Which communities take priority?
We operate in a number of UK hubs (Birmingham, Cardiff, Kingswood, Central London, Ipswich, Hove, Edinburgh and Dublin), Netherlands, France and the USA. In those offices are employees who live and work in those communities and know best on the local community issues and inequalities that we can contribute to fixing through funding, volunteering and gifts in kind typically within 10 miles of those offices.
How do we decide what to support?
We have voluntary employee committees that help decide what’s needed and what’s supported around our hubs.
We also look to the ’third’ and ‘not for profits’ sectors to help us to improve the way we do business in line with our campaigns. We opportunistically look for partners, both big and small, for their expertise and knowledge to help us understand the fringes of our traditional marketplace or the every day matters that affect our employees. In exchange for funding they may come in and train our employees, challenge our product designers or our perceptions of a particular market so that we are able to think differently about it.
We don’t do a charity of the year. We believe that working with many charities from an employee perspective to a business perspective builds upon the richness needed within our organisation.
Charities also come to us because they are looking to test new ideas out with the corporate sector on ways of raising funds. We think we are a good place to learn and test. We hope that this then gives these charities a chance to take these ideas to other corporates.
Some examples of how we have done this include:
- Working with AGE UK to develop a ‘living on £70 per week’
- Working with Tax Help for older people to provide call centre services to our annuities customers
- Working with Elderly Accommodation Counsel to provide seminars for employees who are worried about difficult decisions on what to do with their parents in retirement homes
- Working with the RNLI to provide reality days for our home Insurance claims handlers to understand the real impact of flooding
- Working with Samaritans to provide bereavement training for our teams who deal with customers’ families who have a relative who has passed away.