Our mission is to be the leading non-standard lender in the UK, acting responsibly in all our relationships and playing a positive role in the communities we serve. With this mission statement it is imperative that we conduct our business dealings responsibly and ensure that we have a positive impact on the communities where our customers and agents live, and employees work.
Good Neighbour is our flagship CR programme, helping fulfil our ambition to be the UK's leading community-based lender by creating opportunities for our people to work with our communities.
Why we get involved in the communities we serve
As a lender, we have a presence in every town and city in the UK and Ireland, as well as in many rural areas. In fact, our home credit business lends to around one in 20 households in the UK and Ireland.
As a result, ensuring that we are a model corporate citizen is a material issue for our business. Having a positive impact on our local communities is central to maintaining our 'licence to operate' while, at the same time, providing sustainable benefits to those communities.
Established in 2009, Good Neighbour is our flagship community programme. It helps fulfil our ambition to be the UK’s leading community-based lender by creating opportunities for our people to work side by side with our community partners.
Good Neighbour has three component strands: Supporting local projects, Employee volunteering and Employee matched giving:
Supporting local projects
Working in partnerships with local community organisations, the Good Neighbour programme delivers projects which are tailored to meet the needs of local residents. Most projects run over a three-year period, with opportunities available to deliver smaller, one-off projects too.
Each community partner is selected carefully to ensure that every project is delivered to a high standard and provides real benefits for the community. We want to work with a wide range of organisations, including youth clubs, community groups and schools, so that we can reach people of all ages, from toddlers to pensioners, and address their specific needs.
Good Neighbour supports employees participating in company-led volunteering projects, including one-to-one mentoring projects, the Provident Reading Scheme and team challenges.
Employee matched giving
We want to help our employees to support the causes they care about the most. Employees taking part in fundraising activities or volunteering in their local communities can apply for matched giving and volunteering grants to make their contribution go even further.
The structures we have in place guarantee that, despite economic uncertainty, CR remains a core part of our business.
Good Neighbour in Bradford
Staff from our head office in Bradford have made a considerable impact supporting the city's Sedbergh Youth and Community Centre.
Breakdown of donations during 2009
£1,329,417 in donations to charities and in support of community programmes.
|Value of employee time||£58,325|
|Value of in-kind contributions||£0|
|Total management costs||£199,695|
Spark, which started in 2006, links theatres with schools in their local areas and encourages children to succeed through stimulating arts activities. Eight theatres across the UK and Ireland have taken part in the project, which involves children in primary schools.
In 2009 Spark was replaced by Good Neighbour as our flagship community programme. However, we continue to support and monitor Spark activities in local communities and to encourage links between arts organisations and schools.
Spark in Edinburgh
In 2007, Spark made a significant contribution to two schools in a small Edinburgh community.
Supporting residential breaks for schoolchildren and young people
We support the Give Us a Break project, which aims to tackle social exclusion among school children and teenagers in Scotland and Ireland and gives them the chance to enjoy days out and residential breaks within a youth hostel setting.
We also support Breaks 4 Kids, which is managed by the English and Welsh Youth Hostel Association.
Money advice and financial education
We continue to support, through financial contributions and other means, a programme of financial advice and education across the UK and Ireland.
Our employees regularly participate in regional and local forums, such as those delivered by the Money Advice Liaison Group, which are attended by money advice and consumer representatives. This enables our staff to understand the issues that are being experienced by customers within the wider financial services sector.
During 2009, we continued to work with a number of organisations in this sector, including Advice UK, Citizens Advice, Consumer Credit Counselling Service, Institute of Money Advisers, Money Advice Liaison Group, Money Advice Trust and National Debtline. We also worked with the following more specialised providers: Credit Action, DebtCred and Christians Against Poverty.
DebtCred Enterprise Challenge
We have been helping DebtCred to run its Enterprise Challenge event in Wolverhampton during Enterprise Week since 2006.