Thanks to our loyal customers, we have continued to support charities locally and nationwide this year. Despite the testing times this year has presented to us all, we feel incredibly lucky to have been able to continue with both our business and charity donations.
With the finish line for 2021 in sight, we wanted to update you on some of the positive charity activities The AIM Foundation and the team here at Cytoplan have been fortunate enough to support over the past 12 months.
Charity is right at the heart of the day to day running of Cytoplan. Since conception in 1990, the philosophy of the company has been built on the foundations of helping others and improving people’s health and wellbeing. Cytoplan is wholly owned by the charitable trust, The AIM Foundation, and share of the Cytoplan’s profits funds their Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing grants.
The AIM Foundation
The AIM Foundation is a grant-making family foundation, who have been supporting nutrition, health and well-being projects for 30 years. To learn more about The AIM Foundation, please visit their website which details the charitable endeavours that they are currently involved in. You can view the website here.
We balance our funding between providing the direct support needed right now – especially in the area of our family roots, East Anglia – and addressing the underlying causes. All our grants seek to promote wellbeing. In 2020/21, we awarded grants worth £722,228.
Our current strategy focuses upon these four areas:
- Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing: Increasing the understanding of nutrition and its importance for health amongst health practitioners.
- Early Years: Improving the emotional and social development of young children from vulnerable families.
- Young People: Improving their life chances, especially around the transition from school to employment, and their emotional and mental well-being.
- Environment: We have signed up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. Initially our grants will be focussed on restoring and protecting UK Rivers and Coastal Waters and Global Oceans and Coastal Waters.
We provide core, unrestricted and project funding to organisations with charitable purposes. We fund across three strands
- Changing the system
Many of our grants seek to intervene at the level of the system, as change here can have a wide and lasting impact. We use our funds to support work that changes policy, structures, mindsets and practice including raising the voices of those under-represented, collaborations, awareness raising, campaigning, testing and spreading ways of working, and research.
Strengthening the sector
We recognise it is difficult for charities to fund their own development in the face of pressing demand. Our grants support organisational development and the professional development of practitioners.
We recognise that people are struggling here and now. So some of our grants support the direct work of charities. We do seek to support early intervention and prevention work wherever we can. Our priority is supporting people who are disadvantaged and living in East Anglia.
Over the last financial year grants have been made to the following organisations and key areas. For a full report and more details about each charity, please visit The AIM Foundation website here.
Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing:
Increasing the understanding of nutrition and its importance for health amongst health practitioners.
All the charities supported in this strategic area are funded from profits from Cytoplan. In 2020/21, Cytoplan transferred £300,000 to The AIM Foundation.
Nutrition is often an overlooked aspect of medical training and care. Malnutrition problems are on the rise in the UK making nutritional education more essential than ever. AIM has funded several charitable and not-for-profit organisations that are leading the way in medical nutrition.
Improving the emotional and social development of young children from vulnerable families.
There is overwhelming evidence that support in the period from conception to the start of school is critical in shaping a child’s early development and prospects. Currently, brain connections form at an unrepeated speed, giving shape and depth to children’s cognitive, emotional and social development – influencing their capacity to learn, to solve problems and to relate to others. AIM has funded several charities to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best start in life.
Improving their life chances, especially around the transition from school to employment, and their emotional and mental well-being.
Mental health is a huge issue for our young people. In the UK today, an estimated five children in every classroom has a mental health problem. A quarter of 17-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year while suicide remains the single biggest killer of boys and young men. Studies on the impact of the pandemic have shown an increase in levels of distress, worry and anxiety – especially amongst those with additional challenges including young people with disabilities, from communities affected by racial injustice and LGBTQI+ young people.
We have signed up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. This is a new funding area for us and initially grants will be focussed on restoring and protecting Oceans and Freshwater habitats. Our funding is part of the global efforts to support Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life Below the Water) and 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
Healthy oceans and seas are essential to our existence. They cover 70 percent of our planet, and we rely on them for food, energy and water. Yet, we have managed to do tremendous damage to these precious resources. There is a need to protect them by eliminating pollution and overfishing and start to responsibly manage and protect marine life.
Freshwater systems are home to over one third of all vertebrate species and are essential to supporting life on earth through drinking water supply, food production, photosynthesis and sanitation. Species that depend on these habitats are facing catastrophic population declines with one in three freshwater species being faced with extinction. These declines are being caused by numerous global pressures, including pollution, overfishing, invasive species, dam construction, abstraction and dredging. The UN recognises water pollution as a widespread global issue and estimate that 80% of global wastewater is untreated and released directly into the environment, including human waste and toxic industrial waste products.
Due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic some unrestricted one-off emergency response donations have been made. The focus has been young people, families in crisis and local organisations in Worcester.
In addition to our strategic areas, AIM Foundation awards small grants through our Family Fund. This enables members of the family to support a range of causes they care about and helps us to learn about new areas of interest, whilst supporting valuable work in the community.
Grants made during 2021
1. Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing
Nutritank – The second year’s grant of £35,000 was distributed towards their core costs developing the undergraduate curriculum around Nutrition and how to engage patients in consultations around diet and self-care and increasing the number of medical schools in their network.
Culinary Medicine UK – The second year’s grant of £35,000 was distributed to cover core costs of developing and delivering online practical nutrition courses materials to wider audience of nursing staff and allied health professionals and post-graduate junior doctors, and even the wider public.
NNEdPro – The second year’s grant of £35,000 was distributed to cover the costs of evaluating their virtual learning resources for junior doctors in secondary care and adapting it for GP’s and primary care professionals.
Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) – The second year’s funding of £34,917 was distributed to cover costs of delivering and evaluating their new 2-day e-learning events about Oral Health and 2 update events. They will scope the opportunity to provide training to GPs, Practice Nurses and SLTs.
College of Medicine – a one year grant of £34,005 to train Social Prescribers about Nutrition
Nutrition Implementation Coalition – a new grant of £30,000 for 2 years to cover the costs of the coalition.
School Food Matters – £50,000 grant towards young marketeers in London for 2 years and contribute to pilot for improving the food offer for breakfast and after school club meals
Sustain – £25,000 grant towards developing policy for introducing universal free school meals
The Food Foundation – £25,000 grant for research early years food and nutrition with a focus on breast feeding and nutritional value of baby foods.
2. Early Years
Institute of Health Visiting – a new 3 year grant of £40,000 pa towards the mental Health team.
Parent Infant Foundation – A new 3 year grant of £25,000 pa towards the policy work of supporting the growth and quality of specialised parent-infant relationship teams across the UK. They want to strengthen the First 1001 days Movement, so that every baby has a loving and nurturing relationship as a critical foundation for their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Association of Video Interactive Guidance (AVIGUK) – A grant of £25,000 towards establishing a new national data collection system. They want to increase the evidence of this intervention to promote sensitivity and attunement in interactions between parents and infants.
Best Beginnings – A grant of £90,000 over 3 years towards the salary of the Engagement Lead.
Best Beginnings – Parent Leaders Project – Their third year grant of £25,000 was distributed to continue their work in Newham to address the barriers these marginalised diverse communities face by creating a leadership programme that runs alongside building the capacity for grassroots organisations. Their plans are to increase uptake of baby buddy with the new version of the app and to complete the training of the Parent Leaders so that they can become activists.
Association Infant Mental Health – A grant of £25,000 towards core costs for developing the management team and new initiatives. This will enable the upskilling of practitioners who are working with disadvantaged families during the perinatal period to optimise their child’s development.
3. Young People
Impetus – The third year unrestricted grant of £25,000 towards policy work
Young Minds – The second year grant of £25,000 towards their policy team
Children Society – Their third year grant of £25,000 to fund a young carer support worker at Children’s Society East. This role provides one-to-one and group sessions, organising and supporting family activities and developing self-care resource to support hidden young carers, who have the weight of extra responsibilities, such as caring for family members due to parental mental illnesses or substance dependency.
Papyrus – Their third year grant of £23,280 was distributed to continue to deliver their work to raise awareness and reduce stigma around suicide and give young people and their support networks the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour in West Midlands.
Youthscape – Alumina Programme – Their third year grant of £25,000 was distributed to continue to provide live online small support groups for 14-19 yr olds to help to reduce self-harm and develop their accompanying written materials.
42nd Street – Their second year grant of £27,865 will contribute towards the salary of their Training and Events Co-ordinator, who is continuing to develop a mix of on and offline training to increase teachers’ and other practitioners’ knowledge and awareness around mental health issues, as well as how to de-escalate critical situations.
MAC- UK – Their third year grant of £24,021 was distributed that helps enables the Public Health and Prevention Team to influence various policy forums by increasing the understanding of the social determinants that affect youth violence and mental health. Together with Art against Knives and Today at Apple they will co-producing, and launch, a series of podcasts exploring issues such as the role of poverty, school exclusions, youth violence. They will continue to develop their mentoring scheme as part of their Youth Employment Strategy.
The Prince’s Trust – A new three year grant of £75,000 was awarded for training young people in Essex around self-employment and apprenticeships.
Youth Access – a new 3 year grant of £25,000 pa towards the communication and membership officer
Essex Wildlife Trust – A grant of £15,000 towards a citizen science survey to raise the profile of seagrass habitat, and better understand and reduce coastal recreational pressure on seagrass meadows and coastal wildlife on Blackwater Estuary.
Synchronicity Earth – a new grant of £25,000 pa towards policy of their High and Deep Seas programme
Blue Marine Foundation – a new grant of £33,550 towards feasibility study of an integrated ecosystem approach to restore connected habitats on East Anglican Coast
5. Other Wellbeing, Family Fund and Worcester projects
Wellbeing Economy Alliance – A new grant of £26,500 was awarded to this project to cover the costs of producing a further Happy Planet Index in advance of the Global Climate Summit in November 2021. WEAll is a new global collaboration to influence policy and narratives around the interaction between environmental sustainability and human wellbeing.
Worcester Projects– The following organisations were recommended by Cytoplan staff for funding as disproportionately affected by Covid: Acorn Children’s Hospice; St Paul’s Hostel; St Richards Hospice; New Starts; PCC Kempsey
Every customer who purchases our products, whether it be one, twice or ten times a year, is helping us to try and help those who are much less fortunate than ourselves. We believe this is a sound business model; one that we are proud of and one that hopefully, in time, will achieve a goal we have set ourselves: to help improve the health of the nation. Our charity work – both on a small and large scale – is testament to this.
We hope that this information has given you a small insight into the charitable structure of Cytoplan and the significant role it plays in the day to day running of the company. We hope you can continue to support us in the future.