We have now published our 2022-23 Impact Report, which shows the benefits our employee volunteering programmes bring to the young people who take part as well as to the volunteers and the businesses. Click here to read the full report, or see below for a summary.

Abbeywood Community School students taking part in the Airbus Youth programme

2022-23 has been all about rising to the various challenges we are facing, as a charity, as a broker for business engagement and as an organisation whose mission is to support marginalised and disengaged young people find their potential.

We’ve seen escalating issues in schools with teachers reporting a 75% increase in behaviour problems; and a further widening of the education gap – 16-year-olds on free school meals are currently achieving 15% lower than their peers.

Our Impact

This year, we have been able to see a real impact from our employee volunteering programmes. We trained an amazing 505 business volunteers, just over double the number in 2021/22. Those volunteers worked with 762 young people, a massive 199% increase over the year before!

100% of the children taking part in our Reading Partners programmes improved their literacy attainment and 95% are reading with more confidence. In the first session of our Early Career Mentoring programme, we matched Bristol City Leap with Henbury Court Primary Academy. 96% of the children that took part agreed they learnt what skills are important for work.

In our Career Mentoring programme, 90% of the students that took part felt more confident about themselves and their abilities whilst 70% had a new or different plan for post GCSEs having taken part. In the NatWest CareerSense Find Your Path programme we ran in autumn 2023, 85% of participants completed the full work placement at NatWest.

Case Studies

Our case studies show the fantastic impact that our programmes have on both the young people that take part and on our business volunteers. If you’d like to read our case studies please click on the picture to the right to open the report, where you will find them on pages 10 to 16.

You can read more about the impact our programmes have here.

Screenshot of a case study from our impact report- Sanjida's story

Our Funding

As an independent charity Ablaze receives no statutory funding. We rely on revenue charged for our services and donations from supporters. We work hard to keep our expenditure as low as possible whilst still offering a good range of quality programmes.

In 2022/23 our income was higher than we expected as we were able to run more programmes than we had anticipated, and we were fortunate to receive grants and donations in the year. However, our income was still less than our expenditure, and we expect this to be the case in 2023/24 as well. We have therefore had to use some of our reserves, as well as funds we had designated for growth, to continue providing our services.

This year, were very fortunate to receive grants and donations from the Bristol Water Community Fund, the Miller Knoll Foundation, the Denman Charitable Trust, Fund Their Future, the Nisbet Trust, Tolvik Consulting, the Burges Salmon Charitable Trust, the Siobhan Dowd Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Quartet Community Foundation, the DWF Foundation, the Bristol Airport Community Fund, the Wiltshire Community Foundation, the Skipton Building Society Charitable Foundation, United Way, the Hedley Foundation, and the J&M Britton Charitable Trust.

If you would like to fundraise for Ablaze in any way, please do get in touch with our fundraiser Lucy Beattie lucy.beattie@ablazebristol.org.

We are very grateful to TLT LLP for providing pro-bono office space, which helps us keep our costs as low as possible.

Sally looks ahead to our employee volunteering programmes in 2024 and beyond

Looking ahead

In the year ahead we are focusing our efforts on tackling social mobility for young people in our region. We are excited to be embarking on new challenges, alongside our existing programmes, which will expand our range of activity and hopefully reach more of our target audience. We look forward to engaging with the business community on how our work chimes with their social value impact aims and targets, providing employees with meaningful corporate volunteering and team building opportunities as well as developing real and lasting links with local communities and potential future talent.