We provide core, unrestricted and project funding to organisations with charitable purposes.
We fund across three strands (changing the system, strengthening the sector, direct support) and have four focus areas (Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing, Early Years, Young People and the Environment).
Strands of Funding
1. 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. For example:
Our funding helped Young Minds to run a campaign, Beyond Tomorrow, aimed at reducing the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health. 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.
AIM supports the partnership costs of The Nutrition Implementation Coalition. The coalition brings together organisations with a variety of educational, professional and research experiences, who share the same vision for the need to advocate for nutrition education for healthcare professionals and bridge the gap between knowledge and practice. They are combining their efforts to improve the ability of doctors, nurses, health, and social care professionals to deliver effective nutrition care.
2. 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. For example:
We supported the Association of Infant Mental Health to develop and launch the infant mental health competency framework. This framework sets the standard for all infant mental health practitioners to work towards to become accredited. It will raise awareness and knowledge of infant mental health amongst practitioners working with at-risk pregnant, parents and their infants to strengthen attachment and improve emotional and social development.
42nd Street supports young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health – promoting choices and creativity. AIM is funding their training coordinator to work with young people to develop their training programme including courses for those working with young people on how to de-escalate critical situations.
3. Direct support
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. For example:
AIM funds 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.
All our grants seek to promote wellbeing and fall within one of our four focus areas:
1. Early Years: 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 future prospects. At this time, 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 a number of charities to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best start in life.
2. Young People: 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.
3. Environment: 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 UK Rivers and Coastal Waters and Global Oceans and Coastal Waters. 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.
4. Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing: Increasing the understanding of nutrition and its importance for health amongst health practitioners.
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.
5. Other Wellbeing, Community and Family Fund Support: In addition to the main focus areas, The 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.
Annual Grants by Focus Area
This bar chart shows the allocation of our grant making by value to the different focus areas since 2018/19. It also shows our intentions of increasing funding and our planned budget with a priority towards increasing funding towards Young People and The Environment.
In order to see the detail of previous years funding, please look at our financial statements.