AO.COM BOSS GIFTS £1.5 MILLION TO YOUNG PEOPLE
As OnSide gears up for further significant growth, we are delighted to announce that dedicated supporters John and Sally Roberts of FTSE-listed electrical retail giant AO.com have donated an amazing £1.5 million to our charity.
It is one of the largest single private donations OnSide has received since we established in 2008.
The donation will be used to help our mission of creating a UK-wide network of modern youth centres delivering a range of services that improve young people’s health, wellbeing and employability.
Did you know our 25,000 Youth Zone members make around 350,000 visits a year and are supported by 200 employees and over 700 volunteers.
John and Sally Roberts’ donation will help extend the OnSide Youth Zones network to 100 ‘priority’ locations – towns and cities where a facility would have the greatest impact on young people and their communities.
2015 saw us embark on numerous milestones, including striking agreements to open the first facilities in London, bringing the total number of planned and operational Youth Zones to 20.
This year is set to be just as momentous, we’ve already launched our first Midlands Youth Zone in Wolverhampton, and the first Merseyside Youth Zone in Wirral will be completed by the end of the year.
John Roberts, Chief Executive of Bolton-based AO.com, said: “Improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s absolutely crucial to the long-term future of communities and the UK as a whole.
“Sally and I are proud to be able to share some of our success with a charity that is making a tangible impact on so many young people’s lives in so many important ways.”
Bill Holroyd CBE, OnSide Youth Zones Chairman, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that John and Sally have made such a huge commitment to our charity. It’s a game-changing donation that will fuel our sustainable growth and help us encourage even more young people to lead healthy, active and positive lives.
“Self-made, community-minded entrepreneurs like John are an inspiration to young people and this act of generosity shows how passionate and committed our backers are about making a difference for future generations.”
AO.com is a dedicated supporter of OnSide Youth Zones, with its charitable arm AO Smile co-funding an employability scheme with Accenture called ‘Get a Job’. The programme has been hugely successful with over 85 per cent of young people taking the course progressing into employment, education or training.
John Roberts and AO.com are also championing ‘Youth Innovate’, an enterprise competition in which young entrepreneurs from across the Youth Zone network are battling it out to win the chance to have their product idea created and stocked by a major retailer.
Philanthropy plays an important role in our diversified and sustainable funding model. By combining public, private and third sector contributions with operating revenue generated by the facilities, Youth Zones are not overly reliant on a single source of funding. To find out more please click here: http://www.onsideyouthzones.org/what-we-do/ .