Paul Davis, a Director at Lloyds Banking Group, contributes this blog on the Group’s pro-bono support for Pennies – and how volunteering has contributed to both parties’ learning, understanding and development.
Lloyds Banking Group actively encourages its colleagues to use paid time to participate in volunteering within their communities. Through our “Helping Britain Prosper Plan” we have committed to bring communities closer together to help them thrive by delivering 720,000 volunteering hours by 2020.
My colleagues and I in the Retail and Community Banking Business Risk team were really keen to do this by using our professional skills and experience.
Whilst there is a role and place for traditional ‘hands-on’ volunteering – perhaps undertaking physical work – not least of all for team-building, we sought an opportunity to employ our specific expertise to help a charity, and to explore whether this could form a longer-term relationship. The Group’s aspiration is that half of our 720,000-hour target will be met through skills-based volunteering of this kind.
I happened to have a personal friendship with one of the team at Pennies, so ventured how we might get involved – and I’m happy to say Pennies have provided us a fantastic opportunity for us to make a tangible impact.
By helping Pennies, we are helping hundreds of charities
In total nine colleagues from Lloyds Banking Group led a number of strategic sessions with the Pennies exec and operational team supporting tasks related to their existing risk register, fraud prevention procedures and disaster recovery plans.
We found Pennies to have a mature approach to risk management already, though we believe we were able to assist them in enhancing this and adopting best practice from the financial service industry.
Working with a small charity situated in a very unique ecosystem of financial and payment technology, retail and hospitality industries, and the UK charity sector was a brilliant learning curve for us, as Pennies works across so many disciplines and touchpoints. It made us appreciate the complexity ‘beneath the hood’ of such a simple option of dropping some change into a ‘digital charity box’. The team are modest, but what they do is genuinely exciting.
What makes this partnership particularly special is the wider return on investment; we know that by helping Pennies, we are helping them to grow millions of pounds a year for hundreds more charities, which is humbling to say the least.
Think outside the box when exploring volunteering
We always loved volunteering, but our team especially appreciated the chance to make a difference for so many causes at once. It’s wonderful to be able to give back – and as Pennies themselves would say ‘give small change a bigger purpose’ in life.
I would encourage all businesses to think outside the box when exploring volunteering, and to choose something which makes you feel-good.
Director, Lloyds Banking Group