How it all started


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