We have continued to support charities locally and nationwide this year, thanks to our loyal customers. 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 2020 in sight and after such a turbulent and unprecedented year, we wanted to update you on some of the positive charity activities The AIM Foundation and ourselves 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, 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.
The AIM Foundation
The AIM Foundation is an endowed family grant-making charity whose overall goal is to support work to promote well-being. They help fund organisations that work to try to prevent social problems that the most vulnerable in our communities face today.
The Foundation is currently focused on the following strategic areas:
- Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing –increasing the understanding of the importance of nutrition for health amongst health professionals
- Young People – Improving their life chance, particularly around the transition from school to employment and helping prevent mental health problems
- Early Years – Improving the emotional and social development of young children from vulnerable families
Within these core strategic areas, The Foundation has focused on policy, prevention and support:
- Policy – AIM has found that funding the roles in the policy departments of charities results in those charities gaining influence in government policy and their funding priorities, therefore able to generate long term change
- Prevention – AIM looks to fund charities that have opportunities to leverage their effectiveness and spread their impact through replication or scaling their interventions that help prevent, reduce and minimise the impacts of mental health issues
- Support – AIM funds charities that provide direct help to those already struggling with mental health or in a difficult situation. AIM’s focus is on people living in Essex, as this is where AIM’s endowment funds were generated
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 education for healthcare practitioners
All the charities supported in this strategic area are funded from profits from Cytoplan. In 2018/19, Cytoplan transferred £250,000 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 including:
Initially set up in 2017 by two medical students, Nutritank describes themselves as an information hub of food, nutrition and lifestyle medicine. AIM’s core funding has helped them to successfully campaign for increased nutritional education at medical schools. They have succeeded in gaining a new clause in the NHS 5-year long-term plan to increase nutritional training for healthcare practitioners; won the 2019 Pat Llewelyn New Talent BBC food and farming award; and were featured on Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 show, working on his campaign #nutrition4medics. AIM has committed to three years of further funding to help Nutritank achieve new levels of success.
Culinary Medicine UK
Culinary Medicine UK teaches health practitioners the foundation of clinical nutrition and how to cook, so they can better motivate their patients to lead healthier lives using food. They have developed and run a series of evidenced-based courses for both medical students and qualified doctors.
AIM’s continued support will allow this young Community Interest Company to further its reach and impact. Over the next three years, Culinary Medicine will work towards creating its flagship course, which will train 600 GPs and trainee GPs.
Vitamin D Research Study
AIM is helping to fund a ‘test and treat’ research study in 2020/21 on correcting vitamin D deficiency in the UK populations. The Queen Mary University of London will co-ordinate the research investigating the risk factors for COVID-19 overlap of vitamin D deficiency. A total of 5,076 people are enrolled in the study; half will be tested for vitamin D deficiency and offered 6-months of supplements. Over those six months cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will be recorded and compared against those not receiving supplements.
- Young People
Impetus works with their charity partners to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the support they need to succeed. AIM has been a long-time funder of Impetus, and in recent years has focused its financial support towards research and policy. AIM believes that all children and young people deserve the best chance to succeed, whatever their background, and Impetus is committed to achieving that vision.
Young Minds focuses on influencing policy about young people’s mental health and wellbeing. With mental health problems on the rise and support underfunded, AIM intends to help change policy to give young people the support they need. AIM has contributed to the salaries on the policy team at Young Minds, for the past three years, allowing them to make significant and continuous strides in influencing government and policy.
“What your support meant was we could really focus on our policy and influencing work that was never more critical than during this time.” Emma Thomas (CEO of Young Minds).
AIM’s COVID-19 response prevented any of Young Minds’ policy team being furloughed. In turn, this allowed Young Minds to start a new campaign aimed at reducing the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health, called Beyond Tomorrow. Through this campaign, they secured an extra £4 million for mental health charities, a new cross-governmental task force, and increased support in schools and the community in order to provide earlier interventions that prevent the escalation of mental health issues.
Award winning CALM’s goal is to prevent male suicide through frontline service provision and culture change. In response to rising demand for the use of technology and waiting times to access helpline workers, AIM has helped to fund an AI system that CALM is designing. CALM has predicted that this AI system will be able to respond to an additional 19,000 webchats in a year. Innovations like this can help reduce the unexpected burdens on helplines, like the rise in demand seen due to COVID-19.
Guided by an advisory board of health care practitioners and teachers, Youthscape aims to help young people with their wellbeing. AIM has helped fund the Alumina programme, a live online service for young people to seek help with self-harm. Over the next few years, Youthscape aims to reach more young people and continue to support them online by replicating and scaling their interventions.
The Children’s Society
AIM continues to support the Children’s Society East. AIM has funded the role of a young carer support worker. Hidden young carers have the weight of extra responsibilities, such as caring for family members due to parental mental illnesses or substance dependency. In response to COVID-19, AIM funded extra training for the staff to conduct online sessions including the tools they can use and to provide additional support for the staff during this challenging time.
- Early years
WAVE Trust develops and pioneers research-based solutions to transform the futures of children by break the cycles of disadvantage. AIM’s core funding has helped enable WAVE Trust’s development of a training package, that could be delivered to local authorities, schools, and prisons. The pilot training received incredibly positive feedback:
iHV – Perinatal Infant Mental Health Champions
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has a core mission of improving the lives of all infants and their families through excellence in practice and reducing health inequalities. AIM has funded forum events that support the Champions’ resilience and wellbeing, and sustain their motivation, competence and confidence. Over the next year, iHV will continue to develop their digital support and will speak at two international conferences.
Working in deprived areas of Essex, Parents 1st train ‘community parent’ volunteers to give peer-to-peer support. Parents 1st launched a website that allows parents to receive peer-to-peer support and access resources online. They aim to create an online community that provides an effective and sustainable peer-support system that nurtures the emotional welling and confidence of expecting mothers and parents and their babies, to give all babies the love and support they need.
- Community support
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.
- The Children’s Society – An extra £4000 grant was made to deliver online training to CHHAT staff in Essex who are responding with digital support to young people using this service.
- Young Minds – An extra £10,000 grant was made towards the adaption of their mental wellbeing services to support both young people and their parents.
- Impetus – Their second grant of £25,000 due in September has been brought forward to support the extra work in chairing the new Youth Employment Group that is influencing government policy.
Domestic Abuse and Families in crisis
- Essex Community Foundation – An extra one-off donation of £10,000 to their Covid-19 emergency response and recovery fund was directed towards families in crisis.
- Action for Children – An unrestricted donation of £10,000 was made to support their work in adapting their services to offer digital parenting support to families.
- Women’s Aid – An unrestricted donation of £10,000 to respond to increase demand for their webchat support.
- Respect – An unrestricted donation of £10,000 to respond to increases in the use of their helplines and webchats and referrals, as well as developing their training to be online.
Cytoplan Ltd, wholly owned by The AIM Foundation, has been classified as an essential business providing vitamin and supplements, that has continued to operate during the pandemic lockdown. The following local organisations were suggested by Cytoplan staff to receive emergency donations, as they are suffering from extra demand, reduction in their normal fundraising capacity and need to adapt their services.
- Acorn Children’s Hospice – £2000
- St Richard’s Hospice – £2000
- St Paul’s Hostel – £3000
- Malvern Hills Foodbank – £3000
Since this report was issued, some new grants have been awarded since September 2020:
- Young People
Young Minds – A new 3-year grant of £25,000 pa towards the work of the policy team.
- Early Years
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.
Best Beginnings – A grant of £40,000 towards the partnership work of Best Beginnings, Fatherhood Institute and Future Men to write new father’s content within the updated version of the NHS approved Baby Buddy app.
A big thank you
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.