Focused on our communities
We have a strong tradition of caring about our local communities. Each year, OSB Group engages with people across the UK and India, by taking part in a variety of charitable events and partnerships.
In 2019, the OSB Group, including CCFS pre-Combination donations, raised £398,000 for its charity partners and our employees also volunteered their time to support a variety of community-based activities. OSBI is also heavily engaged within its local community in Bangalore through participation in charitable causes and programmes that require critical assistance.
Giving something back
We are proud of our strong links with our local community, especially through the Kent Reliance brand, which has been synonymous with the county for over 150 years. As our employee numbers have grown, so has our commitment to give something back to our local communities.
Our community strategy is built primarily around three key pillars consisting of Volunteering, Fundraising and Community Investment, which provide a platform for OSB to live its vision and values.
2019 marked the beginning of a new partnership with our current national charity partner, My Shining Star, Children’s Cancer Charity, as well as the introduction of local charity partners for each of our brands. By partnering with national and local charities, we can offer employees the chance to make a difference, both nationwide and closer to home. By focusing our efforts on our nominated charities, we can make a more meaningful impact to the lives of those that the charities support.
Throughout the year, we continued to enable employees to have an impact on the charities that matter to them, by encouraging an active ‘hands on’ approach, through fundraising and volunteering opportunities. More employees than ever before used their ‘Day to Make a Difference’ this year; this is a paid day to help support any registered charity or community group. This is often linked to one of our local charity partners, for example our annual community-based campaign, ‘Project Kent’, that Kent Reliance runs alongside KMFM, or something close to the hearts of our employees. Furthermore, if employees choose to undertake additional fundraising activities, the Bank will match any funds raised up to a specific amount.
The OSB Community Fund
As well as encouraging fundraising and volunteering, we also offer financial support for causes close to our employees’ hearts through our Community Fund initiative. Any employee can apply for funding on behalf of a registered charity or community project that they are actively involved with. A total of 34 applications were made in 2019, and we are hoping for even more in 2020, as the popularity of the scheme grows. The initiative, since being piloted successfully in OSB’s UK offices, has also now been introduced in India.
Our national charity partner
My Shining Star: Children’s Cancer Charity
My Shining Star is a charity that supports families through the financial hardship associated with childhood cancer. Around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year.
Families spend an extra £600 per month, on average, during their child’s cancer treatment (mainly for transport, food and accommodation) and many fall into debt as a result, or families become separated as siblings of the child are left at home.
The money we have raised throughout 2019 has gone directly to improving the lives of families in their darkest times.
Our local charity partners
Each of our locations supports our national charity partner by taking part in Groupwide fundraisers, but we also encourage our employees to support a charity on their doorstep. By engaging with charity champions at each location, we are able to ensure the views of each location are represented when a local charity partner was agreed. Our charity champions have been instrumental in supporting our Giving Something Back initiative and have organised a number of fundraisers in support of our national and local charity partners.
Demelza Hospice Care for Children – supported by Kent Reliance
Kent Reliance branches continue to support Demelza as their local charity partner, fundraising in branches and offering customers the dedicated Demelza Children’s Account, whereby the charity receives an annual donation equivalent to an agreed percentage of the combined funds held across the associated accounts at the end of the year.
Breast Cancer Haven, Wessex – supported by InterBay Commercial
Breast Cancer Haven is a centre in Titchfield, Hampshire. The charity provides free support and advice for those affected by breast cancer and their families, in a relaxing, non-clinical environment. This year, the team has raised money for Breast Cancer Haven through a variety of fundraisers, including a sponsored fire‑walk, tea party events, a summer festival and skydives.
Age UK Hertfordshire – supported by Prestige Finance
Age UK Hertfordshire works tirelessly to help improve the lives of thousands of the elder generation. It is one of the largest charities providing services to the elderly in Hertfordshire, providing vital support for many people in need of later life care. Not only have the team been fundraising with events like their Easter charity bake sale, they’ve been getting hands on and volunteering in the local care home and taking part in a Strictly Come Dancing themed event.
Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – supported by InterBay Asset Finance
Shooting Star Children’s Hospices supports 700 life-limited babies, children and young people living in London and Surrey, and their families. Bespoke support is available 365 days a year at their two purpose-built children’s hospices, as well as in families’ own homes at no cost to them. As our newest local charity partner, joining us in October, OSB employees have already helped Shooting Star to move items from its old warehouse, to a new ‘fit-for-purpose’ facility, so they can store more equipment to help more people.
Corporate social responsibility is extremely important to OSBI. The concept of helping society is embedded in its corporate governance structure through its Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’) Policy and also through employee engagement.
As part of the OSBI CSR Policy, funds are kept aside each year to spend on social causes. This is governed by a CSR Committee and implemented by the Corporate and Social Responsibility Group. The focus is to help and contribute in areas where there is critical need and within the office locality so they are also able to contribute their time.
In 2019, the CSR Group continued to support the areas of child welfare, education and healthcare.
Child welfare and education
OSBI has partnered with SOS Children’s Village, located in Bangalore, to fund education, food, clothing and housing for 20 orphans. Working together with SOS, OSBI employees helped to provide support for the holistic development of orphans and women and children belonging to vulnerable families. OSBI also hosted some events at SOS for employees to spend time with the children, which was highly appreciated by both the children and employees.
OSBI is currently supporting HBS Hospital to provide dialysis sessions to 40 individuals who live below the poverty line. OSBI has also contributed two dialysis machines which can provide over 11,000 dialysis sessions over a period of five years. HBS Hospital is a non-profit hospital which provides critical healthcare to members of society who could otherwise not afford the care they need.
OSBI also continued to support maintaining the gardens at CV Raman General Hospital for the second year. Hospital workers and patients have appreciated the positive impact such a space has had on patients, their relatives and the hospital staff.
CCFS and the community
CCFS has established itself as one of the local area’s largest and fastest growing employers, now employing 684 people primarily in Wolverhampton. Providing support to our community is an important part of our overall strategy. Every year we ask our employees to nominate a local charity that they would like us to support. This decision is made by the Charity Committee with final approval from the CEO.
In 2019, we raised over £92k for Socks and Chocs, a local charity that supports the homeless in the West Midlands and beyond. In addition to our existing charitable contributions which have totalled £373k since 2008, CCFS offers a ‘Good Causes’ fund that can be used towards special charity events being undertaken by, or linked to, employees or their families. In addition, we have longstanding relationships as supporters of local cricket and rugby clubs, and CCFS and its brands are passionate supporters of the local community. This year, Charter Savings Bank increased its focus on supporting overlooked and underserved UK communities through new partnerships with local sports clubs.
Working alongside both Coventry Rugby Club and Wolverhampton Rugby Club, we are actively demonstrating the values we share with our customers.
Coventry Rugby Club
In 2019, Charter Savings Bank entered into a new partnership with Coventry Rugby Club, focusing on inspiring young children through two important initiatives: Rugby and Reading, and Rugby in Schools.
Rugby and Reading is designed to inspire disadvantaged and disaffected children to read more. Our programme is led by members of Coventry’s elite first team who go into schools to read books with children aged between 5 and 11, enabling them to exercise both body and mind as they experience an hour of engaging storytelling before enjoying a hands-on game of tag rugby.
Rugby in Schools gives boys and girls aged between 5 and 16 access to coaching sessions delivered by one of Coventry’s top performing first team players, providing one-to-one interactions with positive role models as well as receiving professional coaching.
As title partners for both programmes, we have committed to support over 100 hours of rugby-based learning activity in total – a fantastic opportunity for children in local schools.
In addition to the two programmes, CSB is supporting Coventry Rugby’s charitable Foundation with their efforts to improve the lives of children currently living in poverty across the city, by providing access to a Match Day Experience and supporting their Project:500 initiative.
Match Day Experience gives 40 disaffected and disadvantaged children the opportunity to attend a live Championship rugby game, enjoy a tour of the ground, take part in a pre-game coaching session on the pitch and participate in a Q&A with first team players.
Project:500 aims to use rugby to drive positive engagement with children living in poverty, giving 500 disadvantaged and disaffected children the chance to learn through sport and give them an opportunity to be part of a positive and inclusive community. CSB has funded spaces for children on the programme, with the first event in October reported as a major success and the first step in Coventry’s goal to lift children out of poverty.
Wolverhampton Rugby Club
In November 2019, Charter Savings Bank and Wolverhampton Rugby Club announced an extension to their longstanding partnership, reinforcing the Bank’s commitment to the Club’s development.
To mark the occasion, CSB upgraded the Club’s Castlecroft base with a brand-new pitch-side electronic scoreboard, which will now provide up-to-the-minute information for over 200 grassroots rugby fans each week.
Since the partnership began, the Bank has been keen to ensure its support makes a real difference.
In 2016, it was instrumental in providing significant funds towards renovations to Wolverhampton’s changing room facilities, which are now used by up to 15 of Wolverhampton’s male and female development teams.
By partnering for a further five years, CSB is helping the club provide grassroots sporting opportunities for the local community for both male and female players, across a wide-range of ages, and for their loyal supporters in the local area.
Looking forward to 2020
As OneSavings Bank and Charter Court Financial Services have now come together, we will be looking to bring together the best of all of our community activities, and continue to support our people in fulfilling their passions to support matters that are close to their hearts.