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From classroom to boardroom...

Jan 17, 2017

Hackney pupils’ innovative charity payment scheme launched today across 6,000 UK schools

Today sees five teenagers from Skinners’ Academy in Hackney, East London celebrating the culmination of an extraordinary 18-month journey from classroom to boardroom as their school business project, ‘iRoundUp’, has become a commercial venture.

In 2015, Agnieszka Rudnik, Daisie Spiteri, Elif Sucu, Mark Daniel and Matthew Daniel (all 17-18 years of age) – collectively known as ‘Team iRoundUp’ – won a national business competition led by Mosaic, a mentoring initiative of The Prince’s Trust. The winning idea is for a scheme that rounds up payments made to schools using ParentPay’s online payment service, with the excess being donated to nominated charities.

Following a successful testing phase last month, iRoundUp has today been rolled out across ParentPay’s entire UK platform and is now available to approximately 2 million parents. So far, over £12,000 has been raised for good causes. One of the first charities to be confirmed as beneficiaries of the innovative iRoundUp scheme is Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity, which raises funds to improve the lives of sick children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.

Now 18 months on, Agnieszka Rudnik, Daisie Spiteri, Elif Sucu, Mark Daniel and Matthew Daniel, all 17-18 years old, have seen their winning business idea from the Enterprise Challenge launched

Commenting on the launch, Jonathan Freeman, Managing Director of Mosaic, said: “This is truly a moment to celebrate. The success that Team iRoundUp has achieved is very much deserved and proof that high-quality mentoring, such as that enjoyed by the pupils taking part in Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge competition, has the potential to change lives. Mosaic will remain forever committed to nurturing and encouraging the talent of pupils in schools throughout the UK, regardless of background, faith or circumstance.”

Clint Wilson, ParentPay CEO commented: “iRoundUp is an excellent concept: the idea of students donating spare change to charities via ParentPay is simple but ingenious. Designed for an increasingly cashless society, iRoundUp is a digital charity box allowing students and their families to donate small amounts that can make a big difference to other people’s lives. We love the fact that our supporting five students from Skinners’ Academy in developing their skills, has allowed them to go on to support thousands more young people, with the money raised via iRoundUp.”

Helen Haskell, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Charity, added: “We are delighted to be chosen by ParentPay as the first charity to benefit from the funds raised by the iRoundUp scheme. The students at Skinners’ Academy should be thrilled with their achievement. The money raised will benefit children in hospitals and hospices, providing life-saving medical equipment, free family accommodation and a range of arts, music and play therapy programmes so will make a huge difference.”

Team iRoundUp said: “We were all moved by the heart-warming story of Andreia and her two-year-old son Henrique who was diagnosed with a condition that means he was unable to speak. The iRoundUp donations have helped fund Music Therapy for Henrique and he was recently able to speak his first words. Knowing that our scheme has helped a little boy to be able to speak was very overwhelming, and a few of us got very emotional. It’s amazing to see how small donations can make such a big difference to someone else’s life.”

Supported by Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK, Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge initiative sees volunteer mentors from the business community work with pupils in some of the most deprived areas of the UK, helping them to conceive, develop and pitch exciting, feasible business ideas. Entrepreneur and Honorary Chairman of Mosaic Associates, James Caan CBE, formally launched the 2017 Enterprise Challenge competition in October 2016, paving the way for volunteers from the business community to sign-up as mentors. The competition is underway as of 9th of January 2017.

Click here to read more about iRoundUp and how it works.