Provident Financial - Annual Report & Accounts 2004

The community


Another programme offering opportunities for children is ‘PACK’ (Provident Action for Creative Kids). Run in conjunction with the Youth Hostels Association in England and Wales and the Scottish Youth Hostel Association, PACK enables young people to take a two-day break at a youth hostel with educational activities linked to the National Curriculum or outdoor pursuits such as caving and canoeing.

Most of the children come from areas that have more than their fair share of crime, poverty and low academic achievement. As well as helping them to enjoy the countryside, ‘PACK’ also develops their self-confidence and encourages them to explore new ways of learning. Provident’s employees have joined in many of the breaks with the business providing useful extras such as back packs, cameras, pens, T-shirts and caps for the children.

Over the last three years, ‘PACK’ has enabled over 3,500 children from 120 schools to take more than 100 youth hostel breaks. Because most of these schools are in Education Action Zones, they’ve been able to reclaim at least 25% over and above Provident’s contribution in terms of matched funds from the government. In 2005, the programme will be extended to children and youth hostels in Ireland.

London Benchmarking Group: analysis of ‘PACK’ (Provident Action for Creative Kids)
About the activity
The aim of ‘PACK’ is to provide new opportunities for young people to take part in outdoor activities linked to the National Curriculum. The breaks take the form of a two-day stay in a youth hostel with a focus on activities which complement subjects such as geography, history and science as well as activity-based breaks involving canoeing, caving and museum visits.
Contribution by the company
Cash contribution: £225,000

Employee time (in cash): £3000

Total cash value of contribution:
Leverage: £70,000

Benefits to the community:
  • Over 4,000 school children have taken part in ‘PACK’ between 2001 and 2004.
  • A majority of participants are from schools in Education Action Zones.
  • Provident’s funding has allowed participating schools to generate matched funding through Government funds.
  • The project also fostered self-esteem and helped to improve the educational attainment of primary school children, by re-engaging some pupils.
Benefits to the business:
  • Improved reputation amongst local communities.
  • Feel good factor amongst employees.
  • Local and regional press coverage.
Long-term impacts of activity:
  • Children with increased awareness/interest in the activities.
  • Improved reputation of company schools and community groups.
  • Greater awareness of what youth hostel organisations can offer.