Community Connection

Bigger and better for our 15th birthday! 

Life’s all about connections isn’t it? We nurture relationships at First Central, caring for colleagues and customers. And communities? Of course! Our Community Connection’s turbocharged this year…  

We make sure we fit right into the communities around us. We play a part; always have and always will. We're passionate about helping out wherever we can, giving our time, our pennies and our ideas for the benefit of others. We support the charities each of our four offices chooses and push hard to reach the stiff fundraising targets we set ourselves every year (so far we’ve always smashed them…) Community Connection’s a big part of these efforts and in 2023 it’s worth more. Much more. 

Every summer we give colleagues a chance to propose local initiatives or charities they’d love us to look after. Whether it’s much-needed financial help or the gift of time, we ask people to put forward their best, most persuasive case. The top applications are presented to a panel of judges who decide who’ll receive a donation and its amount. Competition’s fierce and, though we’d contribute to every deserving cause if we could, the pot’s not unlimited. The great news is though, to celebrate First Central’s 15th birthday we’ve upped the amount on offer to £15,000 this year so we can help more people. 

In the past successful colleagues have won funds for schools’ projects, young persons’ and domestic violence charities, horticultural programmes and orchestras. The range of groups who’ve benefitted from the grants is as diverse as our people, which is amazing. 

The advantages for the local organisations involved need no spelling out. But, what about the colleagues who’ve nominated a cause or project (and hopefully achieved what they asked for)? Well, as we said before, life’s all about connections. Much as we sometimes relish the peace and stillness that comes with spending time alone, most of the time, most of us are involved in different networks. Whether these ties are at work or at home with family, through our beliefs or interests, associated with friends or even our children or pets, it’s rare anyone can live completely detached from those around them.

And, isolation’s bad news. Check out the NHS’s Every Mind Matters platform. It explains that included within loneliness’s negative effects are increased risks of dementia, stress, anxiety and depression. Keeping connected with other people and helping them out is a great way of looking after yourself as well as them. It warms your heart and protects its health too. Time after time, studies show volunteering and giving to good causes have lots of surprising health-boosting effects. The Mental Health Foundation found 63% of UK adults agree that when other people are kind it has a positive impact on their mental health. The same number said being kind to others has a positive impact on their own mental health. So, doing good does you good.  

Once again this year, our colleagues submitted wide-ranging and inspirational Community Connection applications. Talk about a tricky job, our panel of judges were well and truly tested trying to decide which of the incredible causes we should support. After much deliberation, their choices were made. Well done to our worthy winners Guernsey Motor Neurone LBG, Brendon Bees Junior Football Club, Hassocks Ladies Football Club, Bexhill Jump Park, Raystede Animal Support, San Roque Rugby Club and Guernsey Football Club. Oh, and congratulations to the nominees who’ll also enjoy some feel-good vibes…  

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