KPMG, the professional services firm, has announced two new national charity partnerships for the coming two years: Action for Literacy and housing and homelessness charity Shelter.
The firm hopes to add deeper value to the charities by providing pro bono strategic and business advice. KPMG will also support the charities through a wide range of skills based volunteering and fundraising activities.
KPMG hopes to raise over £1 million for the two charities combined – and provide a sustainable legacy through long-term improvements to their businesses.
The two charities, with their focus on literacy and homelessness, work on issues that are at the heart of KPMG’s corporate sustainability strategy. The partnerships will build on KPMG’s strong heritage of working to support literacy and social inclusion in the UK. The firm has a long interest in helping disadvantaged communities and in unlocking potential through the power of education in particular.
One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means that they live without the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they need to fulfil their potential. Literacy is the key to the digital age. Without literacy skills, the potential for exclusion from society is greater than ever.
Meanwhile, there are almost 40,000 homeless families living in temporary housing across England, which has devastating impacts on children’s health, well-being and education. Research shows that children who are homeless or living in bad conditions are twice as likely to leave school without GCSEs, showing the clear link between homelessness and the social, educational and psychological disadvantages that are often an underlying cause of social exclusion.
Action for Literacy is a new partnership between Dyslexia Action and National Literacy Trust, who have responded to the changing charity landscape and recognised the value added in joining together to help meet the needs of the communities they support. Their work has strong synergies with KPMG’s existing educational programmes. Many KPMG staff act as reading or numbers partners in local primary schools, for example, and KPMG was one of the founding parties of the Every Child a Chance Trust which calculated the true cost to the UK of poor literacy. KPMG is also joint sponsor of the City Academy, Hackney in London.
Shelter works to tackle the root causes of homelessness and bad housing and help people find and keep a home. Last year Shelter’s helpline and national network of face to face advice services provided housing advice and support to more than 100,000 people. The KPMG partnership will enable the charity’s expert housing advisers to reach an extra 6,900 people in housing need.
The issues of poor literacy skills and homelessness are intertwined: Shelter and Action for Literacy work with young people and families in the same disadvantaged communities.
The relationship with the two charities will be led by Mona Bitar, partner at KPMG.
Commenting on the partnerships, Marianne Fallon, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said: “We really look forward to working with Action for Literacy and Shelter. They are two great causes which have great resonance with KPMG. Increasing literacy skills and preventing homelessness are fundamental to rebuilding the UK economy, supporting routes to social mobility and increasing opportunities for all. They are a basic skill and a basic need which we believe are every young person’s right”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, and Kevin Geeson, Chief Executive of Dyslexia Action, said: “Literacy is key to escaping social exclusion. By improving reading, writing and communication skills people are more likely to have better employment opportunities and life chances. Dyslexia Action and the National Literacy Trust both work to boost literacy skills in disadvantaged areas and are excited by the opportunities available from working in our Action for Literacy partnership and alongside Shelter.
“The funding, volunteering and pro bono support from KPMG will make a considerable impact on our ability to improve the lives of thousands more children and young people with literacy difficulties.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive at Shelter said: "We’re delighted to be working with KPMG on this integrated partnership to help families affected by homelessness and bad housing. The number of homeless families living in temporary accommodation is rising, robbing more children of security and stability at the time they need it most. With the support from KPMG, we will be able to reach more people who need our help to get back on their feet so that their children can have a brighter future.”
The new partnerships come as KPMG’s highly successful partnership with Barnardo’s has drawn to a close. KPMG raised nearly £1.3 million for Barnardo’s over a two year period. From international bike rides to in-store challenges (“Store Wars”), and from Saharan treks to record-breaking synchronised taekwondo routines, KPMG staff raised money for the UK’s largest children’s charity in a huge variety of ways – as well as providing over a thousand hours of pro-bono professional support.
Marianne Fallon of KPMG said: “We had a fantastic partnership with Barnardo’s and were exceptionally pleased to exceed our own fundraising target of £1.2 million. We set a record that now we have to try and break! Staff really engaged with the cause as children are so fundamental to all our futures and our lives. We wish Barnardo’s every success for the future.”
A film about the new partnerships can be viewed at www.kpmg.com/uk/nationalcharities
Media enquiries to:
Mark Hamilton, KPMG Corporate Communications 020 7694 2687
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.