Virgin Unite’s £1m Local Legends fund to support UK charities | UMi

We are delighted to have been awarded the task to manage Virgin Unite’s new Local Legends fund, which will distribute £1m, in small grants, to UK charities over the next three years. 

Virgin Unite is the independent, non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group.  

With employees from Virgin companies across the UK volunteering with local charities, Virgin wants to celebrate their work and encourage even more volunteering, supporting charities that are tackling our society’s most pressing unacceptable issues.  

The Virgin Unite Local Legends fund will support charities addressing a range of issues, including preventing or relieving the impacts of poverty, supporting education, promoting health, advancing human rights or equality and diversity, and supporting those in need. 

The extensive experience of our Investment Centre team is being harnessed in providing Virgin employees and the charities they nominate with a state-of-the-art nomination and grant application process.  UMi’s strong track record of designing and delivering a range of grant projects gave Virgin Unite the confidence that they are in safe hands. 

For Virgin Unite, UMi is taking the hard work out of grant administration, using our expertise to design and administer this significant fund that will make a difference to so many lives across the UK. 

The project will see our team undertake the system and process design, due diligence and reports for the grant-making panel, legal contracting and defraying funds, and follow-up reporting. 

With this multi-year project, we’ll also be contributing to Virgin Unite’s ‘Listening & Learning’ exercises to continuously improve the process for nominating employees and applicants from the charities.  

Holly Branson, Chair of Virgin Unite, said: “It makes me so proud to see how time and time again, so many Virgin employees step up to support their communities by volunteering with local charities that tackle difficult and heart-breaking issues. We passionately believe these people are true legends and should be celebrated. This is why we set up Local Legends with Virgin Unite, as a UK project to support local charities and recognise Virgin family members who give up their time to make a difference in their communities.” 

Simon Allen, UMi’s Local Legend’s project lead, said: “We’re so happy that Virgin Unite appointed us to manage the Local Legends fund, not least because volunteering and supporting local communities are fundamental to UMi’s B Corp values.  It will be exciting to see the great work being done by the charities the fund will support”.