Press release

31 Mar 2021 London, GB

EY to donate funding to UK schools, organisations and charities to purchase laptops for young people

EY to donate funding to UK schools, organisations and charities to purchase laptops for young people

Press contact
Rupa Sudra Bharadva

Manager, Media Relations, Ernst & Young LLP

Communications professional for EY UK. Mum of two, works part-time. Passionate about supporting women in business.

  • EY is donating nearly £290,000 to 24 schools and organisations that support young people
  • The donation is part of the firm’s wider plans to support and improve social mobility within the UK

EY is donating around £288,000 to 24 schools, charities, social enterprises and organisations that support young people and children based in the UK. The organisations will use the funds to purchase laptops for the young people they support, many of whom have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-off donation is part of EY’s wider focus on social mobility and is helping to support UK students to access the technology they need to continue their studies following a disruptive year of remote learning. The pandemic has exacerbated the inequalities faced by many students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and it is this group of young people that EY wants to support with its donation. 

The 24 schools and organisations have been recommended by the EY Foundation, the firm’s independent charity, which works directly with young people, employers and social entrepreneurs to create or support pathways into education, employment or enterprise. The schools selected either have higher than average numbers of pupils that qualify for free school meals; higher than average numbers of young people with special education needs; or higher than average numbers of young people with English as their second language. The organisations, all of which support young people in the UK, range from national charities – such as Leap Confronting Conflict and the Social Business Trust - to smaller grassroots organisations.  

EY recruits around 1,000 students a year, including 250 school leavers, and is committed to supporting young talent, particularly at a time when many young people are continuing to face challenges, despite returning to school, such as studying at home and a difficult jobs market. Last summer, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, EY honoured all the conditional offers it made around A-level results and didn’t defer entry to any of its student recruitment programmes. 

Hywel Ball, EY’s UK Chair, says: “We are very conscious of the challenges students have been facing this year with home learning and the transition back to school and college after a long period away. This is especially true for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds who may not always have access to the technology they need to continue their studies outside of the classroom. 

“As one of the UK’s largest student recruiters, it’s important that we are playing our part and are accessible to the broadest range of talent. No student should be left behind, and I hope that our donation plays a small part in helping to support those young people who need it most at this difficult time.” 

Lynne Peabody, EY Foundation’s Acting CEO, says: “Learning during lockdown has been difficult for many, but it has been especially tough for those facing additional financial barriers. EY’s laptop donation has the potential to make a significant impact to the future of hundreds of young people from across the country who most need support.”

Social mobility focus

This latest initiative is part of an ongoing focus on social mobility. In the last financial year, the EY Foundation has supported almost 7,000 young people and worked with over 340 employers. 

Last year, EY also announced that it would be offering at least 30% of work experience places on the EY Foundation’s Smart Futures and Our Future programmes to Black young people for the next five years. Smart Futures and Our Future are paid employability skills and work experience programmes, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and management, which prepare 16-19 year olds from low income backgrounds for the world of work. Additionally, EY has set a target of offering entry to at least 30% of places on its school leaver pathways to Black alumni from the Smart Futures and Our Future programmes for the next five years.

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Notes to Editors

Schools, organisations and charities that EY is supporting
  • George Dixon Academy, Birmingham
  • Colton Hills School, Wolverhampton
  • Rotherfield Primary School, London
  • Leap Confronting Conflict, throughout England, Scotland and Wales
  • Social Business Trust, throughout England, Scotland and Wales
  • Into University, throughout England and Scotland
  • Thistley Hough Academy, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Queensbridge School, Birmingham
  • Duncanrig Secondary School, Scotand
  • Action Tutoring, throughout England 
  • Power2 Ltd, throughout England
  • Chance UK, throughout England and Wales
  • Dorothy Barley Junior Academy, London
  • Copthall School, London
  • Football Beyond Borders, London, Essex, and the North West
  • St Johns Academy, Scotland
  • Perth Grammar, Scotland
  • King Solomon Academy, London
  • Perth Academy, Scotland
  • City of Stoke Sixth Form College, Midlands
  •  Hobart High School, East of England
  • icanyoucantoo, London
  • The Access Project, Birmingham, Nottinghamshire and throughout London
  • The Venture Trust, Scotland
  • Think Forward, Kent, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and throughout London