Tomillo Foundation

Carmen García de Andrés, President.
An organization with diverse programmes which contribute to social development and personal growth of children, young people and adults, while generating knowledge and helping other agents of change unleash transformation processes.
What solution does the innovation propose?

Participants are placed at the core of all programmes and actions, activating four important levers of social change: childcare, training, employment and entrepreneurship. Its personalized, holistic interventions promote talent development at a personal and professional level, thus fostering life-long learning.

To achieve long-term transformation of the environment most actions and resources are coordinated with other agents of change, constituting innovation communities that are responsive to complex situations. Building on its 30 years of experience, its Innovation and Research area accompanies other organisations in designing, evaluating and measuring the social impact achieved by their programmes. Action research activities are also developed to continuously adapt interventions to real needs of the environment. This allows for the identification, design and transfer of transformative methodological approaches that show great potential for systematic implementation, such as Service Learning.


Premio CEPSA al Valor Social (2018). Premio Iberdrola al Fin de la Pobreza (2018). Best Social Mentoring Practice, Mentoring Spain (2017). Premio Fundación Princesa de Girona Entidad (2016). Corbata de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio, Ministry of Education and Science of Spain (2011).

Impact evidence

  • In 2019, 1,735 children and adolescents received educational support, 1,158 young people were trained, and 466 entrepreneurs were accompanied.
  • Since 2015, one of its programmes has trained over 260 young people in vulnerable situations in energy-efficiency-related careers.
  • Training schemes on Service Learning have reached over 400 professionals. Institutions such as the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare; Unicef and Save the Children have been supported through strategic and project development tasks.
  • In 2019, children and adolescents improved their academic performance in 68% of cases, and 78% of them presented improvements in socio-emotional skills.
  • 8 out of 10 students in official vocational training remain in education or gain employment. 86% of participants in specialised training schemes obtain qualifications, and 66% take up employment.
  • 95% of Service Learning programmes improved their academic performance, whilst 66% enhanced their self-esteem.
  • In 2019, entrepreneurship support activities resulted in 51 new businesses.
  • 61% of the entrepreneurs accompanied by Tomillo Foundation remain in operation after 3 years.
  • In 2019, the trainees in energy-efficiency carried out micro interventions in 56 local dwellings. 77% of the households benefitted from a 12% average annual reduction in energy consumption, equivalent to an average of 42 € monthly savings.
How does it work?

Understanding educational equity as a key lever for poverty and social inequality reduction, some of the programmes promote learning at an educational stage, seeking personal, emotional and social development among children. Childcare activities are implemented in cooperation with major change agents: schools and families.

Activities for adolescents and young people use educational leisure as a tool for fostering social, cultural, artistical and recreational engagement. Both its Official Vocational Training Centre and its Second Chance School offer holistic learning experiences that go beyond traditional training schemes related to formal, non-formal and employment education. Training activities meet the interests and pace of participants, while at the same time responding to the needs of the labour market and partner companies.

The efforts to tackle unemployment embrace labour intermediation -acting the foundation itself as a placement agency- and entrepreneurship. Within this field, mentoring activities, training and online support are offered for entrepreneurs to develop and manage their business ideas.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
7 neighbourhoods in Madrid (Spain).
Where has been implemented so far
Fuenlabrada and Majadahonda (Spain).
Last updated: 
September 2020