As well as its two main areas of focus – life sciences and marine conservation – the Bertarelli Foundation also supports a number of more local community projects.
Though the Foundation does not actively encourage unsolicited requests for support, it has worked with a number of charitable organisations on projects and sponsorships. One such project was Net’Léman, which the Foundation sponsored in 2012. This annual ‘Lake Geneva Cleaning Day’, on which hundreds of volunteers and divers clean the shores and waters of the lake, saw the recovery of over ten tonnes of waste on one day alone.
2013 saw the second Creative Minds Festival take place at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The Festival was initiated by Kirsty Bertarelli, who grew up in Stoke. It aims to provide young people with access to the arts, from theatre, to music, dance, film and more, as well as to fire their enthusiasm for the creative process. Having worked with practitioners expert in their field, local schools and community groups come together for a week-long festival, where they have the opportunity to perform in front of family and friends on the Regent’s magnificent stage.
The Foundation also initiates projects which have a particular and personal relevance to the Board members. For instance, each year, the Foundation, in collaboration with the Swiss Sailing Federation and the UBS Foundation for Social Issues and Education, distributes the Alinghi Swiss Sailing Grants. A fund of 150,000CHF goes to projects in the ‘elite’, ‘junior’ and ‘social action’ categories, with the aim of providing opportunities to those who want to sail and ways for already keen sailors to improve their performance.
Similarly, following a 2009 family trip to South Africa, which included a visit to Henna Pre-School, the Bertarelli family decided to sponsor a new wing in the school facilities dedicated to its youngest students; two years later the Foundation supported the construction of a small medical facility.