In July this year NatWest and RBS launched CommunityForce, a new initiative to help support local charities, organisations and groups to raise publicity for their work and attract volunteers. The programme also provided the opportunity for three groups in each of the banks 158 CommunityForce areas to win awards of £6,000 each. Organisations and charities applied for awards during the summer and an on-line public vote took place to decide which three organisations in each area would receive the awards.
Around 7000 eligible charities and community projects in the UK applied to take part in CommunityForce and over 450,000 votes were cast.
Locally, Always A Chance, the 56th Upton Scout Group and Life Education Centres Northamptonshire Limited received the most votes.
CommunityForce, which forms part of the bank's Customer Charter, offers organisations more than just financial support. By applying for the awards, local charities and projects became part of a local online network giving them greater visibility and the opportunity to attract volunteers from the local area. NatWest and RBS staff are also getting involved by volunteering their time and expertise.
Dipesh Mistry NatWest's Local CEO for North Lincolnshire said: 'It was great to have Michael here at NatWest the Drapery to make today's presentation special for the bank and the good causes. We had a fantastic response to CommunityForce and it's clear that people in the local area are very passionate about these three good causes. Local residents voted for Always A Chance, the 56th Upton Scout Group and Life Education Centres Northamptonshire Limited in great numbers and this certainly demonstrates how important these projects are to the community. "