A huge thank you to the team at Kaplan East Midlands!

The wonderful staff at Kaplan East Midlands have been supporting Soft Touch Arts during 2014 with a series of fundraising activities and events.

Kaplan East Midlands, based on Regent Road in Leicester, and also in Nottingham, is part of the much larger international Kaplan organisation, a US-based educator, best known in the UK for training accountants for professional exams, and also lawyers through the Kaplan Law School.

Throughout the Kaplan organisation there is a strong ethos of so-called corporate social responsibility, the idea that any community should be supported by businesses that operate within that community. The focus of much of this community-based attitude can be seen in the annual fundraising event undertaken within the UK, focused on a challenging trek through the Welsh mountains.  Half of any money raised goes to Kaplan’s national charity, The Helena Kennedy Foundation.  The beneficiaries of the remaining half are chosen by individual Kaplan centres around the UK, whose choice reflects the opinions of the local staff.

Kaplan East Midlands has established a deserved reputation over recent years as Kaplan’s top UK fundraiser, raising more than £26,000 in the last five years for causes including Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough, Edgar’s Gift, a Leicester-based charity providing “gifts” to terminally ill children. In 2014, Kaplan raised the grand total of £1,830 for Soft Touch Arts through a series of events including a Commonwealth Challenge – during which the team completed over 500km on treadmill and cross trainer – a sponsored beard shave, dress-down Fridays, pre-exam revision evenings  and a special evening event centred around the discovery of King Richard III in Leicester.

Kevin Hudson from Kaplan said “Soft Touch is a great local charity working with some of the most disadvantaged young people in Leicestershire and we were delighted to be able to support their work. The staff really enjoyed the various activities, in particular the day our colleague, Mel, dressed as an elf!”

The funds raised by the Kaplan team will be put into the Soft Touch Arts building fund which is being used to finance the refurbishment of 50 New Walk into Leicester’s first Youth Arts and Heritage Centre. The Centre is due to open in May 2015 and includes dedicated music studios, exhibition and event space, an arts and crafts studio and a teaching kitchen as well as housing the charity’s offices.

Soft Touch is still raising money to complete the equipping of the new centre – to make a donation towards this amazing resource for Leicester’s young people you can text the code SOFT00 plus the amount you want to give e.g. SOFT00£5 to 70070. You can also make a donation on the Virgin Money Giving website.