RBS graduate volunteering programme contributes to Dragon Award win

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RBS graduate volunteering programme contributes to Dragon Award win

An RBS graduate volunteering programme has helped Pilotlight, an organisation which helps business leaders to mentor charities, secure a prestigious Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award.

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09 October 2013

The Dragon Awards (dragonawards.org.uk) are the UK’s oldest and most distinguished Corporate Social Responsibility awards, and the Pilotlight RBS graduate project won the Community Partners award, which recognises good practice and innovation by organisations in London working to boost community involvement.

The award winning programme, which has been running for three years, was developed by RBS Markets and International Banking and Pilotlight to leverage the talent of graduates employed by the bank for the benefit of charities. The programme enables young graduate teams to offer time, focus and innovative thinking to challenges faced by small, local charities.

City graduates working with charities

Fiona Halton, chief executive of Pilotlight, says it is important to get City graduates involved with charity at the start of their career so they understand, in a very practical way the impact they can have by working with charities.

“The graduates I speak with tell me this completely changes the way they think about charities. As well as developing the graduates’ business skills we hope this unique programme will help transform the way corporates engage with charities and lead to a lifetime of philanthropy for these young people.”

The Pilotlight RBS graduate project has so far benefitted 16 local organisations which have all been enable to implement measurable, sustainable solutions vital to their growth.

Richard Bartlett, Head of Debt Capital Markets and Corporate Risk Solutions and Executive Sponsor of Markets community programme, said: "What really came across to me is the value that our graduates were able to bring to their projects. By using their experience and intellect they absolutely transformed the prospects of a number of charities they worked with."

Marcia Samuels, Chief Executive Officer New Choices for Youth, one of the charities to benefit this year from the Pilotlight RBS graduate project, says she highly recommends the scheme. “The graduates came into the organisation, visited some of the projects, and helped us develop a portfolio for marketing.

“They also did some research for us on competitors and funders, so it’s a relationship for us that has been well worthwhile and highly recommended.”


Another to benefit, Reading Quest, has launched a tablet and smartphone app to provide a learning aid for children who have fallen behind with their numeracy skills.

The app, called Numbugs, features a talented anteater called Addy who uses  numbered bubbles to battle a swarm of invaders.

Numbugs, which was designed and developed by eight graduates from RBS, is available free for iOS and Android platforms and has been voted a 5 star app by users on Google Play.

Over the last three years, RBS has committed 6,300 graduate hours and 900 senior management hours to the voluntary sector through this project. The charities involved say they have found the experience beneficial and have come away with fresh, strategic solutions.

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