About us - what we do

The Sir Simon Milton Foundation is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. Our Registered Charity Number is 1174405.

Our Objects. The Foundation’s Objects are focused on getting young people in Westminster into work through education and training and reducing loneliness and isolation amongst older people in the City. The detail can be found in our Constitution.

Our achievements. In 2021 the pandemic continued to have a substantial impact on the Foundation. We had to cancel all fundraising events and we reduced staff. For the second year running, our hugely popular Tea Dance had to be cancelled.

On the other hand, we have sustained our other charitable programmes and once again we expanded our Christmas programmes for young and old people. Our achievements in 2021 include:

  • There was a significant improvement in the number of Silver Sunday events held this year. Over 750 free events took place across the UK, with over 50 held in Westminster alone. Thousands of older people across the country enjoyed taking part in an activity, often trying something new and meeting new people.
  • The Westminster Tea Dance was planned to be held on 5 Dec 2021, but it had to be cancelled on the advice of the Westminster City Council (“the Council”) Public Health team. It is our intention to hold this much loved event again as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • We were able to deliver 350 Christmas hampers to some of the most vulnerable older residents in the city. Our programme also triggered many other partners to get involved, resulting in over 2,000 hampers being delivered to the City’s older residents.
  • After a successful partnership last year, we again worked with the Council’s wonderful volunteers to deliver all the hampers. This ensured extra human contact that is so needed these days. The hampers were received with great joy.
  • As in recent years, we also awarded some hampers to some of the city’s carers who work so tirelessly and often thanklessly all year round to support at-risk older people within Westminster. A number of hampers were also delivered to older residents in Westminster’s care homes, accompanied by singer Lucy Clark. This made the residents’ day.
  • Following cancellation of the Tea Dance, we once again ran a Christmas vouchers programme to deliver food/shopping vouchers to young people facing yet another challenging holiday season in Westminster. We were able to deliver 596 vouchers of varying denominations to young carers, care leavers and families in need, reaching over 1,000 children or young adults.
  • We continue to fund 14 students from low income families at university with Sir Simon Milton Scholarships and Bursaries; the latter are for students at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Simon Milton’s alma mater, where we are helping four students this year.
  • We have awarded two new Scholarships for the 2021-2022 Academic Year, one of whom was a pupil at the Sir Simon Milton University Technical College. In both cases they are the first in their families to attend university. We have 20 Scholarship alumni now making their way in the world. The awards help the students to afford to live and eat so that they can study and achieve their potential.
  • Since early 2021, the Governors of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College (“the UTC”) have been in discussion with the Department for Education (“the DfE”) about closure of the school, primarily because of its inability to attract the pupil numbers required. Following a report by the Governors to the Minister, the Governors were informed in Jan 2022 that the Minister had made a final decision to close the school. Teaching for the remaining pupils will continue until the end of the 2021/22 academic year.
  • The Foundation has been a strong supporter of the UTC from its very outset with its aim to bring high quality technical education to the heart of the city. We will remain supporters until it closes this summer. To that end we set up the Sir Simon Milton Fund to help the pupils and staff at the school in whatever way we can. The intention is to ensure that the students in particular get the best possible education in their remaining months at the school and the best possible outcomes when they leave.
  • In parallel, the DfE has agreed that technical education will continue to be provided on the site. Ada, The National College for Digital Skills will be the successor organisation from Sep 2022. Ada has a 6th Form and apprentice college teaching digital skills, with a strong emphasis on social mobility for under-represented groups in the digital world, namely women and persons from ethnic minorities and from low-income families. We very much look forward to working with Ada on these goals which we share.

    What we are going to do next

    Our Vision is to continue Simon Milton’s vision of a society in which communities care, the young aspire and older people thrive. Our Mission is to provide opportunities in education and training for the young and for older people to feel valued for their contribution to their communities. Our Values we seek to live by are: Ambitious, Innovative, Passionate, Collaborative, Effective and Efficient. Our Strategic Goals are to:
    • Promote programmes to enable young people to improve their lives.
    • Make older people feel valued by reducing isolation and loneliness.
    • Develop a well-resourced and governed Foundation.
    • Create a reputation for improving people’s lives.