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Project Trust provided lifeline loan from Clydesdale Bank

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Project Trust, an educational charity specialising in international volunteering, based on the Isle of Coll, has received £250,000 from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This will support the charity to stabilise cashflow at a time when income has been severely affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Project Trust supports up to 300 young people each year from across the UK to experience life in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania as valued members of a local community for up to 12 months. Working with partners, young people support communities in activities including teaching, social care or outdoor education projects and spend the year before their trip fundraising for the charity

When the pandemic hit, Project Trust had over 200 young people volunteering in projects across several continents, all of whom had to be repatriated. The Project Trust team worked tirelessly to get its Volunteers home – an operation that formed the charity’s single biggest challenge in its 53-year history. It was also forced to stop its recruitment programme in schools resulting in a significant reduction in activity. It is estimated that the charity will lose out on over £700,000 of fundraising income as a direct result of Covid-19.

The loan provided by Clydesdale Bank, owned by Virgin Money UK, will allow the organisation to continue to pay for ongoing running costs whilst it stabilises cashflow and implements a recovery plan to safeguard its future. Project Trust, which employs 25 people on the Isle of Coll, is now looking at other ways it can continue to raise funds, including launching an urgent appeal on its website through Virgin Money, in addition to exploring financial aid available from emergency funds and grant-giving bodies, and securing funding from Charitable Trusts.

Ingrid Emerson MBE, Chief Executive of Project Trust, said:

“The charitable sector has been severely affected by Covid-19. While there has been a considerable amount of generosity by the public, the cancellation of programmes and fundraising will be catastrophic for many without support from outside organisations. The loan from Clydesdale Bank is a lifeline, allowing us to continue our operations, albeit on a reduced scale, providing us with additional time to rebuild the charity even if in a different size and shape. As the single biggest employer on the Isle of Coll, we have a responsibility to do all we can to reimagine our projects post-pandemic to make sure we can return to supporting the community and sending young people overseas again.

“The CBILS loan will help to bridge that gap and enable Project Trust to survive the biggest challenge it has ever encountered. It will mean that we can hopefully get back to providing young people across the UK, Ireland and Europe with the opportunity to take part in the life enhancing opportunities we offer, as soon as it is safe to do so. It is vital that Project Trust survives this pandemic because young people, whose whole lives will be affected by this crisis, need us now more than ever to gain the skills they need to succeed.”

Kenny Reilly, relationship manager at Clydesdale Bank, said:

“Being able to keep not only businesses, but charitable organisations afloat both during and after the Covid-19 crisis is important. The UK is fortunate to have a rich tapestry of organisations in the charity sector. Whether based in big cities or on small islands, Clydesdale Bank is passionate about making sure we can provide support to those that need it, when they need it. We want to make sure that those in the charity sector, like Project Trust, can remain operational now and in the weeks and months ahead.”

POSTED IN: 2020,Case Studies


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