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Record-breaking year for Birmingham Bank’s community support programme

Press Releases Published: April 22, 2015 1:42 pm

Unity Trust Bank, the leading Birmingham based bank for organisations that offer community, social and environmental benefit, is celebrating record-breaking results for its 2014 Unity in The Community (UitC) staff volunteer programme.

Figures released today, as part of Unity’s Social Impact 2014 report, reveal that 72% of the bank’s staff collectively volunteered 175 days to 36 charitable and community organisations, smashing the 135-day target.

Staff are encouraged to give five days per year towards the programme and can volunteer at an organisation of their choice. An increase of 61.5 days compared to 2013’s achievement means an equivalent donation of £24,000 of staff time was achieved. 45% of volunteer hours were skills based, including one partnership with Enabling Enterprise, where Unity welcomed school children to the Bank to talk about careers and working life.

In 2014, Unity staff raised money throughout the year, which was then matched by the bank. The total of nearly £6,000 was donated to 27 charitable organisations selected by members of staff. These included The British Heart Foundation, The Choir With No Name and Big Issue West Midlands, all of which are close to the hearts of different people at the Bank.

James Beamish, Chair of the Unity in the Community programme, said: “We are extremely proud of the dedication our staff have shown in reaching this record-breaking achievement. More importantly, it means we have been able to provide invaluable support to community and charitable organisations and the causes they champion to help create positive social change. Unity is a bank that wants to create a genuine social impact, and our staff are committed to this. Their passion for volunteering with our local communities is one way we make this happen.”

Six of Unity’s employees volunteered at Sparkhill Foodbank, organising the food donations. Steve Cronin, Head of Lending – Social Economy at Unity, said: “It was immediately obvious, especially around Christmas, that this emergency food supply is desperately needed by local people. Sparkhill is wholly reliant upon support from churches and the community and it was amazing to see the amount people had donated.”

A small team visited Priestly Smith School in Great Barr for pupils with severe sight loss. Unity staff helped organise activities and events for the annual sports day and the bank provided the medals to celebrate the achievements of the children.

Jacinta Hill at Priestly Smith School said: “We host our sports day exclusively for primary aged pupils who have sight loss and this year had around 80 visually impaired pupils take part. We need as many volunteers as possible to help throughout the day and the Unity Trust Bank team throw themselves into the events and help wherever they can. It’s lovely to hear all the volunteers say how much they look forward to coming here and the event could not run without their support and enthusiasm. We look forward to Sports Day 2015!”

Community involvement and social change is of paramount importance to Unity and the 2015 UiTC programme is well underway. Staff are aiming to reach 180 days voluntary work for the year. Unity is encouraging organisations to get in touch if they would like staff to visit them this the year, particularly where skills and expertise such as accounting, technology and marketing are required

 

To put your charity or community group forward please email us@unity.co.uk or call 0345 140 1000.

 

 

In addition to the Bank’s successful UitC programme, the Social Impact report profiles broader social impact achievements across the Bank, including customer satisfaction, staff training and development, and wider responsible business practices. This year’s report reveals that Unity invested almost £30 million to organisations that are committed to community, social or environmental benefits in 2014, and has helped create or protect over 3,400 jobs.

 


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