City Giving Day 2021 - celebrating partnerships between Lloyds Banking Group colleagues and small charities

We were thrilled to join Lloyds Banking Group on City Giving Day, to celebrate their charity partnerships, employee volunteering initiatives, and how they're working to improve services for customers facing complex social issues.

Background of City Giving Day 2021

On 21 September, City Giving Day took place in London. The day is an annual initiative organised by the Lord Mayor's Appeal that enables companies and employees in the City of London to celebrate and showcase their philanthropic and volunteering achievements and encourage others to get involved. 

This year, we were thrilled to join Lloyds Banking Group at an event they hosted to celebrate their charity partnerships, employee volunteering initiatives, and how they're working to improve services for customers facing complex social issues. All of which form part of the Group's 'Helping Britain Recover' strategy.

We have a strong partnership with the Group, whose profits fund our work, which means we can build long-term impactful relationships with small charities across England and Wales. We share an ambition to help people and communities recover from the pandemic and believe that we can achieve greater impact by working closely together through a range of initiatives and projects.

Click the image to learn more about our work connecting Lloyds Banking Group colleagues with small charities.

Kay Cameron at an event

Since 2014, we've developed a range of opportunities for colleagues to support small and local charities.

During City Giving Day, colleagues shared the different ways in which our partnership has enabled them to work with small and local charities and help more people experiencing complex social issues.

These activities include:

  • Connecting specialist domestic abuse charities that we fund to bring together the expertise of frontline charities and the Group to improve support to customers who have experienced domestic and financial abuse.
  • Delivering sessions for charities to share how people without ID or accommodation can set up bank accounts while also working closely with charities to help people get support to access banking services.
  • Connecting small and local charities and local Lloyds Bank and Halifax branches to encourage mutual support. This support has spanned from fundraising for local charities to providing budgeting and financial support to people whom a charity is supporting. The programme has not only supported charities, but also provided colleagues with an enhanced understanding of the challenges facing their customers.
  • Working with the team behind the Lloyds Bank Academy, an online learning hub that has tailored support for charities. The Academy also provides a range of training sessions for people that need help getting online which charities can share with the people they support to reduce the digital skills gap.

Charity and colleague partnerships shared their insight

At City Giving Day, we heard from two charity and colleague partnerships. Ideal for All, who recruited Sam Owo through the Trustee Programme. A programme that introduces Bank colleagues who are interested in exploring a charity trusteeship to charities seeking new trustees.

Sam shared about getting involved in the Trustee Programme:

"One of the great benefits of [working in] the Group is the opportunities we have to really make a difference in our communities… My skillset was matched with Ideal for All, I spoke to the CEO, and it went from there... I come to work in a place where you do think strategically… in this scenario as a trustee, it's very much about using all of your skills, experiences and knowledge to support the board to drive a lot of agendas, and honestly, it's amazing what you didn't realise you were capable of, and the difference the board finds in that engagement."

Neil Herman, also a Trustee for Ideal for All, shared his experience of being a trustee for a small charity:

"What you find in almost all small charities is that you've got a body of people who are incredibly committed to the cause… How [the Group's employees] can support and help is by providing that professional input. Ideal for All had been looking for a while for someone to join the board who was able to help with HR, and Sam joined the board as a result of that."

Learning more about the positive impact of the Charity Response Forums

Refugee Action Kingston also joined us at the event. A group of colleagues had supported the charity through our Charity Response Forums. These forums were set up to help charities navigate the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. They bring charity representatives together virtually with a panel of the Group's employees drawn from across the company. For a few hours, charity representatives have an opportunity to share their most pressing concerns, test their thinking, and tackle their problems from a new angle.

Isik Oguzertem, Director at Refugee Action Kingston, shared his take on Charity Response Forums:

The areas for employees to volunteer is quite enormous, it could be about being a critical friend, about something quite technical, which is their professional expertise, or it could be about really listening and providing solutions based upon their own experiences. So, what I think is fantastic about the forums and why more colleagues should get involved is because you don't actually know where you might be able to help until you get into the weeds of the work, and that is where the really interesting opportunities present themselves.

Isik Oguzertem's speech on City Giving Day

Caroline Braun, a Group employee and volunteer for Refugee Action Kingston, shared what taking part in Charity Response Forums felt like:

"We shared our experience and some of our expertise… it was really rewarding, and I think it was really helpful for the charity to gain some of our insights, and our relationship grew from there… After the forum we got back in touch [with Refugee Action Kingston] to speak about the need for some financial education for the people they support. I used to manage the Group's financial education programme, so I thought I could add some valuable input…"

As a result, Caroline and the charity are planning on delivering sessions for refugees and asylum seekers to introduce them to UK banking. Caroline has also been reaching out to colleagues within the charities’ local Lloyds branch and from elsewhere in the company to support these sessions.

Caroline also shared how she's been able to develop her skills and knowledge as a result of getting involved with the charity:

"It's made me so much more aware of some of the challenges our customers or potential customers might be facing. It's great that the charity is making us think about some of the things we should be delivering for our communities."

 

More from City Giving Day

Isik from Refugee Action Kingston shared his thoughts on this at the City Giving Day event:

"There is something in it for colleagues, for volunteering and giving up their time, they're not just giving they're getting as well. Being able to take a charity perspective and bring it back to your business life, that can be very mind-opening… so it's very much a two-way street, and if it's just a few hours, well that's a good story to tell, but if it evolves into something greater then you might have a life-changing experience."

 

Gareth Oakley, Managing Director, Business Banking at the Group and Trustee for Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, agreed with Isik:

 

Gareth Oakley's speech on City Giving Day

I can vouch for that in my experience, and we were saying earlier how that phrase 'life-changing' can be overused, but I do think the perspective you get [by supporting a small charity] can be life-changing... perhaps, the hidden secret is the amount of personal development you get from supporting these charities, you get a completely different perspective.

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