissance Foundation receives grant funding from The Prince's Trust
2007: Renaissance Foundation becomes a registered not for profit organisation in the UK & receives the Anne Frank Award for its work
2007: Renaissance Foundation represents UK Young People at United Nations
World Peace Day
2008: Renaissance Foundation becomes a registered charity. President Bill Clinton recognises Renaissance Foundation's first Clinton Global Initiative commitment
2009: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown invites a group of Renaissance Foundation beneficiaries to 10 Downing street
2011: Business in the Community awards Renaissance Foundation with the Sieef Award
2011: UK Prime Minister David Cameron supports the i- Can Do it programme
2012: Partnership with Historic Royal Palaces; Lord Adonis launches i-Tower App
2013: Renaissance Foundation launches St. Paul's Youth Innovation Centre
2014: HRH Duke of Kent hosts Young Leaders at 2014 Wimbledon Championships
2017: Renaissance Foundation announces its 10-year Anniversary Campaign