Ingenious has been a major supporter of the National Film and Television School (NFTS) for many years.
We were the proud headline sponsors of the school’s annual fund-raising Gala for seven years between 2013 and 2019, when Netflix took over the role. For many years, Ingenious has also sponsored Inside Pictures, an intensive film business training and leadership development programme, presented by the School. The programme is for film industry executives from all disciplines and is designed to develop the skills needed to lead successful businesses.
In the same spirit Ingenious helped to devise, and for many years has sponsored, the school’s MA in Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives (CBEE). We also sponsored and hosted the School’s MA in Producing course for three years.
Patrick McKenna was chair of the school’s Board of Governors between 2013 and 2022. During this period, the NFTS pursued several major growth initiatives including a £20 million redevelopment programme, doubling the availability of courses and student places, as well as launching new teaching capabilities in Glasgow (NFTS Scotland, in 2018) and Leeds (in 2019). Ingenious CEO, Neil Forster, was a trustee of the school between 2014 and 2020 and was a member of the School’s Audit & Risk Committee for the same period.
Ingenious has enjoyed a long association with the Young Vic Theatre Company, one of the world’s most renowned producing houses, established in 1970. The Young Vic has won numerous awards, including four prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards and two awards from the Critics’ Circle. Many productions have successfully transferred to the West End and Broadway.
Patrick McKenna was a member of the board of the Young Vic from 1997 to 2019, becoming chair in 2002. Led by Patrick and the artistic director at the time, David Lan, and working with theatre architect, Steve Tompkins, the theatre underwent a £12.5 million redevelopment between 2004-06. The refurbished Young Vic won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.
Patrick McKenna chairs the advisory board of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) at Goldsmiths. ICCE delivers graduate courses in creative and cultural management, enterprise and entrepreneurship to students wishing to develop careers in the creative sector. The Patrick McKenna Charitable Trust has funded five new postgraduate scholarships at the Institute and has also supported post-doctoral research into attitudes to risk and the development of new business models in the UK film industry.
For many years Ingenious was a lead sponsor of the Music Industry Trust Awards, the ‘MITS’, an annual charity event which is one of the highlights of the music industry’s calendar. The MITS has so far raised nearly £6 million to support the work of two important charities, Nordoff Robins and the BRIT Trust.
Nordoff Robbins is the largest music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to using the power of music to change the lives of vulnerable and isolated people. Through the MITS, the BRIT Trust supports the BRIT School, a free performing and creative arts school providing education and vocational training for the performing arts, media and art and design.
MeWe is a not-for-profit organisation that provides bespoke networking, mentoring, consultancy and investment support to entrepreneurs in the arts and creative industries. Its mission is to uncover the UK’s hidden leadership talent so that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and communities are able to develop thriving creative enterprises. At inception in 2012, MeWe was jointly funded by Ingenious and Arts Council England (ACE) with support from the Esme Fairbairn Foundation. Ingenious continued to support the organisation for many years by providing board level counsel and access to our networks. The MeWe Foundation, as distinct from its trading arm, is now an ACE National Portfolio Organisation working across the UK.
For many years, Ingenious has supported a range of charities who have acted as our Charity of the Year, including Brain Tumour Research, Shooting Star Chase, MIND, Rays of Sunshine and most recently The Institute of Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy. Each year, we raise thousands of pounds through various company-wide charity events including pub quizzes, Christmas jumper days, raffle nights and our summer party. In addition, the company matches individuals’ efforts to raise funds for charities that are close to them and over the years we have supported a huge variety of efforts, including sponsored mountain climbs, cross country races, a Cornwall to Scotland cycle and several marathons. Colleagues are encouraged to take an additional day of paid leave each year to support their chosen charity.
Ingenious are proud supporters of London Youth. London Youth have provided critical support to young Londoners for over 130 years through a network of over 630 community youth organisations. Through a range of activities such as providing arts, sports, employment and many more, London Youth’s ambition is to ensure young people can express themselves creatively, take part in physical activities in an safe and inclusive environment, helping all young Londoners reach their full potential.
We have recently worked with a charity called Future Frontiers, a fantastic organisation that connects us with London schools and academies to provide mentoring to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, aiming to help them with the skills and confidence required in the workplace.
As an employer of a wonderfully diverse range of individuals, we realise that we can always do more to understand the individual experiences that each of our colleagues have. That is why our team at Ingenious takes part in training programmes to understand issues that are important to our corporate and wider community. Modules include topics such as diversity and inclusion, conscious and unconscious bias and mental and physical well-being.
In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative investor to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), signing up to its mission statement to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated.
As part of our commitment to excellence in client service, Ingenious has been a member of the Institute of Customer Service since 2015. The Institute of Customer Service is the UK’s independent professional membership body for customer service, working across all sectors to drive business performance through service excellence. We have worked with the Institute to support our clear focus on setting and upholding standards in client service. Delivering excellent customer experiences is critical to our business.
We fully support the significantly greater focus which sustainable and responsible investing has attracted in recent years in the financial services industry and which is often referred to as ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance. These concepts are not new however and have been referred to by many names over a long period of time, all having a slightly different focus or emphasis. This helps explain why there is no one-size fits all approach and why ESG means different things to different people. No two people are the same, and equally no two companies are the same. We must all embrace our uniqueness. We therefore thought it would be helpful to set out for interested parties what ESG, or sustainable and responsible investing, means to us and how we incorporate this ethos into our culture and working practices.