We embarked on a two-year partnership with Bank of America at the start of 2021, aiming to provide practical support to people experiencing hardship. The partnership is fuelled by employee engagement with a fundraising target of £300,000. The final total raised is likely to be well over £700,000.
All fundraising and support provided by Bank of America contributes towards our Changing Communities programme – helping us to meet the needs of those facing hardship and create long-term change in attitudes towards poverty in communities across the UK. This includes funding our financial inclusion grants and our Help through Hardship helpline, which has helped people facing hardship to maximise their income by accessing benefits or other sources of income that they’re entitled to but not receiving. Between April 2021 and March 2022, helpline advisors handled 96,738 calls and provided advice to 31,726 people facing hardship.
Calendar of virtual and in-person events
Kick-starting our partnership during lockdown, we began with a calendar of online events including a virtual run to Tokyo challenge, in line with the opening ceremony of the Olympic games that took place in 2021. Since Covid restrictions lifted, we have trekked up Snowdon, hosted quizzes, raced dragon boats, cycled from London to Eastbourne, run the Royal Parks Half Marathon and more.
In 2021 and 2022, we ran Thanksgiving fundraising days to celebrate the organisation’s American roots and to encourage staff into the office to collaborate with their teams.
Internal comms and storytelling to achieve high levels of engagement
Staff from the Trussell Trust interviewed Bank of America employees with lived experience of using food banks, as well as those who took part in our volunteering days. Sharing stories is a vital way to offer support to Bank of America colleagues with lived experience and inspire others to get involved with the partnership. These stories have been shared externally in national print and online, raising awareness of the partnership and the Trussell Trust’s mission.
Changing Minds strategy
Bank of America has supported our Together for Change strategy, focusing on the Changing Minds aspect. Through this partnership our message has reached over 3500 colleagues across 27 team calls, town halls and strategy sessions since the launch of the partnership. We have also spoken to teams across the bank and created tailored volunteering days, in which members of staff pack hygiene bags for food banks in their local area. Through these sessions and increased understanding of our mission, staff feel connected to the partnership and can help us work towards a future without the need for food banks.