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Your Society

Your Society

Here you can learn more about the Coventry, the UK's third largest building society. As a mutual business, we're owned by our members and put them first in everything we do.

Supporting the Legion

Every year since 2008, we've made a donation to The Royal British Legion and so far we've raised nearly £11 million.

Read more about the work of The Royal British Legion and how we support them.

The Royal British Legion logo
Find out more about how we support the Royal British Legion
10th January 2013
Savvy savers at Gloucestershire School are well rewarded

Staff from our Winchcombe Agency recently attended the annual prize giving assembly at Winchcombe Abbey C of E Primary School, to reward the most regular saver. Top prizes were awarded to sisters Lara and Katie who each received a £10 Argos voucher.

Alison Howe from the Winchcombe Agency said, "Our Winchcombe Abbey affinity account is now in its fifth year and has proved to be very popular. The Society donates 1% of the average balance of the accounts to the school each year and this year's donation amounts to a great £175.

"We visit the school on a weekly basis to collect deposits from the children to pay into their savings accounts. This is a great way to encourage regular savings habits which hopefully they will continue in later life."

Head Teacher, Helen Springett said, "We are very grateful for the support from Coventry Building Society which has been well received by the children and their parents. The prize-giving is a great way to reward children and help them see the benefits of saving as they are rewarded for regular deposits rather than for the amount that is saved".

When presented with her award, Lara said, "I like paying into my savings account because I can save up and buy things".

31 January 2013
Salvation Army residents upgrade their I.T. skills

The Salvation Army is launching an I.T. project to help the people of Bedworth improve their computer skills. The Society's Charitable Foundation is funding the project, which aims to increase residents' access to the internet and enable them to search and download information whilst developing their I.T skills.

John Vale from the Salvation Army said, "The internet is a fantastic resource which most of us take for granted. By improving people's ability to access the internet we can help them develop important computer skills and improve their chances of getting work".

"This project will hold a series of workshops which anyone can come along to and learn a range of computer skills. These will include how to use the internet and email and also more advanced classes on word processing and spreadsheet packages."

This is a great project - I.T. skills are an important part of daily life and communities who have limited access to the Internet are really missing out. We are delighted to support the work of the Salvation Army and we hope this makes a real difference to people in Bedworth.

14 February 2013
Up and away! Coventry staff raise £3,400 for Air Ambulance

Our colleagues raised a staggering £3,400 for the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), further supporting the vital work of this organisation.

Project Manager, John Vallance, who works for the Society at Economic House in Coventry, said, "We wanted to raise money for a local charity whose work benefits everyone, so we decided to support the WNAA. They save lives on a daily basis so it's vital that their service continues. We have held various fundraising events throughout the year including a 30 mile bike ride which, as some of us were absolute cycling novices, was hard work, but worth it to raise money for such a fantastic cause".

On receiving the cheque from Coventry Building Society, Sarah Wakeman from WNAA said, "We are a registered charity and rely totally on public donations to keep flying and saving lives. The average cost per mission is around £1,400 and the annual basic running cost of the service is over £1.7 million. We are really grateful to staff at the Coventry for all their support with their brilliant fundraising efforts".

4 March 2013
Local charity helps homeless get back on their feet

Local homeless charity, The Northampton Hope Centre, received a grant of £1,000 from our Charitable Foundation to help fund its chiropody clinic. The charity operates a day centre for homeless, vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people.

Paul Kinsella, Fundraising Manger at the Northampton Hope Centre said, "Homeless people are incredibly vulnerable to health problems, especially foot disorders. Due to the nature of homelessness, people are often wearing poor quality shoes and walking long distances in all weathers. This can lead to foot problems such as corns, calluses and trench foot which are caused by excessive standing and walking. We are very grateful for the support from Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation which will help pay for a chiropodist to hold weekly sessions where people can come and have their feet checked out and treated if necessary".

Coventry Building Society's Senior Community Officer, Emma Brodie said, "The Northampton Hope Centre is doing fantastic work. We are delighted to support their chiropody clinic which offers an invaluable service to those who need it".

11 March 2013
Oxfordshire dementia support group gets funding boost

Dementia support group Daybreak Oxford received a grant of £2,000 from our Charitable Foundation to help support its day clubs. The Daybreak clubs operate across Oxfordshire and provide people with dementia the opportunity to join in organised social activities and enjoy days out.

Daybreak currently runs three day clubs in Oxford for people suffering with dementia, aiming to provide a stimulating and varied social day out whilst also providing much needed respite time for carers. The day clubs also gives members a hot meal and transport to and from the club.

Sandy Briscoe, Daybreak's Fundraising Manger, said, "We are extremely grateful for the support from the Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation; the grant will be used partly to set up a bursary fund for people who would like to attend the day clubs but are unable to afford the transport costs, and to also help fund social outings".

Dementia can be a very isolating and distressing illness for sufferers and their families. We are delighted to support the Daybreak centres, making sure as many people as possible can benefit from these clubs.

18 March 2013
Cirencester befriending charity improves the lives of older people

Our Charitable Foundation awarded a grant of £3,000 to Cirencester Good Neighbours, which is part of local charity The Churn Project, to help fund its befriending service for older people.

The charity recruits and trains local volunteers who visit elderly people who are living alone and may be at risk of social isolation.

Research has proved that social isolation and loneliness can be as bad for your health as heavy smoking. The Cirencester Good Neighbours project matches local volunteers with residents aged over 75 who would benefit from a weekly visit. The scheme has been very successful since it started in 2008, with the most successful befriending relationship lasting over four years so far.

Ro Lyon, speaking for the charity, said, "We are extremely grateful for the support from the Coventry; the grant will be used partly to pay for on-going training for volunteers on issues such as dementia awareness, and to also cover the cost of employing staff to manage and coordinate the project".

Jean, who has been using the Good Neighbours service for over a year, said, "I cannot begin to tell you how much pleasure I get from Angela's visits; thank you for matching me up with her."

Coventry Building Society's Emma Brodie said, "The Cirencester Good Neighbours project is doing fantastic work, helping to safeguard vulnerable people against social isolation. We are delighted to award them with a grant of £3,000 to help ensure that this invaluable service continues for those who need it".

If you would like more details, or to take part in the Cirencester Good Neighbours project, please contact 01285 642 566.

21 March 2013
'Pick your Red Nose' for Comic Relief

Colleagues at our branch in Melksham raised a fantastic £179 for Comic Relief with the help of members and local businesses. The branch held a cake sale and a 'Pick your Red Nose' competition with prizes donated by local firms.

Customer Service Assistant, Natasha Wood said, "We all had a great time on Red Nose Day and our cakes went down a storm! We were all baking late into the night in preparation, but it was worth it. A couple of members even made a special journey to show their support on the day and join us for a cake."

The 'Pick your Red Nose' competition was also very popular, with some brilliant prizes including gift vouchers for the Kings Arms pub, The Works hairdressers and local family butchers J Beaven.

Melksham was just one of the places where Coventry staff were doing something funny for money this year.

Across the rest of the Society we saw staff taking part in a whole host of activities including dressing up in fancy dress, competing in sports challenges and testing their general knowledge in a quiz.

12 April 2013
Staff come down to earth to raise £2,500 for Gloucestershire school

Six members of staff at the Stroud branch of Coventry Building Society aim to raise £2,500 for a local school in a sponsored skydive. The Shrubberies is a school in Gloucestershire that caters for children and young people between the ages of 2 and 19 with special educational needs.

The 10,000ft skydive will take place on the 19 May 2013 at Swindon Airfield and all money raised will go towards new facilities and equipment for the school.

The Shrubberies School helps students develop basic numeracy & literacy skills and supports them as they become independent adults.

Sam Pearce, Stroud Branch Manager said, "We have had a relationship with The Shrubberies School since November last year. As part of the Society's paired reading scheme, members of staff go into the school on a weekly basis to read with the children. The children are an inspiration to us all so we are very excited to be raising money for them".

27 July 2013
Coventry team completes Tour de Branch to raise money for local charities

Staff at Coventry High Street branch welcomed a team of exhausted colleagues who completed their very own version of the Tour de France, helping to raise a total of £30,000 for a range of good causes.

Four senior managers cycled an impressive 550 miles over six days around the building society's branch network of 70 branches in a 'Tour de Branch'. The route took them as far north as Sheffield and as far south as Frome in Somerset.

The cyclists set off on Monday 22 July, reaching their final destination at our Coventry High Street branch on Saturday 27 July.

Each of our branches supports a charity with regular fundraising events and volunteering as part of our Community Partner Programme. The aim of our cycle challenge was to support the branches with their individual fundraising and to raise the profile of the different charities.

One of the cyclists, Matt Mannings, Head of Branch Network said, "We covered approximately 100 miles each day which was quite a challenge. But it was also great fun to see the different branches and their fantastic fundraising ideas. The staff at the Coventry High Street branch really went with the French theme and had all sorts of fun raising money for their community partner".

"In total, teams across the Society have raised over £30,000 for a wide range of good causes, which makes the pain worthwhile!"

08 August 2013
A helping hand for the Alzheimer's Society in Stratford

Staff at our Stratford-on-Avon branch have raised £4,480 for a local Dementia Café. The café, run by the Alzheimer's Society, will use the money to improve the facilities and provide information about coping with the illness for café users and their families.

The Alzheimer's Society has been a community partner of our Stratford branch for 11 months, with branch staff helping out at events and running in-branch fundraisers. Most recently, they supported dementia awareness week by volunteering at the Vintage Tea Party held by the Alzheimer's Society.

Charlotte McKay from the branch said, "The Dementia Café does a fantastic job of supporting people living with Alzheimer's. We are absolutely delighted to support this project and give much needed funds to the Alzheimer's Society".

Wendy Harkness who runs the Dementia Café, commented, "We are extremely pleased to receive this funding which will enable us to improve facilities and purchase the books that will be of great help to those that use the Dementia Café".

The Dementia Café runs on the third Tuesday of every month between 12pm-2pm, at St. Andrews Church Hall, Shottery. It is a place for those affected by dementia to meet with those in a similar situation for interaction, education and support.

For further information about this, contact Charmaine on 02476 652 602.

12 August 2013
Lydney Hospital charity receives a boost

Friends of Lydney Hospital has received £899 from Coventry Building Society to fund specialist equipment to help care for patients.

The Friends have raised over £1million since 1969 to provide comforts for its patients and equipment for the hospital. The Coventry has supported the charity for 13 years.

Commenting on the donation, Tony Midgley from Friends of Lydney Hospital, said, "We are absolutely delighted. We will now be able to purchase a bariatric chair, a specialist piece of equipment. This will ensure that the hospital is able to provide the same high standard of comfort and care for all patients".

We're delighted to have worked with Friends of Lydney Hospital over the years, and to be able to give them the money for this much needed piece of equipment is fantastic.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Friends of Lydney Hospital contact; Mary Thurston on 01594 847 400 or email mary.thurston@hotmail.com.

12 August 2013
Fun in the sun for Myton Hospice

Our Community Partner Trust Fund made a donation to the Myton Hospices which was used to purchase eight parasols, helping patients to get outside and enjoy the hot summer.

The Myton Hospices have been supported as one of our community partners for the past five years. In the last 12 months, we've been able to raise £10,000 for these well-loved local institutions, including £5,500 in the Myton 'Take 50 Challenge' in March.

We were made aware of the need for parasols at Coventry Myton Hospice, and we know they will make a genuine and tangible difference to many patients throughout the summer months.

"It is a cause close to my heart," said Danny Farndon, who works in the Marketing team at Coventry. "Myton nursed my Grandfather in his last days and I actively volunteer and fundraise regularly".

Rosie Houghton, for The Myton Hospices, said, "We are really grateful for all the support, and the parasols will make a big difference to patients and their families; especially with all this lovely weather that we've been having".

The Myton Hospices work to provide completely free of charge care to those with terminal illness across Coventry and Warwickshire. To volunteer, donate or fundraise or for any other information, visit: www.mytonhospice.org Opens new website in another window.

15 August 2013
Get your trainers on for Race for Life

Ten members of staff from branches across Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Nailsworth and Tetbury took part in the annual Race For Life event at Cirencester Park to raise money for Cancer Research UK, raising a staggering £1,600.

One of the runners was Nailsworth branch manager, Jackie Harris, who said, "We are delighted to have raised money for such a worthwhile cause. The Race for Life is a fantastic event, it's a great way to remember loved ones who we have lost to cancer but it's also a celebration of life. And what better way to celebrate than with a well deserved post race picnic in the beautiful Cirencester Park".

"We are all thrilled to have raised such a fantastic amount for Race for Life and had a brilliant day out in the sunshine."

Amanda Camm from the Cheltenham branch said, "A couple of us were unable to take part in the race so we prepared a picnic for the runners. There was a great atmosphere, with women of all ages taking part and I think we may have had the youngest runner of the day in our group, with little Maizey aged two. Although she didn't really do much running, she had an easy time being carried around on her Nana's shoulders"!

27 September 2013
Coventry Building Society raises £10,000 with charity golf day

We raised a record breaking £10,000 at our annual golf day, held at Stoneleigh Deer Park golf club on 27 September.

The annual event raised money for our Community Partner Fund, which supports over 60 different local charities across the country. 27 teams from local and national companies battled it out over 18 holes of golf.

This was our 5th charity golf day and our most successful yet, raising a record breaking £10,000 for local charities. We are really grateful for the generosity of everyone who supported the event and well done to ADT for another fantastic performance. Maybe next year they will let another team win!

Paul Ryan from the winning team said, "We support a number of these events but this is the one that I always look forward to. It is a great opportunity for firms to get involved, raise money and support the work of local charities".

January 2014
Branch team roll their sleeves up for food bank

The Black Country Food Bank, based in Halesowen, helps vulnerable individuals and families in crisis by providing threeday emergency food supplies.

In the run-up to Christmas 2013, a number of our branch managers got together, dating, sorting and shelving hundreds of donations that had been made across the region.

Ten Coventry staff volunteered in total, taking along 160kgs of food and 30kgs of non-food items, as well as giving their time. They worked from 10.00am to 3.30pm, helping the Food Bank to sort donations and put together food parcels for their clients.

This wasn't a one-off volunteering session as The Black Country Food Bank is our Quinton branch's Community Partner. Dan Hill, Branch Manager, and his team are going to continue the great relationship they have with the project and already have plans in place to further support the initiative in 2014.

February 2014
Pride of Coventry Awards 2014

The Pride of Coventry Awards, organised by the Coventry Telegraph, recognise the city's unsung heroes who've been nominated for their selflessness and dedication to the welfare of others.

We're proud to sponsor the Young Community Hero award. This year the award went to Lucy Wing who, at just 16-years-old, acts as a carer for her mother who is suffering from a brain tumour.

Emma Brodie from our Community team, presented the award with several colleagues from local branches.

"It was very moving. It's a wonderful occasion, one we're very pleased to be involved with, and that honours people who help others without asking for reward", said Emma.

Pride of Coventry Awards 2014 picture

February 2014
Scanning team scores with £2,000 donation

Our Scanning team, based at our head office in Coventry, prepare and image thousands of documents every working day. But through 2013 they've been busy in other areas too, raising funds for their Community Partner, the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Charity Trust (UHCW).

From tuck shops to sweepstakes, they've used every opportunity to support this great cause. Their efforts culminated in a 20 mile army-style 'yomp' through the New Forest, carrying 35lb packs.

As a result of their efforts, they have raised over £2,000 and are seen here presenting the donation to staff at the Trust. The funds raised will be used to buy essential medical supplies to ensure the comfort of patients being treated at UHCW.

Scanning team scores with £2,000 donation

February 2014
Stroud branch partnership benefits local school

Coventry Building Society branches and Head Office departments each choose a local Community Partner to support, typically over a three-year period.

A perfect example of this working in practice is at our Stroud branch, who recently came to the end of their partnership with the local Shrubberies School for pupils with severe learning disabilities.

Over the last couple of years the branch team members have found lots of ways to get involved, from cake sales and raffles, volunteering as reading partners and supporting swimming lessons.

To mark the end of the partnership, the branch team made their final donation of £3,519.85. "The school really appreciated the donation and it will be used for equipment such as an iPad. This is pretty much all they have for the children with more severe learning difficulties to communicate through," says Tara Perkins from the branch.

The branch have now elected a new local partner, Home Start. They supportt parents who are struggling to cope with, for example post-natal illnesses, a disability, bereavement, the illness of a parent or child, or social isolation. We wish the branch every success with their new partner.

March 2014
Community Partner Fund benefits a dozen good causes

Our Community Partner Fund supports good causes across the country that are local to our branches and Head Office departments.

The larger fundraising events we run throughout the year - the Auction of Promises and Golf Day, for example - raise money which is held in the Community Partner Fund.

Our Community Champions apply to the Fund on behalf of their local Partners, which enables us to distribute money for them to spend on the equipment and services they need. We're delighted to be able to help 12 different causes this spring from our Community Partner Fund:

  • We're giving Daventry Area Community Transport £1,000 towards the cost of a new mobility scooter to enable greater access around town for elderly, partially disabled individuals, thanks to Daventry branch.
  • £1,000 from our fund will enable The Haven to provide a safe and secure outdoor space for women and children living in its refuge, thanks to Wolverhampton branch.
  • Castle Wood School for disabled children will benefit from £500 to replace wooden tables, chairs and benches in the playground, thanks to Foleshill branch.
  • We're awarding Birmingham Children's Hospital £50 to put towards the purchase of new toys and books for the waiting area, thanks to Birmingham branch.
  • Zoe's Place will use their grant of £534.90 to create a sensory wall comprising tactile squares, a water wheel panel and an auditory bells section, thanks to our Savings Operations team.
  • Halford Lodge - which provides 24-hour care for vulnerable adults with dementia - will receive £990.93 to buy some new garden furniture to enable residents to enjoy and work in an outdoor space, thanks to Holbrooks branch.
  • £600 is on its way to Willen Hospice to cover the cost of a new reclining chair that helps residents with little strength to be out of bed, thanks to Milton Keynes branch.
  • We're sending £1,000 to The James Hopkins Trust to cover 80 hours of nursing care for a child, thanks to Gloucester branch.
  • Rainbows Hospice will use £1,000 from our fund to help pay for 1.5 days of specialist care, including the use of their hydrotherapy pool, thanks to Hinckley branch.
  • £1,000 will help Arden Riding for the Disabled to purchase a horse trailer in order to expand its provision for less fortunate adults and children to build a therapeutic relationship with a horse or pony, thanks to our Intermediary Support team.
  • We're awarding Bright Beginnings Pre-School £200 for a new wooden seating area to enable them to hold group activities outside, thanks to Chipping Sodbury branch.
  • The Alzheimer's Society Memory Cafe will benefit from £192.69 to create a display of photos, documents and items from the 1940s and 1950s, to help individuals to access memories from their younger years, thanks to Bicester branch.

It isn't just about asking for support once a year. Staff across the Society continually work hard to build positive relationships with their Community Partners and volunteer/fundraise on their behalf throughout their partnership.

March 2014
A record breaking day for Sport Relief

Sport Relief's mission is to do good through sport. Our mission was to support this and have fun. Did we? Yes! And in doing so we raised in excess of £25,000, contributing to their record breaking total for 2014.

Many staff took inspiration from the official Sport Relief triathlon, planning their own swim, cycle and run challenges. Others arranged walks, spin and rowathons, and some simply used sport as a theme for competitions and dressing up.

Highlights included:

  • Noel and Katie from our Branch Network Counter Team mapped a route round Coventry which saw them call in at 16 locations on a tandem. It took them over six hours and they raised more than £1,000.
  • A team from the West Region raised over £5,500 - three of them completing a triathlon on the day, with a further 13 walking 19 miles at the same time.
  • Our teams based in Economic House had 'floor wars', with each department trying to outdo each other on exercise bikes. Nearly 600 miles later, Sport Relief was better-off to the tune of £1,150.
  • For the less sporty there was a whole range of activities, from cake sales to fancy dress competitions - something for everybody!

Well done to everyone - it was a great day, with fantastic results.

A record breaking day for Sport Relief picture

April 2014
Keynsham staff go back to school

A major part of the Coventry's community focus involves our colleagues using their skills to make a difference in their local areas. We believe that school-age children should understand the world of personal finance and across the branch network our staff help in many schools to support this learning.

Here is just one example.

After a conversation with a member - who is also a teacher at a local secondary school - Wendy and Amber from Keynsham branch went into local Abbey Wood School to deliver a financial literacy session.

After finding out what the school wanted, timescales and student numbers, they developed a 30 minute lesson which was repeated so that all 50 students could take part. It involved a brief introduction to financial products followed by an interactive quiz.

Wendy and Amber had very positive comments from the teachers and pupils present.

Coventry colleagues help out in a number of schools and colleges - from improving financial literacy to developing interview skills - and we're committed to supporting this activity further in the future.

May 2014
Ecuador expedition to support The Battle Back Centre

We were delighted to be able to help a team, including serving and veteran soldiers, in their attempt to climb on one of the world's highest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi in Ecuador at 19,347ft (5897m).

This tough challenge took place from 26 May - 10 June to raise awareness of The Royal British Legion's Battle Back Centre, and to raise much needed funds to assist its fantastic work.

The Battle Back Centre based in Lilleshall, Shropshire is an adaptive sport and adventurous training facility for wounded, injured and sick Armed Forces personnel. It helps them overcome physical and psychological challenges, promote self-confidence and improve motivation to aid recovery.

The Cotopaxi expedition - the first ever expedition from The Battle Back Centre - provided a tough challenge. It brought the mixed team together to cope with high altitude, several equatorial summits, temperatures of -10°C, days of acclimatisation and a grueling final push for the summit of Cotopaxi starting at 1am.

The team, which included two of our own staff, was led by Dave Bunting. He is ex-army himself and previously led the British Army Everest West Ridge Expedition in 2006.

Read more about the The Battle Back Centre Opens new website in another window here.

June 2014
Giving children a boost with the 'Reading partners' programme

Our reading partner programme has become really popular with staff and forms a large part of the work that we do in schools. We've heard lots of success stories and had great feedback about the difference it makes to the children who our volunteers work with.

The ultimate aim of the programme is to give children a boost with their reading skills and the confidence to become independent readers. Volunteers work with a child for half an hour, once a week, initially for ten weeks.

John Strickland, a solicitor in our Legal Department, has been a reading partner for a year at Henley Green Primary School. During this time, he has read with boys between the ages of seven and nine.

John said "A lot of the boys that I have read with have no positive or permanent male role models in their lives and often they see reading as something unimportant, so gaining their trust is vital".

There have been some interesting diversions along the way, and on one occasion, John spent the majority of his time dealing with a puncture on one of the children's bikes, that they'd brought in for him to repair!

John said "Being a reading partner has been enjoyable and rewarding and the reaction from the school has always been positive. It is definitely something I would recommend to other people".

July 2014
Helping rural communities remain self-sufficient

The village of Shustoke in North Warwickshire had been without its own shop for over 15 years. The nearest one was over eight miles away and many residents were finding it difficult to manage their grocery shopping.

Rural isolation is a real problem in many parts of the country. To improve the quality of life for local residents, a group of local Shustoke residents formed a non-profit company in 2012 to run a community shop in the village hall.

The shop was proving to be a great success, serving the needs of young and old alike, but they needed to expand the range of products on offer with the installation of a chilled deli counter.

A donation of £3,000 from the Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation helped the community shop to install the counter, with the help of local craftsmen.

The chiller cabinet is already making a difference, helping the shop to become self-sustaining and offering local residents the chance to buy a range of goods seven days a week. Local residents, previously reliant on friends and family to transport them to a shop, have gained a sense of independence.

The shop's Director-Manager, Carol Fox said "Thanks to the funding for our deli counter, we are now able to display fresh sandwiches, pies and meats in an attractive way. All the goods are locally sourced and as sales have increased, so has the rapport with customers, who regularly ask us to source new and varied products".

This is a great example of how we seek to make a real difference in local communities. You can find out more about our Charitable Foundation here.

October 2014
Coventry staff support a local charity - Zoë's Place

The Savings Operations team at our Head Office created their own pumpkin patch and held a pumpkin carving competition to raise money for Zoë's Place. These spooky displays, along with proceeds from other fundraising by Savings Operations, brings their grand total to an outstanding £4,943.

The staff at our Call Centre have also been fundraising for Zoë's Place. After organising a raffle that raised over £446, they decided to take their support to new heights by planning a sponsored sky dive.

Zoë's Place Opens new website in another window is a Coventry charity that provides palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants suffering life threatening conditions.

Winners of the pumpkin carving competition.

November 2014
Children in Need night and Pudsey take over the Customer Service Centre

In August we found out that we had been selected to be a Children in Need call centre for the first time. Around 300 of our staff got involved in making the evening a success, including all of our amazing call handlers and those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure things ran smoothly.

Emma Brodie from the Community team was keen to recognise the part that everybody played, saying "Thank you to everyone involved in making the night the massive success that it was. The atmosphere was simply electric - it was a real Pudsey Party! Of course the important part was answering the donation calls efficiently and I am delighted to say we answered every single one. An outstanding effort was made by all".

On the evening itself, we answered 2,266 calls, with a total of £71,536.00 being pledged by generous callers.

Pudsey at the Customer Service Centre.

November 2014
Proud to support The Royal British Legion

In 2012 we made The Legion our Corporate Charity. As well as making a donation based on the balances in our Poppy accounts, we've been raising money in other ways too. For example, in September 2014, we donated £5 for every mortgage application we received and 27 Coventry staff members completed The Legion's 'Pedal to Paris' event. For this cycle challenge, our team clocked up 460km and over £20,000 in sponsorship.

In 2014, 100 years since the start of the First World War, millions of us are wearing a poppy for Remembrance. This year, The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal is as vital as ever and for many Coventry members and colleagues, it's a cause close to our hearts.

So far we've donated over £10 million to the Legion. Below are some of people who have benefitted and how The Legion has helped them.

Lyndon Chatting-Walters

Photograph of Lyndon Chatting-Walters

22 year-old Combat Engineer 'Chatts' was injured in Afghanistan in 2008. Despite being told he might never walk again, he worked hard on his recovery and returned to the front line in 2010.

His injuries proved too severe for service and currently he's waiting for more surgery on his spine. In 2012, he completed a rehabilitation course at the Legion-funded Battle Back Centre Opens new website in another window in the West Midlands. The Centre provides specially adapted sport and adventure training for injured and ill Armed Forces men and women, as part of their recovery.

"I can't pick one highlight from my Battle Back experience because there were so many. It gave me the massive confidence boost I needed."

With his new-found confidence, Lyndon has acted in a West End play, worked at the Legion's HQ and raced at the Olympic Stadium in London.

Albert and Evelyn Haslam

Photograph of Albert and Evelyn Haslam

Albert served in the Royal Navy on the Arctic Convoy and supported the Legion for 8 years as a Poppy Appeal Organiser, raising £40,000. In 2012, he was diagnosed with dementia and his wife Evelyn was referred to the Legion's Admiral Nurse service.

Evelyn said, "It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have someone to turn to as Albert is deteriorating - I don't feel alone. The advice and support our Admiral Nurse provided has helped me care for Albert at home, which I wanted to do".

Clive Smith

Photograph of Clive Smith

Sapper Clive Smith, an engineer with the Army, was injured in an IED incident in Afghanistan in 2010.

In 2012, adapting to life as a double amputee, Clive spent a week at the Legion-funded Battle Back Centre Opens new website in another window doing activities including bowling, rock climbing and wheelchair basketball.

"The on-going support I've had from the Centre staff and others over the course of my recovery has been invaluable. The activities really encouraged me to focus on what I could do, as opposed to what I couldn't. This positive outlook has helped in all areas of my life.

It's humbling to know that the Centre has been created because of the public's generous support of the Legion."

January 2015
Looking back at fundraising in 2014

Before we start talking about what's coming up in 2015, we've taken a look back at what a fantastic year 2014 was.

The year in numbers

  • £233,832 - the total funds raised by the Society for charities and community groups in 2014.
  • 2,035 - the number of hours of volunteering in the community by Coventry staff.
  • 300 - the number of volunteers who took part in our Children in Need call centre.
  • 263 - the total number of charities and community groups who benefitted from the Community programme.
  • £10m - the amount donated to The Royal British Legion since 2008.
  • £60,000 - the amount donated to small local charities by the Coventry Charitable Foundation.

The numbers only tell part of the story though, as we saw teams come together from across the Society to put together some truly amazing activities. Here are just some of the highlights.

Memory café

The staff at Stratford branch celebrated their £10,000 milestone of funds raised for their local Memory café, which is run by the Alzheimer's Society. Staff have been working with the café since 2012, fundraising and volunteering. In 2014, three staff climbed Ben Nevis raising £2,301, and the team regularly help out at the café, serving drinks and chatting to the customers.

Back to school

Over the course of 2014, our staff spent 934 hours in schools helping children to read, or with their maths, or preparing them for their first interview. Here is feedback from one of the schools they visited.

"Children learned lots about how the banking system works and how they can best manage and save money. It was an exciting introduction to percentage and interest rates that we were able to build upon in class."

Readers at the Henley Green primary school.

March 2015
Red Nose Day 2015

Comic Relief has now raised more than £1 billion since the charity was founded 30 years ago, with 2015 being the most successful Red Nose Day yet. Comic Relief founder Richard Curtis said he was enormously proud of the charity's achievements. We echo those words following our triumphant day where staff and members raised over £17,000.

The Property team raised over £130 from a cake sale and Intermediary Sales staff held a tomato eating competition and raised over £160.

We also saw lots of raffles, tombolas, and competitions to get our members involved - thank you to everyone that took part.

The Intermediary Sales tomato eating competition.

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