UBS and Bridge Academy win the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

London Corporate Responsibility Investment Bank News


Yesterday UBS and the Bridge Academy partnership won the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award which was presented at the school in Hackney by Children’s Minister Sarah Teather.

Congratulating UBS and the Bridge Academy, the Prime Minister said: “The Bridge Academy is a brilliant example of business working with their local community to make a difference and create something really special for their area. The innovative ideas, enthusiasm and skills of the UBS volunteers have had a clear impact on the Academy, inspiring students and helping them reach their potential.”

The award recognises the 1700 UBS employees who have volunteered their time and skills since the Bridge Academy was established in 2003.

“Every day we see the benefits to students and staff of this exceptional partnership with UBS. Students lives are being changed because of it,” said Stephen Foster, Principal of the Bridge Academy.

This year volunteers participated in 32 different projects at the Bridge Academy. Some of the projects acknowledged by 10 Downing Street include:

  • The Reading Challenge where volunteers work weekly with students to improve literacy and numeracy skills
  • A virtual trading project with 54 top year 10 maths students working in class with Equities traders
  • UBS Pride Network engaged Stonewall to work with 180 year seven students on homophobic bullying, supported by eight UBS volunteers
  • A new programme to introduce year 10 students to the world of work, with a focus on relevant skills and the motivation
  • Funding Queen Mary University of London to support the maths specialism with 15 undergraduates working with 43 students on curriculum topics

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrate the Big Society in their work or activities. The award focuses upon three specific areas: promoting social action, empowering communities and opening up public services.

UBS’s support for the Bridge Academy in numbers

  • 1,700 volunteers have contributed 18,000 hours since 2003
  • 400 volunteers have contributed 3,000 hours in the first 10 months this year
  • UBS employees and clients have raised over £272,200 since 2009

About the Academy

  • The Bridge is a mixed, non-denominational school for 11-18 year olds, specialising in mathematics and music
  • It welcomed its first intake of 187 students in September 2007
  • By 2013 it will cater for 1,150 students, including 250 sixth formers