Sat Singh grew up in one of the most disadvantaged areas of London. He had a severe health condition, and had to spend his formative years caring for family members, all while doing the usual things that young people do, such as studying for exams. Sat decided to use his own experience to think about how he might help other people in similar positions. Armed only with his determination to succeed and the support of a few friends, Sat set up Renaissance Foundation.
The Foundation started with a firm belief that if any young person believes in themselves they can achieve anything. It is this self-belief which has propelled Renaissance Foundation from its humble beginnings to where it is today. For several years now, Renaissance Foundation has been taking groups of young people to Oslo for the Noble Peace Prize ceremony. They have received funding from the Prince’s Trust, have been supported by Richard Branson and were even invited to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister.
Renaissance Foundation now focuses on supporting three specific groups of disadvantaged 13-19 year-olds: young carers, transitioning hospital patients (moving from the child care system to the adult care system) and at-risk disadvantaged schoolchildren. They are based in a welcoming hub in Shoreditch where young people can drop in, confident that they will be given a safe space and a warm welcome.
Led by Sat, the team have built up an impressive array of connections and contacts and peer mentors, whom inspire and empower the young people they work with to build resilience and believe in themselves. Stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams and Richard Branson are just some of the role models who have been brought into the Renaissance Foundation family since it first began in 2003. Through team-building workshops, they equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life, and with the support of corporate partners, they organise career visits and employability sessions.
The Rumi Foundation is proud to support the team at Renaissance Foundation, and are always delighted to hear the latest ways in which the team thrill and inspire disadvantaged young people in London.