The West Brom branches to become Barnardo’s donation points
Giving Tuesday has taken place every year on 28 November since 2012 and encourages people to do good by volunteering, sharing skills or donating.
From 28 November, Giving Tuesday, until 1 December all 34 branches will be donation points for customers to donate clothes.
All clothing will be accepted provided it is in good condition, with donations of good quality menswear, womenswear and winter clothing will be especially welcomed.
Barnardo’s works with children, young people and their parents and carers to make sure that every child has the best start in life.
Amy Mason, ESG co-ordinator at the West Brom, said: “As a mutual, we’ve long been committed to giving back to our local communities to help create a fairer society, and so we’re really pleased to be celebrating this Giving Tuesday with our charity partner Barnardo’s.
“Whether it’s a full bag of clothing or just one t-shirt, the donations made via our branches will make a big difference to those who receive them.”
Hugh Sherriffe, Barnardo’s central regional director, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to our partners at the West Brom for choosing to celebrate Giving Tuesday by giving back.
“Donations of good quality clothing will be gratefully received by our many retail stores in the West Midlands and will help us continue to bring positive change for children and young people across the UK.”
The Tipton partners with Citizens Advice to help those most in need
A mobile unit will be set up in the car park of the Tipton’s head office at 70 Owen Street, Tipton, DY4 every other Friday between 8:30am and 12:30pm.
Advice will be given to people living in the Sandwell and Walsall borough. It is a free drop-in service and no appointment is required.
People can get advice on benefits, employment, debt, consumer rights, housing, family and relationships, legal matters, immigration and health.
Becky Wheeler, marketing and product manager at the Tipton, said: “We’re proud to be teaming up with Citizens Advice at a time when the cost of living crisis is having a negative impact on many people’s lives. Supporting the local community is at the very heart of what the Tipton stands for.”
Raffle appeal launched to buy UK mortgage prisoners Christmas cheer
Last year the group raised over £500 from among its own members, with no industry or external donations, to offer the grocery vouchers to 10 families in need the chance to be added to a fully automated draw.
The link can be found on the UK Mortgage Prisoner’s website here, offering a QR code to donate through Paypal, with the hope of raising far more this year
The group runs hardship raffles twice a year at Christmas and Easter to help its members and has never had industry support to raise funds or promote its efforts.
UK Mortgage Prisoners began campaigning in 2018 and is run by a team of three volunteers who have lived experience of being mortgage prisoners. The group is run from its limited company offices on Princes Street in Ipswich.
A spokesperson said the needs of the group have grown from campaigning and combined letter writing to MPs, regulators, and lenders, to protests, to offering words of comfort to help members through the ‘darkest of times.’
The group said: “For five years, we have developed casework, helping mortgage prisoners who have very often reached their capacity in dealing with the often driven, hard, unthoughtful communications from the non-lenders dealing with their mortgages. We have saved countless homes, repossessions, family break-ups, unfavourable situations, and put customers back on the right path to move forward in managing their mortgages”.
Victory for mortgage prisoners’ group
In a victory for the mortgage prisoners’group and the All Party Parliamentary Group involving cross-bench MPs, last week, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) obliged the Co-operative Bank to redress mortgage borrowers who were charged increasing standard variable rates (SVRs) over a historic three-year period.
The Ombudsman confirmed its decision that the Co-operative Banking group’s subsidiary Mortgage Agency Services No.5 (MAS5) “treated customers unfairly” by increasing the SVR from 2.99 per cent to 5.75 per cent over the period 2009 to 2012.
Last year, the group took the FOS to court to challenge whether it had the right to investigate the increased SVR charged to mortgage borrowers on its closed book. This was later dismissed by the High Court.
MAS5 claimed that the four increases to the SVR reflected the changing cost of funds, but the FOS found that “the evidence doesn’t show that there were changes in the overall costs MAS5 was liable itself to pay for the funds that it used”.
It added: “As a result, the changes to the SVR MAS5 made between 2009 and 2012 – which collectively added 2.76 per cent to the SVR – were not made for reasons permitted by the contract.”
The FOS concluded: “The evidence shows that MAS5’s cost of funding did not increase.”
Several reports of the mistreatment of vulnerable people have been passed to the FCA for investigation.
Broker firm to host charity night to fundraise for Crohn’s and Colitis UK
The event will take place on the 19 October at The Varsity Club in Oxford, with the festivities kicking off at 7pm.
The dress code for the event is glamorous but not black tie, with drinks and nibbles provided.
Auction prizes include Taylor Swift VIP tickets, signed football shirts, Manchester United tickets and a cricket bat signed by the UK men’s team.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK is a charity that supports the 500,000 people in the UK with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) as well as their families.
Pam Brown (pictured centre), owner of Pam Brown mortgages, said: “I am an avid fundraiser for Crohn’s and Colitis, which is incredibly close to my heart as my son Joe has Crohn’s. It’s a small UK-based charity which needs more funding to help cure this hideous disease.”
Brown has raised over £52,000 for the charity over the past few years through various challenges, including the three peaks challenge earlier this year.
To register your interest for the event please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tipton donates £24,000 to the Black Country Foodbank
According to the Trussell Trust, record numbers of food parcels have been given to people in the last year and the rising cost of living has led to more than 750,000 turning to food banks for the first time.
The Black Country Foodbank has been running since 2006 and provides emergency food and toiletries to those in need.
Adam Evetts, CEO Designate at the Tipton, said: “The cost of living crisis continues to have a devastating impact for thousands of people. The Black Country Foodbank is a lifesaver, helping people across the Black Country during these difficult times.
“We are immensely proud to support the incredible work the Foodbank does, which we hope will make a big difference to our local community. We will also be introducing food and toiletry collection points in all of our branches in order to allow our members to make donations to the Foodbank.”
Jen Coleman, CEO of the Black Country Foodbank, added: “It has been great to partner with The Tipton and we look forward to working together over the next few months. Financial donations are critical as they help us to meet our immediate needs plus plan and budget for the future.
“We are really grateful for the support from The Tipton especially as demand for our services has increased again this year.”
Air Sourcing donates £6k to Alzheimer’s Society
The donation was generated by the firm’s key facts illustration (KFI) campaign where Air Club members were invited to submit these on the Air Sourcing platform. Each KFI submitted earned points and when this reached one million, Air donated the money.
The company polled its members to ask which charity they wanted to support, and Alzheimer’s Society was chosen unanimously.
Alzheimer’s Society funds research projects and initiatives across the UK which help to improve care and find a cure for dementia and its related conditions. The charity invests £10m a year in dementia research.
Members of Air were also given the chance to win prizes with each KFI that was submitted.
Alastair Shields, equity release specialist at Equity Release Scotland, won a weekend away for two, Alexander Hamilton, later life lending manager at Positive Lending, won an iPad; and Keith Harvey, IFA at New Leaf, won a £100 cash prize.
Mike Taylor, managing director at Air, said: “It was great to see such strong support for our Summer KFI Campaign, with so many of our members participating by submitting their KFIs to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“The campaign also served as reminder that generating KFIs has never been easier with Air. With the most API integrations of any later life lending platform, advisers can receive quick quotes, while reducing the need to re-key information, allowing them to spend more time with their clients. We hope that all those involved enjoyed the rewarding incentive to do more business whilst supporting a well deserving charity.”
Broker CEO to participate in 2,000km rickshaw fundraiser for charity
The 108 self-funded participants will be travelling from Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh to Kutch in Gurjarat in 36 Rickshaws to raise funds and awareness for cleft and palate treatment for young children.
To donate or find out more about the event follow this link: https://www.sewauk.org/campaignDetails/Rickshaw_Run/Dina_Rickshaw_Run
The charity this year will be supporting the refurbishment of a dental unit in Arogyadham in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh. It has offered free or affordable cleft and palate surgery to 500 surrounding villages.
The event will take place between the 10 and 23 December and aims to raise £500,000.
The funding will go towards buying new X-Ray machines and diagnostic equipment, new operating theatres and tables, updated wards and pathology laboratory as well as new ultrasound, furniture and washroom facilities.
Bhudia participated for the event for the first time in 2019 and was chosen from over 300 registered candidates during the application process.
She said: “The reason I got involved is to give every child a voice, basically. Historically, when I did the rickshaw run the first time it was supporting cochlear implants to allow people to hear, which in turn helped them to speak.
“Throughout the years it is about the freedom of speech and if a child doesn’t have that ability, then there is just no way forward.”
Bhudia continued that the run also involved visiting a few charity projects along the way, which she said was very rewarding to see how the fundraising lead to more growth and progress within the communities.
“The money is empowering the family to move on with their life, so that little girl that we give a voice to…she’s then gone into education, she could be the breadwinner of that family. You are leaving huge legacies…it’s not just one stop and that’s it,” Bhudia noted.
She said that the event itself was intense, getting up early in the morning and driving for long periods over long distances but the participants became a “family unit” and it was a “phenomenal way to see the country”.
OSB’s Hall raises £6k for charity
The money will go to Demelza children’s hospice which operates in Kent, South East London and East Sussex. The charity provides children and young people who have serious or life-limited conditions with care and gives them the opportunity to create memories.
Hall took on the challenge with Christina Fasoli (pictured, left), Canterbury branch manager for Kent Reliance.
The pair cycled from Paris to Sittingbourne over three days, having started on 15 September. They completed the cycle on Sunday afternoon.
So far, 100 donations have been made amounting to more than £6,000. Hall and Fasoli are still accepting donations, people who wish to donate can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/osbgroup-pedalpower?
Demelza could use £5,000 to pay for 50 families to receive an evening of respite care which can give them a break while their child is being cared for by an expert. For £2,500 the charity can pay for a health care assistant for around a month who will provide dedicated care either at home or in a hospice.
Hall (pictured, right) said: “This has been a huge challenge for us both and crossing the finishing line, along with the other cyclists, was really moving. Powered by a great deal of adrenaline, news of the donations coming in and some extra help from energy gels, we’ve completed 183 miles for this amazing charity who do wonderful work across the southeast of England. Thanks to everyone who has donated and supported us on this journey.”
Louise Earl, corporate partnerships account manager at Demelza, added: “Kent Reliance do so much for Demelza, we are incredibly lucky to have their support. The staff get involved at all levels – volunteering to help at events, getting us tickets for days out for Demelza families and so much more.
“Jon and Christina have taken on this epic challenge to raise money for us and we could not be more grateful. We cherish the relationship that we have with Kent Reliance and their staff. Thank you so much for taking part in the ride, I hope you’ve been given some time off for a rest now.”
Lifetime Connect MD Scott to run half marathon for Making The Leap charity
Scott has worked with the charity since 2017 as Making The Leap was a charity partner of a former company, and then became a trustee in 2022.
To donate please follow the link: https://www.justgiving.com/page/dom-scott-half-marathon-sponsorship
The Royal Park half marathon takes place on 8 October and is a 13.1-mile route that takes place through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.
Making The Leap was founded in 1993 and aims to “transform the futures of disadvantaged young people in the UK” by offering training to raise aspirations and develop skills, confidence and outlook.
It has helped around 55,000 young people over the last 10 yeas and around 5,500 into employment. The charity aims to help around 9,500 young people over the next year.
Around £100 could enable four secondary school students to experience their first mock interview with a volunteer, £500 could provide 20 secondary school students with a taster work experience session and £1,000 could cover the cost of facilitating a professional development masterclass for up to 30 young adults.
Speaking to this publication, Scott said that at Alexander Hall they had hosted workshops for cohorts of young people to give “insight into an office environment, insight into etiquette, insight into the right attitude, the right mindset and how to engage with people positively in that environment”.
He said this was about “soft skills” and the charity also offered interview training so that young people can “tell their story and articulate themselves in a coherent way” and compete in a competitive recruitment market.
Scott said the charity was close to his heart as before working in property and finance he had worked for a school for young children with emotional and behavioural challenges from economical disadvantaged backgrounds.
He continued: “I really enjoy [being a trustee] for a number of different reasons. I’m working with a team of qualified individuals from a range of different sectors and it has allowed me to develop my skills and be exposed to other industries and different types of thinking.
“Equally, it’s allowing me to impact the lives of young people in a very different way. When you deliver a program, as in you’re the person running a workshop you are helping up to 20 people at a time, but when you are a trustee on the board then you know that this charity is helping tens of thousands of young people a year.”
He said several other mortgage firms had become involved with Making The Leap, including Mortgage Advice Bureau, and he urged firms who wanted to bolster their ESG strategies to get involved with Making The Leap.
OSB Group supports The Albrighton Trust to create coronation garden
The Albrighton Trust, Moat and Gardens is designed around the remains of a 13th Century fortified moated manor house in Albrighton, Wolverhampton.
The charity offers educational and recreational activities for local people disadvantaged by physical and learning disabilities or ill-health
The charity said the garden would offer the community extra space.
The Albrighton Trust has faced challenges as volunteer numbers have declined since the pandemic and funding and donations no longer cover the charity’s costs due to steep inflation.
OSB Group has donated £2,000 to pay for seeds, plants, gardening and landscaping equipment, with staff also volunteering in the gardens every week since April.
The garden was opened yesterday by Anna Turner, Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire.
Neil Richardson, chief sustainability officer at OSB Group said “The communities local to our operations are really important to us and supporting them is one of our core values.
“The work done by The Albrighton Trust is exceptional and we are delighted to be able to support them not only through a financial donation but also via our colleagues using their company-allocated volunteering time to help their goal become a reality.”
He added: “We really hope our help provides visitors with an environment that supports them and their activities.”
Stephen Jimson, manager at The Albrighton Trust, said “The support from OSB Group has helped us to achieve much-needed developments to the gardens for our visitors in a much shorter space of time than would otherwise have been the case.
“The donation is amazing and hugely appreciated, but having OSB Group colleagues come along and volunteer is just wonderful!”