29/09/2015 11:13 BST | Updated 29/09/2016 06:12 BST

What's Got London Giving?

I often come across stories about people who have changed their lives through education.

Jude is just one of those stories. For a while, everything seemed to be falling apart for her. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, suffered a miscarriage, lost her job as a photography technician and her relationship broke down.

She knew it was time to make a change in her life, and find something to get excited about when she woke up in the morning. That's why she decided to re-train as a boat builder, which was her long-standing dream.

The 40-year old from Wales looked into courses, but was struggling to find funding; the cost of courses were out of her reach. After looking online for funding, and applying to over 50 charities, she applied for a City & Guilds Group bursary and received the full amount she requested.

'It was a lifeline for me,' Jude said. 'It really saved me and has given me hope that I can do anything, and there are people that believe that I can do it'. She is now on a level 3 City & Guilds course on marine construction, and loving it.

City Giving Day


Jude is one of hundreds of people who have been helped by the City & Guilds Group's bursary programme. More than £250,000 will be awarded this year to around 90 people who want to learn a new skill, but can't afford it.

Our charitable work doesn't end there. Recently we announced that we are investing in £5m into our new Skills Development Fund, to create long-term, sustainable change by improving skills.

But we're just one example of how businesses in London's Square Mile give back. That's why today, The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alan Yarrow, is leading City Giving Day, when businesses join together to celebrate their charitable acts that have benefited people and communities across the City.

We're proud of our strong, historical links to the City - and proud to showcase the many ways organisations like ours make other people's lives better.

The City of London brings together hundreds of thousands of people every day, all of whom can make a difference. I'd encourage all businesses to take part, even if you aren't located in the City, so you can join the celebration of charitable giving.

Whether it's offering work experience placements, raising money for a charity, or supporting valuable community projects, together we can have a substantial impact on those around us.

Check out the City Giving Day website to see how you can get involved and join the conversation using #CGD.