Drax Foundation donates £90k to support STEM education and community initiatives in Yorkshire and the Humber

Drax Foundation, which is part of renewable energy company Drax Group, has donated £90,000 to three projects near to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

The Foundation supports education and skills development for non-profit organisations and social enterprises in the regions where it operates and runs two grant cycles a year. Today’s announcement is part of a total of £323,000 that makes up the first round of grants that have been awarded across the UK, US and Canada since the Foundation was launched in March 2023.    

Shona King, Drax Head of Community, said: “We are passionate about giving back to the communities we operate in and earlier this year we launched the Drax Foundation as part of an exciting new chapter in how we deliver positive social impact. We are pleased to announce that nearly 45% of our initial £323,000 grant awards will support six STEM projects in the UK, half of which will support programmes here in Yorkshire.”  

Of the total, almost £90,000 has been split between three different organisations in Yorkshire and the Humber;  

  • NYBEP (North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership) who work with schools and businesses to develop STEM programmes 
  • Don Catchment Rivers Trust which offers Community-led conservation and nature-based STEM education for children 
  • Toranj Tuition, a Hull-based organisation established to stimulate social mobility and to facilitate equal opportunities for adults and children through our educational programmes. 

Pedram Saeid from Toranj Tuition said: “We provide science workshops and STEM mentoring sessions for children from minority ethnic communities or low-income British households. Funding from the Drax Foundation will enable us to continue and expand these programmes by offering trips and practical experiments as part of the programme which will make science engaging and enjoyable and inspire children to take an interest in science.” 

Rebecca McCleary, Partnership Manager at NYBEP, said: “Our mission is to nurture talent for successful futures by upskilling and identifying opportunities for young people in their local area. With this funding from the Drax Foundation we plan to launch a new programme at schools in Yorkshire which will focus on bringing STEM to life, improving employability, and also encouraging girls into STEM subjects.” 

Alex Liversidge, Project Development Assistant at Don Catchment Rivers Trust, said: “The Trust’s mission is to allow our rivers to THRIVE. Positive change ensures our rivers and their wildlife are better valued and protected into the future. Funding from the Drax Foundation helps us achieve this by allowing the Trust to engage communities through activities such as river clean-ups, Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) removal days, ‘River Guardian’ educational sessions for children, guided walks and events to celebrate our volunteers.” 

Drax Foundation funds initiatives that support education and skills development in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces and enhance biodiversity within local communities. Funding is available for organisations ranging from smaller community-led projects to larger grants of £50,000 for established non-profit organizations.

Priority is given to organisations that deliver programmes for under-served and under-represented groups, advance gender equality and support indigenous communities.  

Organisations and initiatives that meet Drax’s funding and selection criteria are encouraged to visit www.drax.com/community  to learn more about the Foundation and submit an initial expression of interest.  

The Drax Foundation is a donor advised fund administered by the Charities Trust (an independently registered charity with the UK Charity Commission, charity no. 327489) 


Pic caption 1: DCRT River Clean-up, photo credit Angela Robson  

Pic caption 2: Children taking part in a STEM activity at Toranj Tuition

Media contacts: 

Megan Hopgood   
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175     

About Drax  

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com 

Power generation:  

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.   

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year. 

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 


Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.  

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com 

About DCRT 

The Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT) was established to help protect and restore rivers in the River Don catchment area, this includes not just the River Don but all the rivers and streams which flow into it such as the River Dearne, River Rother, the Sheaf, Went, Ea Beck and many others. 

Our rivers are a valuable asset which tell the story of our culture and heritage. They are important for people, wildlife and the local economy, and form an integral part of our landscape. 

Our mission statement: Working to Protect and Restore Your Rivers 


Our rivers will THRIVE. Positive change will ensure our rivers and their wildlife are better valued and protected into the future. The rich heritage, ecology, history and amenity value of our rivers will be appreciated by people, communities, and decision makers.   

What we do / our work 

RIVER RESTORATION – restoring habitats and re-naturalising rivers. Removing barriers and improving fish passage. 

WORKING WITH NATURE – nature-based solutions and natural flood management 

LAND MANAGEMENT – working with farmers and riverside businesses to improve water quality and improve access to our rivers. Tackling invasive species. 

PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES – working with volunteers and community groups to improve their rivers, inspiring young people through educational visits and events, and promoting wellbeing. 

WORKING TOGETHER – promoting and encouraging partnership working and collaboration across the catchment 

EVIDENCE & MONITORING – using data and evidence to support our projects, enabling people by Citizen Science