The George Oliver Foundation
2020/21 projects

Project Funding 2020 - 21


Trelya - Supporting 16 children in their transition from the Skylar nursery project to primary school

Wamba Community Trust  - funding to provide food and uniforms for pupils at Ruby Pre-School in Lentani, Kenya

Greenfingers Charity - Creating an outdoor garden space for children at a hospice in Newcastle

Cecily’s Fund - Paying school fees for one year’s secondary school education for 100 orphan girls



Trelya - Supporting up to 16 five-year-olds in their transition to school from the Skylar nursery project

Trelya is a small grassroots charity that uses long-term intensive interventions to address local issues experienced by children living in one of the UK’s most deprived communities. The charity aims to enable these children and young people to break the cycle of deprivation and change the trajectory of their lives through the development of sustainable essential skills – hard skills, such as being ready for the academic demands of school at age 5, to soft skills, including building emotional resilience to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences. Each year Trelya works with over 150 children, and a core group of 60 to 70 receive intensive interventions in the form of home visits, group work, drop in, one-to-one sessions, training and partnership.

This is our third time funding projects with Trelya. The funding of £6,620 provides up to 600 one-to-one sessions for children in their final year of nursery at Skylar and help them to develop the social, emotional and academic skills needed to make a successful transition to school. Support will also be given to those in their first year of Realising Ambition, the successful mentoring project previously supported by the George Oliver Foundation. Skylar is an OFSTED-registered specialist free nursery that offers children at the highest level of deprivation a secure and safe environment in which they can achieve a massive increase in their age-related expectations in all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.


Trelya were quick to respond to the lockdown challenges and adapted their service to offer socially distanced support, including telephone contact, weekly video calls, remote music sessions, and care packages sent directly to children and families.

Wamba Community Trust -  Providing food and uniforms for very young pupils at Ruby Pre-School in Lentani

The Wamba Community Trust was set up in 2005 to help students in the Wamba district of Kenya to receive a good school education. Since its foundation, the Trust has supported pupils (mainly girls) through secondary and into further education; provided buildings, water supply and basic facilities to several pre and primary schools; funded medical treatment, provided football kits and supplied teaching equipment, books and pens to a primary school. The Trust’s work has provided the essential infrastructure for children to benefit from a good education in a rural and semi-arid environment where secure basics can provide disadvantaged children with help and support, regardless of religion, race or socio-economic background. Direct benefits lie in approved attendance and an increase in learning development.

Our contribution of £1,500 provides up to 130 children aged 3 to 5 at the Ruby Pre-School in Lentani with a daily meal and uniforms. Since 2010, the Trust has built a classroom, kitchen and toilets, and are continuing to obtain food, clothing, and the opportunity to learn in Wamba, a remote rural area on northern Kenya. Many children are orphans of HIV/Aids-related disease and loss, and live in extended families cared for by older siblings. Funding a meal and providing a uniform will improve school attendance as well as the children’s capacity and opportunity to learn.


Greenfingers Charity - Creating an outdoor garden space for children at a hospice in Newcastle

Since 1999 Greenfingers Charity has been supporting children with life-limiting illness in children’s hospices through the creation of inspiring interactive gardens. The charity designs and creates gardens for children with complex needs, particularly those involved in palliative care. Their bespoke garden spaces support the health and well-being of the most disadvantaged, disabled and seriously ill children. Over 21 years, Greenfingers Charity has created 56 gardens that enhance quality of life and well-being, improve mental health and inclusion, encourage physical activity, ignite imagination through play, as well as enhancing knowledge and educational opportunities within the natural environment. The garden spaces help to reduce anxiety, stress and tension for families dealing with stressful diagnosis and treatment for their child’s life-limiting illness.

Our £5,000 contribution helps to create an outdoor garden space as part of a play area at St. Oswald’s Children’s Hospice in Newcastle upon Tyne. Up to 55 children at the hospice will benefit from the garden, as well as siblings and family members. In addition, the Family Support Bereavement Service helps support a further 150 children coping with the serious illness or death of someone they love.


The children’s hospice service has remained open, providing specialist short breaks for families unable to manage without any respite. All new projects have been delayed, and there has been a decline in income from fundraising. Greenfingers Charity remains committed to building the new garden space at St. Oswald’s as soon as restrictions allow.


Cecily’s Fund - school fees for one year’s secondary school education for 100 orphan girls

Cecily’s Fund is a small but highly effective UK-based charity that has been working with partners in Zambia since 1997. They have four main aims: first, they seek to pay the school fees of up to a thousand vulnerable children who have lost one or more parent and are living in extreme poverty; secondly, the Fund provides Peer Health Education to inspire those children to stay at school and not drop out, despite poverty and other challenges; third, they offer up to 350 young people not in school the life skills and financial literacy that could help them set up a business; and lastly, the Fund works with families to develop savings clubs offering low interest loans to help set up a business, feed their families, and pay school fees.

Our £2,500 contribution covers the fees of 100 orphan girls, enabling them to attend secondary school for one year in Kitwe. Helping vulnerable adolescent pupils stay in school at the transition for primary to secondary years greatly improves their chances of changing their lives, increasing opportunities to enable self-reliance and aspiring to better life through education and entrepreneurship. Continuing in school will help these children avoid entering the cycle of poverty, early motherhood, and gender-based discrimination.