Lloyds employees double £1m target for Alzheimer's charity partner
Lloyds Banking Group’s UK employees have good cause to celebrate the success of their first year as charity partners with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland - within 12 months they more than doubled their target of £1m raising £ 2.5m.
Throughout 2013, colleagues and customers raised money in the fight against dementia in head offices and branches of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, as well as raising awareness of the condition in their local communities.
Supporting the Live Well Campaign, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland is Lloyds Banking Group's charity partner for 2013 and 2014 and working together the aim was to raise £2m over two years to fund the first UK wide dementia carers programme.
Lloyds’ employees have good form in the fundraising field, with Lloyds’ 2011/12 partnership with Save the Children raising far more money in its second year than in its first. The expectation is that rather than the initial £2m, already eclipsed in one year, Lloyds’ employees will raise closer to £4m.
“Our first year in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland has been our most successful Charity of the Year relationship to date,” said Graham Lindsay, Director of Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group.
Lloyds Banking Group is the largest financial services investor in UK communities and maintains this long-held and important part of its culture with the goal to achieve ‘Helping Britain Prosper.’
This is reflected in its investment in communities across the UK and in line with previous years; last year, Lloyds Banking Group invested some £85 million. It did this through its wide-ranging responsible business initiatives – the three pillars of which are education, employability and enterprise. Helping Communities Prosper sits at the very heart of the organisation and by engaging its 90,000 employees, it knows it can make a real and lasting difference.
Colleagues play a pivotal role in the Group’s community programmes, and employee volunteering is actively encouraged. Each colleague is asked to use at least one full day each year volunteering.
“The issues faced by people with dementia and their carers are not unfamiliar to our colleagues and customers alike – 44 per cent of people in the UK know someone or have known someone with the condition,” said Lindsay.
“ This has meant that as well as raising a record amount to support our nominated charities, the cause itself has captured hearts and minds.”
Tea and empathy
Incredibly successful were the ‘Tea and Talk’ events during Dementia Awareness Week hosted at almost 1,000 of the bank’s branches across the UK, raising in excess of £100,000. Employees and customers were joined by representatives from Alzheimer’s Society head office, who travelled up and down the country to visit over 25 of the events as they took place. Colleagues baked a selection of cakes worthy of the Great British Bake-off, including the famous horse logo and a cake replicating a Lloyds TSB credit card - in return for a small donation, customers enjoyed the refreshments, as well as the opportunity to talk about issues surrounding dementia.
Such was the popularity that the events were repeated at Christmas with Tinsel, Tea and Talk events in many branches with equal success and at a time when people often notice the first signs of dementia in their loved ones.
Other highlights included diverse feats of endurance, including 33 fundraisers who took on the challenge of a lifetime in October, cycling 500km across Costa Rica and raising over £250,000 between them; breaking the record for an Alzheimer's Society challenge in the process.
“Colleagues have taken the concept of ‘making a difference’ beyond the usual territory of a traditional charity partnership, by raising awareness and helping break down stigma. This is on top of their exhaustive efforts to raise money to improve the lives of people with dementia and help their local communities prosper,” explained Lindsay.
Funds raised by Lloyds employees and customers will support the partnership’s 'Live Well' programme and the roll out of a national support programme specially designed for the carers of people living with dementia. The pioneering service will educate people about how to cope with day to day life and how to plan for the future.
Fundraising is not the only objective of the partnership. Late in 2013, Lloyds Banking Group and Alzheimer’s Society launched the Dementia Friendly Financial Services, which aims to make it easier for the bank's customers living with dementia to use financial services. The Charter is designed to help financial services organisations recognise, understand and respond to the needs of customers living with dementia and their carers.
Additionally, as well as the Charter, Lloyds Banking Group has developed a training programme to help colleagues understand the barriers faced by people with dementia and the small things they can do to help. Over the last few months, this training has been rolled out to thousands of its colleagues.