and the community
Thank you for expressing an interest in supporting us. You may have many questions. Hopefully we have addressed most of them here but if not, please contact us.
Why does Cheltenham need this?
What support is needed?
How will I benefit?
How could I support you?
WHY DOES CHELTENHAM NEED THIS?
1) A national shortage of STEM skilled staff
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. 10% of the world’s top scientific research is conducted in the UK, whilst turnover from engineering is £800 billion per year. The South West has 9% of all engineering establishments but already 22% of them are reporting skills shortages. We need to act.
To support the growth of business in Gloucestershire, we need to encourage young people to study STEM subjects so that our workforce possesses the skills and knowledge that we need, for example:
Scientists to research diseases such Ebola, Alzheimers and Cancer.
ICT specialists to battle cybercrime and terrorism at GCHQ and G4S Technology Ltd.
Engineers to develop alternate power sources, like Hydrogen Fuel Cells, with GE Aviation, Moog and Safran.
Mathematically literate workers to function in every sector, not just science but also insurance and financial services; such as Ecclesiastical Insurance and Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd.
2) To regenerate deprived neighbourhoods in West Cheltenham
The annual Cheltenham Science Festival shows that our community has a thirst for learning but we need to grab their imagination all the year round. Alex Chalk MP said: "A Cheltenham Science Centre could really make the town a centre of excellence for science. I think it's got to be part of Cheltenham's future." Having renovated an empty retail unit in Coronation Square, we are helping to regenerate West Cheltenham by encouraging new visitors into the area.
Children, young people, schools and teachers benefit from a close relationship with us as we support the delivery of the new STEM curriculum. This outreach will be available to schools across Cheltenham and the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. This support will, in turn, continue to improve attainment and increase uptake of STEM subjects and increase applications in apprenticeships. This will help tackle the national problem of a shortage of STEM skilled staff.
Parents and adult learners benefit from increased opportunities to experience, investigate and enjoy hands-on science. As well as providing something to do on a rainy afternoon, this will help tackle concerns over limited scientific literacy in the community.
Local businesses will benefit from increased brand awareness and positive publicity as they support our project both financially and with services in kind as part of their corporate social responsibility. Their staff will not only enjoy opportunities to volunteer, they will also be able to identify potential recruits as they undertake outreach in the community. This increased investment of time and money will help regenerate the deprived neighbourhoods of West Cheltenham so that businesses in Coronation Square will directly benefit from increased footfall.
WHAT SUPPORT IS NEEDED?
1) Premises. In 2019, our rent has been covered by a £9,000 grant from the Summerfield Trust. Going forward, we need to secure £10,000pa to cover rent and utilities. This is paid quarterly. Could you donate £2,500 to ensure our hands-on science centre continues to operate in the heart of the deprived Hester's Way community for another 3 months?
2) Exhibits. We received £10,000 funding from the Comino Foundation for open-ended, loose part exhibits in 2016. This has provided our gear wall, vertical wind tunnel and Lego WeDo kits. In order to expand our Code Club and Robot Clubs, we need funding for tablets and accessories (£5,000).
3) We are motivated by making science accessible to all ages, genders and economic backgrounds. We are especially keen to see an increased uptake in those going on to complete STEM based apprenticeships, A levels and degrees who are female and from lower income backgrounds. Therefore, we need funding for outreach to local schools and community groups. £350 would pay for a day of workshops at a local primary school and for £400 we could stay longer in order to run an after-school session with the science centre exhibits to engage parents and children together, thereby building family science capital.
4) Funding for staffing costs. At present, the only paid member of staff is Dave. By sponsoring an additional member of staff (£25,000), you would enable us to reach more communities and provide STEM outreach across the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
HOW WILL I BENEFIT?
Companies, trusts or individuals who contribute to a science centre in Cheltenham, will be benefitting our town, county and country now and in the future by inspiring more young people to pursue STEM careers.
As well as showing corporate social responsibility, your company logo will be displayed in the centre and on our website. Along with positive media coverage, this will improve the brand awareness of your company. Your staff will appreciate opportunities to volunteer in their local community whilst you are able to identify potential talent. In addition, a representative will be invited to special events.
Read more about how other companies have supported us here.
HOW COULD I SUPPORT YOU?
If you are able to give your time to volunteer for us, please complete an application form.
If you or your company could support us financially, please contact Dave. Any support would be gratefully received and will be used to fund the ongoing work of this not-for-profit organisation.
If you are in the lucky position to be more generous, these are some of the ways that you could invest in our project:
Premises - in order to continue providing services, we need £10,000pa. This includes rates and utilities. Your name or company logo would be on the window of the centre and on all advertising materials.
Exhibits - we are keen to expand our Code Club and Robot Clubs by purchasing more tablets and Lego WeDo kits. For £5,000, your name or company logo would be displayed on the information poster and social media posts associated with these clubs.
School outreach programme - for £2,000, your company could fund 5 full day visits to local schools with after-school sessions for families from the local community. Additionally, as part of this package, your staff could develop their communication skills by volunteering at the workshops.
Sponsor a member of staff - for £25,000, you or your company could fund a full time member of staff for one year to develop links with the community and design workshops and outreach activities. This would include employer liability, pension contributions and National Insurance. Your name or company logo would be on their business cards and on all correspondence and materials produced during their tenure.