Unity in the Community
In 2009, to celebrate our silver anniversary, we launched an imitative called Unity in the Community. This initiative encouraged staff to take part in volunteering and fundraising for charities across the UK, this was supported by the Bank offering each member of staff five volunteering days per year.
As a result, a healthy proportion of our staff already offer support to local voluntary and charitable organisations. This ranges from working for credit unions, teaching English to vulnerable members of society, coaching a children's rugby team, teaching angling to underprivileged children, working for local CVSs, sitting as a JP, chairing a safer neighbourhood panel and working for the 'Appropriate Adult Network'.
Not only does this benefit local communities and society in general, it also provides valuable practical experience for the staff, which enhances their understanding and knowledge of the social economy sector.
We had an amazing year in 2013 and the bar has been set even higher for 2014 with the target number of volunteering days across all staff being 132 days.
2014 has got off to a great start including:
- Seven members of staff took part in data inputting survey results for one of our customer's, The Flavasum Trust.
- Staff raised £200 for The British Heart Foundation
- Staff have raised £1,796 in cake sales, dressdown days and other office activities and taken part in 113 volunteering days to local charities.
- Staff attended Cannon Hill House in Moseley, Birmingham, our team got involved in painting the garden furniture, general gardening and planting hanging baskets.
- A team of staff helped out at the Priestley Smith School sports day. Priestley Smith is a specialist centre for pupils with severe sight loss.
- One of our staff in customer services took part in the Tough Mudder challenge in Kettering raising £1,500 for Cancer Research.
- Four members of staff took part in the Acorns Dog Walk raising over £150.
- The Unity running club competed in various running challenges including the British Heart Foundation Run in the Wyre Forest raising £900.
- We spent a day volunteering at The Dogs Trust cleaning kennels and taking the rescued dogs for walks.
- Five members of staff helped out at Birmingham YMCA to clear a children's play area.
- Peter Kelly, one of our Executive Director's volunteered with a Big Issue seller for a day.
- 23 members of staff volunteered at Sutton Park's Donkey Sanctuary over a week period helping them get prepared for their Christmas Fair.
- Our Head of Finance, Helen Rotheram used her five days allowance in one week to raise money for Zoe's Baby Hospice by completing a trek of the Himalaya's and raising over £4,000.
Plus many more...
- At the end of 2012, Unity used surplus funds raised through Unity in the Community to donate to local charities nominated by staff. Over £3,500 was donated to over 15 charities.
- Six members of staff helped out at Edward’s Trust in Birmingham, a charity that supports children and families during serious illness and bereavement.
- One of our relationship managers organised and took part in helping and teaching 24 children from The Jisgaw Group have a go at fishing. This charity based in Staffordshire supports people with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism and their families.
- Two teams attended Acorns Children’s Hospice to help clean and paint the hospice.
- Two members of staff took part in the Acorns Dog Walk raising over £400.
- Several members of staff took part in the Big Brum Night Walk on behalf of The Big Issue Foundation raising awareness for homeless people.
Plus many more…
- We supported the Barnado’s gift tree appeal by donating a Decembers dress down money of £150.
- Several teams of staff attended Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham to help clean.
- We held a MacMillan coffee morning and raised £87.93 for the great work of MacMillan nurses.
- Through a number of activities including growing beards – staff raised over £400 for Comuc Relief.
Plus many more…
- Staff took to Cotteridge Park in Birmingham to repair a wigloo and provide general support. Funds from previous dress down days allowed the team to buy much need willow to make the repairs.
- Some of the female staff within Unity took part in the Race for Life at Canon Hill Park and Solihull raising over £150 for Cancer Research UK.
- One of our Relationship Managers, Gordon Allan, spent a day volunteering with one of his customers, Destiny Church Trust (DCT).
- A couple of teams of staff attended Warley Woods which is a community Trust in Birmingham to help tidy their grounds and paint furniture.
Plus many more…
- A number of Unity staff took part in an abseil down the Fort Dunlop building in Birmingham raising over £1,100 for The Stroke Association.
- Two teams attended Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmimgham to paint corridors and communal areas for the Children.
- A team took to SIFA Fireside Allotments to help with general maintenance.
- A team of Unity staff visited Edward's Trust to help out with sprucing up the garden area and car park at Sunrise – a purpose-built bereavement centre.
- There was a street collection in Birmingham, ran by Unity staff, raising over £750 for Acorns.
As 2009 was the start of the Unity in the Community initiative we have produced a brief brochure about what the staff at Unity got up to…Click here to view the summary.