OSB Group raises over £40,000 for charity

OSB Group raises over £40,000 for charity

The two drove 850 miles from Belgium to the Italian lakes in a car costing less than £1,000 to raise money for The Outward Bound Trust.

Their fundraising target was £35,000, but the final figure they raised is £40,948, which is double the amount that OSB Group raised in its first rally. This will go towards The Outward Bound Trust to help it to provide disadvantaged young people with outdoor adventures.

The charity works with over 24,000 disadvantaged young people every year and partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach self-belief, regardless of background.

Andy Golding of OSB Group said: “In 2016, we entered our first OSB car into the Rusty Rally in aid of The Outward Bound Trust’s programme for disadvantaged young people, which is a great cause, managing to raise £20,000. Here we are again, in the 2024 rally, where the cause feels even more important given the hardships that so many young people experience.

“Challenging weather made the trip even more interesting, but we were the first of the rally to arrive safely each day as well as at the final checkpoint – even with a few literal bumps along the way! It’s been a great experience with lovely driving roads and meeting interesting people, plus the people from The Outward Bound Trust looked after us all so well. Most of all, it was extremely humbling to hear the stories about the great work the trust does and about the positive impact they have on the lives of disadvantaged young people.”

Esther Gillham, head of development at The Outward Bound Trust said: “We are so grateful to Andy and Team OSB for their participation in the Rusty Rally for Outward Bound. They took on our 800-mile course, driving through six countries to reach the finish line in Italy – raising a fantastic amount.

“The money donated will all go directly to help disadvantaged young people to access our outdoor adventures, helping them to build confidence, resilience and a love of the outdoors.”

Earlier this month, OSB Group celebrated Volunteers’ Week 2024.

Yorkshire BS and subsidiaries raise £48k in Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for FareShare

Yorkshire BS and subsidiaries raise £48k in Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for FareShare

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 26-mile round trip route that includes a 1,585-metre ascent. The peaks include Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

More than 240 colleagues took part in a 10- or 26-mile walk in all weathers, including torrential rain, wind and sunshine, to fundraise for FareShare.

The money raised in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge will fund Building Skills for the Future programmes in seven of FareShare’s regional centres in London, Bristol, Merseyside, Milton Keynes, Yorkshire, Edinburgh, and Cardiff.

The programme supports people who are unemployed to get into work by offering coaching, support, practical workshops and work experience.

FareShare is an anti-food waste charity that redistributes surplus food to charities that turn it into meals.

In 2022-23, the charity redistributed 54,000 tonnes of food, helped 8,500 local charities and supported over one million people.

Tom Simpson, managing director of YBS Commercial Mortgages, said: “The walk itself was really challenging but everyone was so determined to complete it and raise as much money as possible for FareShare, Yorkshire Building Society’s charity partner.

“We’re delighted that we’ve managed to raise over £48,000 so far, which will help towards our target of raising £1m to fund Building Skills for the Future programmes that will help to lift over 2,500 people out of financial hardship.”

Polly Bianchi, director of fundraising at FareShare, said: “We’re hugely grateful to all the Yorkshire Building Society colleagues who took on this challenge in support of FareShare.

“The Building Skills for the Future employability programme, funded by Yorkshire Building Society, will help thousands of people seek long-term employment, as part of our important work to provide a hand up, not a handout, to communities across the UK.”

OSB Group celebrates Volunteers’ Week 2024

OSB Group celebrates Volunteers’ Week 2024

The group acknowledges Volunteers’ Week every year and sets community-connected targets for itself. 

By the end of May, OSB Group’s colleagues logged more than 1,700 hours of volunteer work in 2024. This equated to 243 working days that were dedicated to supporting local communities, with the help of 46 organisations across the UK. 

The group found it was more than halfway – 52% – towards meeting its target of 3,300 hours of volunteer work this year. 

OSB Group has set itself an aim of ‘being better neighbours’ and believes this can be done not just by donating money, but also giving up time, skills and expertise. To demonstrate this, its employees are entitled to 14 hours of volunteering time each year and are encouraged to use these up to give back to communities. 

Various causes have been supported through this initiative, with colleagues volunteering with gardening, as well as helping at food banks and animal sanctuaries. 

OSB Group has formed an ongoing relationship with Friends of Di’s Kitchen, a food bank in Wolverhampton. 

Victoria Bladon (pictured, right), an underwriter at OSB Group, has organised 177 hours of volunteering support for the food bank and manages the relationship between the firm’s employees and the organisation. 

Bladon has also arranged regular food donations to the organisation. 

She said: “We are all experiencing the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having, but some members of our local community are really struggling to feed themselves and their families, and that’s where Jan and her wonderful team of volunteers at Friends of Di’s Kitchen come in, providing food to people in need across Wolverhampton.

“Luckily OSB Group gives us the opportunity to help our local community with 14 hours of volunteer work each year, which we have been putting to great use.”

Bladon added: “Our team of volunteers at OSB have been giving a few hours each week to help deliver the food, and it’s having such an amazing impact on the community. As of 23 May 2024, Friends of Di’s Kitchen have supplied food to 100,000 guests.” 

Accord Mortgages’ employees to go on Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to fundraise

Accord Mortgages’ employees to go on Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to fundraise

Accord Mortgages’ team members have raised almost £4,500 by raffling hampers and taking part in a bike-a-thon, and they are preparing to take part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, a walking challenge, on 14 June.

The firm’s most recent challenge saw 17 employees use pedal power to clock up 200 miles on static bikes at headquarters.

FareShare is a charity fighting hunger and food waste by redistributing quality surplus food from the food industry to 8,500 local charities.

Additionally, the charity offers lunch clubs for older people, community kitchens, breakfast and after-school clubs, domestic violence refuges, and homeless shelters, and aims to address root causes of poverty.

Yorkshire Building Society, the parent of Accord Mortgages, has teamed up with FareShare until 2026, and aims to raise £1m to fund an employability programme that aims to help lift people out of financial hardship.


‘Plenty more planned’

Tom Brook (pictured left), business development adviser for Accord, said: “We have set ourselves a goal to raise £12,000 for FareShare in 2024. Halfway through May, we are on target, at £4,500 raised so far. This is through donations from our amazing brokers and fundraising activities within the team. We have run raffles, Easter activities and cycled over 200 miles in one day.

“Going forward, we have plenty more planned, with the team taking part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in June, and we are organising and leading a big football tournament later in the year where the whole society can take part.”

Lizl Smith, business development adviser for Accord, said: “I had the privilege to go and spend a day at the FareShare distribution centre in Leeds recently. It was an amazing experience to see how they help so many charities.

“The people working there are doing so much in their own time to help others, and they do it with so much cheer and enthusiasm. The passion and support for this worthy cause is evident in all of them.

“It really highlighted to me how we can all do our bit in our own way by going to volunteer and rethinking our own wastage at home. I am looking forward to going again to help as it was a very fulfilling experience.”

The Cambridge partners with three charities

The Cambridge partners with three charities

Emmaus Cambridge combats homelessness in the community by offering shelter and work opportunities and supporting those experiencing homelessness.

Its residents, known as companions, live and gain skills at the community in Landbeach, where they accept and sell pre-loved goods.

The charity was presented with £6,000 at the mutual’s AGM.

Jimmy’s helps with housing and support for people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge. It runs an all-year-round night shelter and works with each person to offer options, tools, and skills to support them.

The Angels Foundation UK supports families that have fled domestic abuse. Its Back to Life project offers those impacted with furniture, flooring, home comforts and social introductions.


‘A cause very close to our heart’

Peter Burrows, chief executive at The Cambridge, said: “I am delighted to expand our charity of the year partnership to three incredible charities, all of which do great work to help people with different issues around homes and housing, a cause very close to our heart.”

“It’s great to see our partnership with Jimmy’s continue for another year, after seeing the support the charity received last year from our team members through their fundraising efforts.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Emmaus, including supporting them following their break in last year, and our team members have voted to help Property Angels after seeing the inspiring work that they do with victims of domestic abuse. We look forward to supporting all three charities as they work to bring help to those in need.”

Caroline Deeprose, CEO of The Angels Foundation UK, said: “We’re delighted The Cambridge has chosen us as one of their Community Partners this year. We’re incredibly excited at the opportunity this provides for both us and The Cambridge. We’ll be able to build on the transformative work we’ve undertaken since receiving that fabulous grant last year.”

Cat Strawbridge, communications manager at Jimmy’s, said: “We’re delighted to partner with The Cambridge as one of its charities of the year partners for another year, and to continue the great work we’ve been doing to combat homelessness in Cambridge. Having the backing from such an iconic Cambridge business means so much to us and to the work we do helping people out of homelessness.

“Knowing we share common interests of investing in and supporting communities in Cambridge is incredibly important as we can be confident the impact of this partnership will be even further reaching than the fundraising alone.

“The fundraising and financial generosity last year of their team members and business cannot go unmentioned, too, with fundraising and matched funds raising in the region of £11,000.”

Donna Talbot, chief executive at Emmaus Cambridge, said: “We deeply appreciate the generosity of The Cambridge Building Society. They fully understand the importance of home and the security a home provides. Their combination of donations and volunteering hours will go a long way in helping us with our mission of supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

MIMHC’s Walk and Talk scheme raises over £6,000 with time left to give

MIMHC’s Walk and Talk scheme raises over £6,000 with time left to give

The Walk and Talk initiative saw Jason Berry (pictured), MIMHC co-founder and group sales director at Crystal Specialist Finance, along with industry stalwart Jonathan White, walk a 125-mile route from Tamworth to London to fundraise for mental health charities.

The Walk and Talk initiative saw over 20 participants across the sector complete different legs of the journey.

The project aimed to promote physical activity and better communication as key ways to boost emotional and psychological wellbeing.

There is time to donate until 24 May; follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jason-berry-2

The £6,008 raised so far is going towards Young Mind, which aims to stop young people’s mental health reaching crisis point.

Berry said: “We’ve braved blisters and the full force of unpredictable weather to ensure we shine a light on mental health for those working in the mortgage sector.

“MIMHC organised Walk and Talk 2024 specifically to raise awareness of the importance of exercise, combined with full and frank conversations about mental health.

“I’m delighted that we’ve already raised over £6,000 for Young Minds, and I hope more people can find the time to donate before the JustGiving page closes later this week.”

White added: “For each of the 21 participants who joined us at some point during the week, this was a journey to better mental health.

“In addition to raising awareness of the importance of physical activity for mental wellbeing, it was fantastic to raise so much money for Young Minds, which is dedicated to ensuring every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it.”

Alternative Bridging partners with Spread a Smile charity

Alternative Bridging partners with Spread a Smile charity

Spread a Smile aims to bring “joy and laughter to seriously ill children in NHS hospitals and hospices across the country”. 

It has entertainers who work on the behalf of the charity, including magicians, fairies, artists, musicians, and therapy dogs, that aim to improve wellbeing and help young patients cope with the challenges of being seriously ill and hospitalised. 

Spread a Smile’s artists also work to make hospital environments more child-friendly, and it has developed a programme to allow families to spend time with each other outside of hospital. 

Alternative Bridging – which announced in January that it would refund valuation and legal fees – will raise donations for the charity over the year through the partnership. 

This will be done through activities taking place this year. 

Rinal Rodrigues (pictured), head of marketing at Alternative Bridging, said: “At Alternative Bridging, we believe it’s important to make a positive impact to society alongside our brokers and borrowers. We asked our staff which charity they wanted us to focus on supporting, and Spread a Smile was a worthy winner. The charity makes a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of seriously ill children, bringing joy to them and their families. We have some great ideas in the pipeline and look forward to raising funds for a great cause.” 

Imogen Slazenger, head of fundraising at Spread a Smile, said: “We are delighted that Alternative Bridging has chosen Spread a Smile as its charity partner for 2024. Our teams have already been working together to plan lots of exciting activities that I’m confident will result in a truly meaningful partnership for everyone involved. 

“We are so grateful for Alternative Bridging’s belief in and support of our work – and we very much look forward to spreading even more smiles together this year and beyond.”

Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter Walk and Talk completes first day

Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter Walk and Talk completes first day

The challenge, which takes place between 13 and 17 May to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, sees MIMHC co-founders Jason Berry (pictured, bottom left) and Will Lloyd-Hayward, along with industry stalwart Jonathan White, who is director at Number Fifteen Recruitment, walking 125 miles from Crystal Specialist Finance office in Tamworth to HSBC’s office in Canary Wharf.

The group is aiming to average 26 miles per day, with various people joining the journey at various points.

On the first day, the group walked 23 miles from Crystal Specialist Finance’s offices to Binley, Coventry. Today, the group will walk around 27 miles from Binley to Northampton.

To donate, please follow the link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jason-berry-2

The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of physical wellbeing for mental health, with all monies going to UK charities that specifically support mental health and wellbeing.

The MIMHC says that physical exercise can boost mood, reduce stress, improve sleep and enhance self-esteem.

“Walking has been an incredible outlet for me, both physically and mentally. It’s a chance to clear my mind, reflect on the day, and connect with nature. I’m thrilled to be walking during this very important week, and I invite everyone to join me on this journey towards better mental health,” Berry said.

Pictured bottom left to right are Jason Berry (Crystal Specialist Finance and Founder of MIMHC), Jonathan White (Number Fifteen Recruitment) and Jane Benjamin (Connect Mortgages)

Pictured top left to right are Richard Howes (Paradigm), Kath Stagg (Stagg Mortgage Services), Simon Hendy (L&C), Darrell Walker (Moda Mortgages), Pete Gwilliam (Virtus Search) and Bob Hunt (Paradigm)

OSB Group celebrates anniversary of employee engagement networks

OSB Group celebrates anniversary of employee engagement networks

The internal teams, named Our Community, Our Planet and Our Diversity, have a total of 74 colleagues involved and are “instrumental in driving, supporting and delivering strategies in their key areas to help further embed the group’s ESG principles”.

The Our Community network aims to encourage participation in the two annual days of volunteering available to all employees and raise awareness of match funding and a good causes fund that allows colleagues to apply for funding towards their chosen community group and/or charity.

The Our Planet team looks to raise awareness of what colleagues do at home and at work to be more environmentally friendly, along with other environmental issues and optics.

The Our Diversity group is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment.

Victoria Tipper, senior test analyst at OSB Group and member of Our Planet network, said: “Being a part of the Our Planet community has been a real eye-opener, as we have been learning about how much we as an employee in the business and as a person outside of work are impacting our carbon footprint.

“We have been using this information to inspire our colleagues to take small steps to make more eco-friendly changes in their work and home life. I am really excited about the upcoming event we have created this year named ‘Second-hand September’, where we will be encouraging colleagues to recycle and try and buy second-hand where they can. This all helps with our business ESG goal of being operationally net zero by 2030.”

Neil Richardson, chief sustainability officer at OSB Group, said: “These employee engagement networks provide a collaborative approach to make sure the environments where we work and operate are inclusive, respectful of the environment and supports local communities.

“This also demonstrates further development by the group in embedding the importance of ESG in everything we do and brings our colleagues into the heart of the activities that will make a real difference. I am really looking forward to seeing what achievements the networks make throughout 2024.”

Tandem revamps charity programme

Tandem revamps charity programme

Tandem will also offer employees two days of paid volunteering annually and will target one million minutes of volunteering by 2026.

The bank will work with Foundation 92, which focuses on supporting communities to improve their lives through sport, education and bespoke projects.

It will also work with Maggie’s, which provides expert cancer care and support, and The Boathouse Youth, which works with children and young people aged 5-17 years old from deprived communities.

Other charities include Trees for Life, which aims to rewild the Scottish Highlands, and the Felix Food Project, which rescues food waste and delivers it to over 900 frontline charities and schools.

Alex Mollart, Tandem’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted to officially announce our newly revamped charity programme. We’ve done some great work in supporting some great causes over the past, but I’m excited that the new Tandem can have a more coordinated approach and one that touches on more charities – with five partners.

“What’s important is that these partners have been selected by our staff – the ones that matter to them and with our support can punch above their weight in terms of impact, with many offering vital lifelines in the community.

“The team’s already started 2024 with a bang, but we’ve got big ambitions and I’m proud that we can encourage them further with paid volunteering days, a business-wide target of one million minutes and our new roadshows and prizes.”

Last month, Tandem signed the Women in Finance charter.