Barclays has a proud tradition of supporting the community. We believe it is important to give back to the communities we serve, helping those communities, and the people within them, achieve their goals. By doing so, not only can we have a very real and positive impact on communities around the world, but we also realise business benefits.
Barclays invests in community welfare in keeping with the Barclays strategy of community investment. The four focus areas for community investments in line with UN’s Millennium Development Goals are:
- Youth Development – Encouraging youth entrepreneurship and job readiness
- Income Generation and Financial Inclusion – Promoting job creation and financial education
- Preventive Health – Preventing diseases and promoting healthy living
- Environmental Sustainability – Building resilience to the effects of climate change
Globally, in 2009, £54.9 million was invested in community projects around the world and more than 58,000 employees in 31 countries were involved in fundraising, volunteering and regular-giving initiatives.
This strong feeling of giving back to the society is inculcated in every Barclays employee who willingly and enthusiastically volunteers to “Give” their time, money, share skills, raise funds or mentor people in need.
The three most visible pillars of Barclays’ CSR model are as follows:
- Banking on brighter futures
- Looking after local communities
- Charity begins at work
This creates a defined path of maximising resources, while creating a paradigm of sustainable impact.
Banking on Brighter Futures – is Barclay’s flagship programme through which financial contributions are made, bringing the power and capability of the organisation to tackle social issues. Across the world, and in India, Barclays is working with local communities to create sustainable change. Barclays has pledged to invest US $150 million over the next five years, in the Banking on Brighter Futures programme. 1,500 projects around the world will be supported and colleagues will be encouraged to volunteer 150,000 hours of work time to get involved. Efforts are focused on financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, education, enterprise and helping people into employment.
A highlight of this initiative has been the recent US $10mn global partnership with UNICEF, as part of which US $1.68 million will be invested in a three-year project in India.
- The project will address the current lack of business skills and financial literacy among disadvantaged girls and women, to help them create sustainable livelihoods.
- A total of 70,000 adolescent girls will be provided with life skills education, including financial literacy and leadership skills.
- 140,000 women will be supported to develop key business management skills, enabling them to increase their income and financial security.
- Barclays’ employees will be actively engaged in the project, providing technical and professional expertise and knowledge in life skills such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship and business management.
Another highlight of this initiative has been the recent £1.5m global partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) to provide entrepreneurial opportunities, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programmes to young adults. The programme is expected to benefit over 8,000 students across 11 countries in three years.
Another pillar of corporate sustainability is the involvement with the local communities under the ‘Looking after Local Communities’ programme. Notable projects initiated in this area in the past 2 years include:
- A mobile van hospital initiative with the Sri Satya Sai Trust
- Infrastructure support for education of the visually challenged through SIES in Mumbai.
- Providing relief to those adversely affected by the terror attacks of 26/11 through “I Love Mumbai”
- Promoting entrepreneurship amongst economically disadvantaged youth in Maharashtra by partnering with Pratham.
- Empowering the lives of the underprivileged youth through the medium of sport in association with Magic Bus.
- Building a playground exclusively for the benefit of the children residing at Bal Asha Trust.
- Supporting an “Adoption awareness” seminar organised by the Bal Asha Trust.
Supporting a seminar on handling abandoned children for the benefit of the police force in the city.
- Extending support to the Bal Asha Trust for running a dispensary that provides free consultation and medicines to people from the lower economic sections of society.
- Addressing the issue of livelihood among under privileged urban youth by imparting training on employability skill, enhancement workshops and programmes in Computers, English, personality development and career counselling through Smile Foundation.
Supporting causes that matter in local markets is one of the best ways that Barclays can meet specific needs and engage local stakeholders - be they customers, community representatives or colleagues.
Charity begins at work is a vital component of Barclays community investment programme. At the heart of this is the desire to engage and support colleagues who want to get involved with the causes they care about most. The objective is to harness their energy, time and skills because all involved have huge amounts to give – and gain – by being involved.
- Employee engagement is driven largely through the bank’s initiative, Make a Difference Day, which is celebrated world-wide across the Barclays Group in October - November each year. Employees from around the Barclays world are urged to spend at least a day to support a cause or a charity of their choice - not in terms of money, but in terms of their time. The bank supports them in their venture by providing them with time off from work and by funding the basic material they require to make their project viable. In all, 13 projects were undertaken in 2009 which saw 195 Barclays and 68 Non Barclays staff invest 2,637 hours of volunteering.
- To facilitate greater participation in this initiative, our Corporate and Investment bank in India launched Make a Difference, Click a Difference in 2009. Over 70 employees and their families participated in this initiative that sought to click pictures on the Magic of India. The shortlisted photographs were then used to create cards and diaries. This year, for the first time, this initiative saw participation from group companies such as Investment Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, Barclays Finance, BSS and BTCI in a fitting reflection of the one Barclays vision. A record 8,600 diaries were sold among all group companies and the money raised given to Akanksha Foundation, an NGO that strives to provide formal and non – formal education to the under privileged. The Akanksha Foundation will use the proceeds to support one of their centres in Mumbai to impart formal and non formal education to 50 children for a year.
Barclays offers a comprehensive range of support to colleagues globally, including matched fundraising, time off work and grants for volunteering.