Provident Financial - Corporate Responsibility Report:


Community initiatives

During the year, the company made donations for charitable purposes of £677,751 (2004: £450,083). The group invested a further £1,400,132 (2004: £1,168,324) in support of community programmes (based on the London Benchmarking Group’s guidelines).

We have a longstanding and well developed programme of community investment that helps not just our communities but also our company. Among its business benefits, the programme promotes UK and Ireland home credit as a responsible company by enhancing its reputation among customers, stakeholders and opinion formers. It also creates training and development opportunities, raises staff morale and forms one of the pillars of our CR programme. Although our community programme is well established, we believe we can make it still more effective and have dedicated personnel and financial resources for this purpose in all our operations around the world.

Evolving from broader corporate giving in the 1970s, the programme took a major step forward in the late 1990s when contributions increased from £70,000 to £450,000 and the company began addressing the development and social awareness of disadvantaged children through a series of arts projects. During 2005, we pursued our theme of providing opportunities for children and set further targets to ensure that our community activity continues to improve.

While we have not included all our projects around the globe, the following includes some of the highlights of 2005. Provident will continue to build on its success in 2006, seeking new projects to benefit local communities and involve even more children.

[ menu ]

Table 8: Provident Financial community objectives, targets and achievements

Objectives

Targets

Achievement

Objective 1: To provide new opportunities for young people to take part in, and benefit from, activities that they may not otherwise have had the chance to experience.

Through our UK projects, to involve at least 10,000 people in new experiences.

Achieved

To obtain evidence from community partners that most of those helped by our community projects are young people from disadvantaged communities.

Achieved

Objective 2: To ensure greater positive awareness of Provident’s community programme, both internally and externally, and so enhance our reputation.

To place case studies of all major community projects on our website.

Achieved

Objective 3: To create opportunities to engage employees and agents in the community programme and so improve their motivation.

To get employees and agents more involved in community projects.

Partially achieved. Opportunities have been created and more employees have taken part. However, there is more work to do in terms of communicating and encouraging employees to volunteer.

Objective 4: To ensure an integrated approach to the community programme across Provident’s subsidiaries.

To implement a new community strategy across all subsidiaries by the end of 2005.

Achieved

Objective 5: To monitor, evaluate and continuously improve the community programme.

To implement a regular review by the community programme working group to monitor the progress of the community programme.

Achieved

To introduce our evaluation process across all our major community projects and carry out an evaluation of each one.

Achieved

[ menu ]

Spark

‘Spark’ is our biggest community programme and will replace the ‘Partners in Art’ programme that has run for several years. Formed in partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse and seven other theatres, it’s a national arts education programme in which each theatre engages with a number of primary schools in deprived areas. The theatres involved offer five weeks of workshops covering a range of art forms including dance, sculpture and drama.

L’Ouverture

‘L’Ouverture’ operates in south and east London. Provident Financial currently supports its performance academy that enables young, disadvantaged people to attend after-school and Saturday clubs for structured workshops with professional artists and technicians.

National Museum of Photography, Film and Television

‘Youth TV’ is a three-year project aimed at young people excluded from school or in danger of being excluded. Run in partnership with the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, the programme offers an accredited TV production course to teach core skills and boost personal confidence.

[ menu ]

Trampolina

In 2005, our Polish business completed the third year of its ‘Trampolina’ community programme which supports schools lacking investment for sports resources. Sports equipment was donated to 20 schools in different parts of Poland, including areas where Provident Polska launched its business activity in 2005. Around 100 employees took part in the programme during the year.

Provident Polska also continues to support the ‘Stay with Us’ programme which supports talented young Polish scientists who wish to continue their academic research in Poland.

Centrum Wolontariatu

In 2005, Provident Polska began working with Centrum Wolontariatu, an organisation that promotes volunteering in Poland. Provident has become a strategic partner of ‘Business Volunteerism’ whereby companies promote the idea of volunteering among their employees. Together with consultants from Centrum Wolontariatu, Provident is working on a strategy to involve its employees and agents in community activities in Poland.

Causas

In Mexico, our ‘Causas’ programme helps local communities by focusing on community and environmental education projects. Activities in 2005 included refurbishing local schools, organising an event promoting the empowerment of women and providing free health services and workshops on finance management. More employees are becoming involved, with over 200 taking part in charity events during the year.

[ menu ]

Social responsibility in the Czech Republic

Our Czech operations manage a multitude of programmes addressing social issues, local community development and education though the ‘Company with a Heart’ campaign. The non-profit organisations and social investment projects that we support here are chosen on the basis of employee or customer recommendations. In line with our group strategy, we endeavour when choosing the projects to form longterm partnerships, contributing not only financial resources but also ideas, materials, professional knowledge and the voluntary work of our employees. For more information regarding our programmes in the Czech Republic, please visit www.providentfinancial.cz.

Social responsibility in Hungary

Since its formation in 2001, our Hungarian business has developed its community programmes with clear guidelines to ensure year on year progress. Like our other businesses, Provident Pénzügyi Zrt focuses on education and on adding value by developing strategic partnerships with community organisations. Its community partners include the National Association of Large Families, the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service and the International Petõ Institute.

In 2005, Provident Pénzügyi Zrt implemented 179 community projects – twice as many as in 2004. These covered a range of social, healthcare, educational and environmental initiatives.

Smile as a Gift

The Slovakian ‘Smile as a Gift’ foundation helps to prepare young people in children’s homes for adult life and the work continues with valuable help from Provident employees. Focusing on children within its local communities, our Slovakian business supports a number of charity initiatives such as the International Indoor Soccer Tournament for hearingimpaired students and a series of summer camps for children with terminal illnesses.

[ menu ]


[ Glossary | Site map | Accessibility | Feedback | Terms of use | Privacy | 2006 © Provident Financial | All Rights Reserved ]