The aim of our Corporate & Social Responsibility Committee is to support the local community, charities, the environment and our own staff. Here are some of the activities we were busy with in 2016 and in 2015:
2016Rainbow Trust Christmas Party
Rainbow Trust is a heart-warming charity that supports families who have children with terminal illnesses. We are proud to support such a charity and this year we funded, and volunteered at, a day out to the local theatre and a Christmas party for the children.Continued support - Age Concern (Epsom and Ewell)
Age Concern does tremendous work and we have funded computer and IT lessons for the elderly for two years in a row. Our contribution has provided the training for volunteers, new computing equipment and the general running costs of the classes. Thanks to the funding, the organisation is looking to expand to keep up with the waiting list for classes by adding new locations for classes as well as facilitating home visits. Continued support - Foodbank (Epsom and Ewell)
This year, due to funding including the Society's, Foodbank have been able to start a successful furniture scheme whereby those who have an old piece of undesired furniture can donate it to Foodbank who will then collect it for free. Such furniture then features on an app, and those in need can request to have it delivered and placed in their home giving them a better standard of living. Furniture includes beds, chests of drawers and sofas - items that can cost more than they are able to budget for.Voting online pays off at this year’s AGM
We once again hosted our Annual General Meeting in April at the Queen's Stand, Epsom Downs Racecourse. Members were encouraged to vote online and, as a result, raised over £650 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Society's staff raise money for Sport Relief
Staff at the Society really know how to work as a team so we decided to pool our efforts and support Sport Relief in April. We organised a lunchtime walk on Epsom Downs, a Ping Pong tournament at our Head Office and a football tournament for local companies held at the nearby Rainbow Leisure Centre. Altogether we raised £500 for Sport Relief and had a fun time doing it!
Helping to keep Epsom and Ewell Foodbank's delivery van on the road
In February, the Society donated £1,500, as well as toiletry and non-perishable food items, to the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank.
Jonathan Lees, who leads the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, said: “The van is an important distribution tool for us and is used at least 3-4 times a week. It is now two years old and due for its first service so the Society’s donation could not have come at a better time.”
Greville Primary School
We donated £1,000, in January, towards the refurbishment of the new library at Greville Primary School in Ashtead. The donation helped the school complete its project to move their library space, which was previously in the school corridors, into two dedicated library rooms. Our donation provided some shelving and new books. Mark Bogard, our Chief Executive, made the presentation to Head Teacher Max Depree and also handed over a collection of books which were donated by staff.
Epsom Hospital Medical Equipment
As usual, our Branch supported the sale of Christmas cards for this fund. In January this year, we were able to top up their collection with a small donation which goes towards buying equipment for the hospital.
2015Sponsorship of Age Concern Epsom and Ewell's 'Helping Hands - IT Made Easy' service
In October 2015, the Society joined forces with Age Concern in Epsom and Ewell (ACEE) by sponsoring its ‘Helping Hands – IT Made Easy’ service for a year. The service helps over 55s who live locally and already own a laptop or tablet but have limited skills and want to learn more. Some may already have basic IT skills or could be those ‘hard to reach’ members whose lives would be transformed with access to the internet.
Chief Officer at ACEE, Dorah May Hancock, said: “Thanks to National Counties Building Society and the Family Building Society, we have already held three iPad training sessions and have two more planned for July and October. Also our monthly workshops have really taken off with up to 20 people attending each session. The Society donated four tablets which helps enormously in the taster sessions and one to one support service.”
Working together with citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell to provide financial capability courses for college students
We ran financial workshops during May 2015 in partnership with Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell. The aim of the Financial Capability courses was to help students at Nescot, Epsom’s college of further and higher education, with money management as they prepare to leave college and start their adult lives.
Liz Dobson, Bureau Manager at Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, said: “This generous donation from National Counties fulfils a key priority for the bureau as demand continues to grow for debt advice and financial capability for the residents of Epsom and Ewell borough."
Planting trees with eForests
Thanks to members sending us their email addresses and completed Members’ Questionnaires, we have planted over 1,350 trees, since 2013, with eForests.
A number of staff were involved in their own fundraising ventures in 2015 and the Society matched their donations. Their efforts ranged from running waist high through mud for Wildlife Aid, swimming for Sport Relief and Marie Curie to cycling for Macmillan, and have happened in places as far afield as Africa and Leatherhead.
Some of the work done by staff has taken a lot of commitment. For instance, Family Manager, Michelle Parry-Bunter raised over £2,000 from various events to enable her to travel to Tanzania for four weeks to help build a school.
Regular dress down Fridays are also proving popular with our staff. Collectively we’ve raised money for charities such as Alzheimer's Society, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Asthma UK.