Speakers’ Corner Trust is grateful to all its funders and in particular the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation which has supported SCT’s work in the UK from its inception and to The Co-operative Membership which funded a series of local projects in 2014.

SCT is also grateful to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office which supported the development of its Nigerian project and to the Ford Foundation which is now funding the new Speakers’ Corner Trust Nigeria.

The Co-operative is one of the largest consumer co-operatives in the world, with over seven million members, who earn a share of our profits, based on their trade with us. For over 150 years we’ve been owned and democratically controlled by our members. We are controlled by members through a governance structure of 48 democratically elected area committees, seven regional boards and a Group Board, from where individuals can progress all the way from ordinary members to Group Chair.Since 1844, The Co-operative has aimed to serve as broad a range of groups as economically viable, and our ethical offerings are for ‘all’, not a select few. We are very much a community business, with a presence in every postal area in the UK. We have some 5000 stores and branches, and our members ensure  that local interests are considered in matters as diverse as community giving to store portfolio changes. We invested £16.8 million in UK communities in 2012.

We are proud to be working with The Speakers’ Corner Trust on projects across London & South East region which encourage people to have their say in their community, in the same way that they can have their say in our businesses.To find out more and to get involved go to www.co-operative.coop/membership.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the larger independent grant-making foundations in the UK.We make grants to organisations which aim to maximise opportunities for individuals to experience a full quality of life, both now and in the future. In particular we are concerned with children and young people, and others who are disadvantaged.The charity was established in 1987 by the publisher and philanthropist Paul Hamlyn whose values were summarised in the motto he chose when given a peerage in 2000 – ‘There must be a better way’, words which we have adapted in our strapline to describe what we want to achieve – ‘Towards a better way’. That way is towards being a society that is fair, allows people to realise their potential, fights prejudice, encourages and assists participation in and enjoyment of the arts and learning, and understands the importance of the quality of life for all communities.

The Education and Learning Programme, through which SCT is being funded, has a strong focus on supporting innovation and aims to achieve significant impact across a range of education themes or issues and foster the development and sharing of new practice, experiences and learning between and within schools, local authorities and voluntary organisations.

esmee_fairbairn Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. We have an endowment of approximately £950 million and spend in the region of £30 million each year mainly in the arts and heritage, education, environment, and social development sectors. We make grants to organisations which aim to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK, both now and in the future.We define quality of life not simply in terms of economic well-being, although clearly that is important, but also that we are enriched by our environment, both natural and human, by our culture, heritage, and education, and by our sense of belonging and community. We are also concerned that everyone should have the opportunity to flourish as part of a healthy and dynamic society.

The education programme at the Foundation is interested in encouraging young people to air their views on political, social and economic issues. We feel that the Speakers’ Corner project will help to rekindle interest in live debate and will encourage people of all ages to vote and to get more engaged in local and national decision-making.

ministry_of_justice The Ministry of Justice Democratic Engagement Branch has actively sought to improve the government-citizen relationship by encouraging open and transparent dialogue and deliberation during the policy development process.The government’s Governance of Britain Green Paper reinforces this agenda as it emphasises the importance of engaging the public and providing genuine opportunities to influence decision-making. The Speakers’ Corner Trust initiative is an integral part of assisting government achieve it’s public engagement agenda, as it provides a practical model for government institutions to engage, listen and respond accordingly to civic issues/concerns.
FCO The Foreign & Commonwealth Office seeks to promote human rights and democracy across the range of its international work. It does so both as a reflection of Britain’s values and international obligations and through a recognition that countries which are democratic, respect the rights of their citizens and observe the rule of law at home and abroad, are also safer places in which to live and work, trade with or visit.The FCO, through the British High Commission in Abuja, is supporting Speakers’ Corner Trust’s work in Nigeria as it promotes key elements of the its Human Rights & Democracy programme. The Programme is founded on the principle that democracy, and its commitment to freedom of expression and association, is the only system of government in which individuals have the opportunity fully to realise their human rights and which respects a plurality of opinion, provides a framework for non-violent change and manages conflict peacefully, based on equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

For further information about the FCO’s Human Rights & Democracy programme, please visit http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/spend-our-budget/funding-programmes1/strat-progr-fund/human-rights.

RAWM Regional Action West Midlands (RAWM) supports the voluntary and community sector at regional level.  RAWM was established in 2000 as a result of Government policy to move decision-making powers and resources from Central Government departments to the newly created English regions. RAWM supports the voluntary and community sector in the following ways:1) Promoting a sector perspective on regional strategies by reflecting the sector’s voice at key meetings
2) Maximising the sector’s contribution to regional strategies by supporting organisations to engage with and influence regional work;
3) Sharing important regional information with voluntary and community organisations and feeding information about the sector back into regional structures;
4) Influencing the development of government programmes and unlocking resources for the sector.
The Ford Foundation believes all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have voice in the decisions that affect them.It believes the best way to achieve these goals is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors; and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society. In our experience, such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society.The principal goal of the Foundation’s West Africa programme, which funding the Nigeria Speakers’ Corner project, is to improve governance systems and livelihood opportunities for the poor.

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