PFG has been investing in communities since our business was founded- it’s in our DNA, part of our Purpose. Our core values remain the same as they did in 1880 - as a business, we continue to support the financial inclusion of our customers by enabling them to have access to forms of credit that are appropriate to their needs and helping them if they experience financial difficulties. At the same time, our Purpose also underpins the positive role we can play in the communities we serve to help tackle the barriers which also prevent social and financial inclusion. By tackling these barriers and supporting people with their education, we can provide the people within these communities with opportunities to become upwardly socially mobile.
Over the past 25 years alone PFG has been in a position to be able to invest £40m as well as thousands upon thousands of colleague volunteer hours. But it’s not the value of the investments that PFG is proud of. It’s the changes that we’ve been able to make to people’s lives as a result of getting involved in so many community projects.
PFG’s investments have helped people to feel included in society. Not just financially included in society, but socially by supporting them to improve their school grades, access better employment opportunities, and reduce inequalities.
PFG’s founder*, Joshua K Waddilove’s compassion for poor families struggling to afford the basic necessities led him to develop a check and credit system to help with a means to purchase necessities such as clothing, shoes, food, and fuel, for just a few pence a week. The system, which was set up with some specific essential stores in Bradford, enabled financial inclusion: children now had shoes on their feet and food in their larders – clothed and energised to learn. Joshua went on to fund Samaritan homes, hospitals, and educational facilities across the world. And it's here from where our Purpose derives.
Projects through the years.
For many years, during the nineties and noughties, PFG supported arts based educational projects which have helped not only to refocus young minds and get children engaged in learning who have previously struggled, but some projects have influenced behaviours within communities. The Spark, Partners in Art, the PFG Art Gallery and Making an Impression projects were all designed to connect theatres and galleries with schools in their local communities and encourage children in inner-city areas to enjoy the arts, broaden their horizons and discover their own creativity
“A lot of our children think they are no good at anything. They lack confidence. This project has instilled in them a great sense of success, which is a great confidence booster and will have an impact on other classwork”
JAN BAKER, Teacher, Windsor Clive Junior School, Cardiff, speaking in 2005 about our Making an impression Art Project
Newspaper cutting from 2004 sharing some children’s experiences of the Making an Impression project
The arts projects we supported didn’t stop in schools. The King Cross project we supported for example saw local children create community murals, which led to a reduction in vandalism and graffiti contributed to a more positive community environment.
Dance Yourself Confident
Our support of Yorkshire Dance, a grass-roots dance development project for boys in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, gave over 400 boys the opportunity to work with inspirational artists in the field of contemporary dance. The boys developed new skills, increased their confidence and aspirations. The group were invited to present work at West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of the ‘Fresh Fringe’ as well as being selected by Youth Dance England to perform in the National U.Dance Fringe in Nottingham. On an individual level, some of the older boys began developing their leadership skills by running lunchtime dance clubs and taking up shadowing opportunities within the community outreach programme. Read a press article on the project from 2013
Newspaper cutting from 2013 calling for new participants
For many years, through the 1990’s PFG supported the NSPCC, funding family care workers, volunteer training, parental support and project coordinators for family centres in Wales, Black Youth Advocacy services in Manchester, and for family group facilities in Scotland to name but a few.
PFG colleagues listening and sharing social impact stories in the 1990’s. Shown behind: Social Impact project write up from 1999
PFG’s Social Impact programme has altered slightly in structure over the years to meet community needs. Greater emphasis has been put on literacy and numeracy programmes in recent years, and PFG is also still very much focussed on delivering change through grass roots projects that are supported by the Community Foundation partnerships we have in Bradford, Chatham, London and Petersfield.
A colleague magazine from a Good Neighbour scheme sharing hundreds of community projects through the years.
“Having reflected on the work we have delivered in the many communities that we serve over the past 25 years, I have been struck by the strong partnerships that we have established with the partners that we’ve supported and by the sustainable impacts we’ve had on the lives people within those communities. I look forward to continuing to see PFG have a positive impact on the everyday lives of the people within the communities we proudly serve for years to come. I know we can continue to have a positive impact in communities we serve by supporting children and young people to become more happy and confident in themselves so that they can increase their aspirations and aim for a better every day for themselves too.” Rob Lawson, Head of Sustainability
*More about our Founder:
J.K.Waddilove went on to establish a Samaritan Home for Women, but his philanthropic work went well beyond Yorkshire. As the business grew, Joshua invested his money in supporting education, here in the UK and abroad. In the early 1900s, he supported the "Hospital of Universal Love" in China to develop western medical help there; and he donated £2,700 to a missionary in Zimbabwe, making it possible for its expansion; training more teachers, and providing general education to hundreds of children, as well as helping them to develop specific courses in agriculture and woodwork, thus providing more opportunities for individual and community development. In 1916, this school became known as the “Waddilove Institute”, and to this day, the school is still teaching hundreds of pupils under the name “Waddilove High School”.