We are delighted to announce that customers visiting branches of HSBC Bank throughout the Southampton area will find they’re greeted with even more smiling faces, following the adoption of Smile4Wessex as their Charity of the Year for 2015.
Appeals Director, Neil Westbrook, has been a familiar face to staff at the Park Gate branch of HSBC for over a decade, regularly calling in to deposit the proceeds of the charity’s fundraising activities, and it was one of the cashiers, Elizabeth, who nominated Smile4Wessex - initially for this branch alone. However, after learning more about the work of Smile4Wessex, which provides charitable support to the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital, Area Director for Southampton Lindsey Pruce had no hesitation in putting the charity forward for adoption by all ten branches in the area after a committee meeting.
The relationship will see information about the charity displayed in staff areas of HSBC’s branches - in Park Gate, Southampton City, Romsey, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Bitterne, Totton, Hythe and Lymington - and branch staff will also be organising ‘in-house’ charity fundraising events to the benefit of Smile4Wessex.
In addition, staff will be encouraged to volunteer in work time in support of some of the charity’s events through HSBC’s volunteering programme, and in personal time which allows staff to apply under HSBC's "Pound for Pound" scheme which matches amounts they have raised at events or gives monies in recognition of the personal hours staff have spent working for the charity as volunteers.
Commenting on the announcement, Neil Westbrook said, “This is fantastic news for Smile4Wessex, and all who benefit from the projects it funds at the Wessex Neurological Centre. And it’s particularly heartening that such a global organisation as HSBC still recognises the relevance of local community relationships. Every penny makes a real difference, but the additional awareness that this will create for our work is equally important for what is still a relatively small charity.”
HSBC’s Amy Spear is equally pleased to be working with Smile4Wessex, commenting “Our staff and customers work and live in the local community, and no doubt many will know of someone who has been cared for at the Wessex Neurological Centre. Lending our support to the work of Smile4Wessex is something we are delighted to be doing, and I’m sure our staff and customers will share pride in helping such a worthy cause.”