Give It Sum
Set up by Robbie in May 2000, Give It Sum is Robbie's charitable fund which he initially set up with the money from his Pepsi sponsorship deal. The fund is open to a broad range of self-help projects, community groups and voluntary organisations based in North Staffordshire.
Administered by Comic Relief, the fund offers grants three times a year and aims to make a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged people, giving them a chance to change their communities for the better.
Having grown up in the area, the fund is Robbie's way of giving something back to his hometown. In his own word: "I'm glad that the little help that I give can do great things."
Who can benefit?
The Robbie Williams Give It Sum fund welcomes application from groups working in all sections of the community, particularly those who have struggled to find funding in the past. All groups and projects will need to show how they are involving the people who use their services and facilities in planning. running and reviewing their work. Their annual income must be less than £150,000.
To date, the fund has made 124 grants to a variety of groups including dialled people, single parents, older people, children and refugees. There is still plenty of work to be done and Robbie continues to be committed to helping the people of North Staffordshire to improve their lives.
The fund supports a broad range of self-help projects, community groups and voluntary organisations that address poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. Priority is given to local community groups, but applications from voluntary services providing services to people in need are also considered.
Some types of groups and examples of projects that Robbie WIlliams' Give It Sum fund has funded include:
- Resident's associations and self-help groups working to improve their local communities.
- Projects offering help and support to those in need, for example, refugees and asylum seekers, young people with drug and alcohol problems, homeless people, single parents,older people, children and people from minority ethnic communities.
- Projects that help people who are often left out to have their say, for example, gourds campaigning for better service and disabled people's rights groups.
Exampls of specific projects include:
- A scheme run by homeless people who have established a community business delivering fresh fruit and veg in run down areas where there are few local shops.
- An integrated playscheme, developed by a local support group, allowing disabled and non-disabled children to play together. Previously, disabled children in the area had to travel a long distance to get to a playscheme, which offered them the facilities they needed but which separated them from developing relationships with non-disabled children in their own neighbourhood.
- A rape crisis group that offers counselling and advice to women, putting the issue of sexual abuse on the agenda of local services and highlighting the long term effects of abuse. They were awarded two years of funding to give them some security while they sought more secure sources of funding to develop their services.
- A community house on an estate which has been in decline over recent years with derelict houses and a visible drug problem. he house was formed by a groups of residents who work with the local authority to improve the estate through a range of initiatives and in this way it acts as a focal point for the community. The funding helped cover the running costs of the house to enable the residents to develop a number o new services.
The fund also supports the Give It Sum North Staffs Community Chest. This fund makes grants between £50 and £500 to groups with an annual income of less that £10,000 addressing poverty and disadvantage throughout the region. For details about the community chest and how to apply, contact Staffordshire Moorlands Council for Voluntary Services on 01538 381 356.
How is Give It Sum funded?
Initially set up with his Pepsi sponsorship deal money, Robbie has continued to find ways to generate income and ensure his chosen charities and the various self-help projects continue to benefit.
Money is raised in a variety of ways, sometimes through private events such as sponsored shows, and sometg in a more public way. Here is one event you many remember..!
Bid It Sum auction
In 2001 Robbie auctioned off a selection of belongings he had collected over the years at Sotheby's, with items including rare Take That vinyls and some of those highly pored platinum discs.
Part of the collection included the hand-written lyrics to 'Angels' which raised a massive £27,000. Even Robbie, who was present for the auction, was lost for words!
The auction raised a total of £221,044 for Give It Sum.
Robbie's relationship with Comic Relief
Before Give It Sum was founded, Robbie and Comic Relief enjoyed working together and discovered not only a shared set of ideals, but a mutual respect. So, when the decision of how to go about allocating Robbie's cash to charity was made, it seemed only natural for a new relationship to be struck.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
Robbie became involved with the Jeans for Genes in 1997, after he was approached by GASCC. His patronage has seen him lending his name to the appeal and providing photographs for publicity.
In 1998 Robbie made a major impact on the appeal when he posed for the press in a pair of body-painted jeans. The jeans took five hours to create by top make=up artist Gina Kane, who has work with Robbie for many years. In that year the appeal raised £2.27m, almost double the previous year's total of £1.4m!
During Robbie's patronage the charity raised over £15.8m. His support significantly impacted the awareness and credibly of the campaign.
Give It Sum also supports UNICEF.