For Vanquis Banking Group, supporting the communities we serve is about more than just helping people out. We work with community partners who are helping to address the barriers to social and financial inclusion, improving the lives of those who are disadvantaged, particularly young people and children. We fund projects that provide access to support, which will improve a range of factors such as poor numeracy, literacy, mental health, and employability, underpinning our purpose to help put people on a path to a better everyday life. 

Key stats

Here are some of the highlights from our 2022 Social Impact Programme


£1.4m invested to support community programmes, money advice programmes and social research


1,014 hours volunteered by colleagues during work hours

£ 10,228

donated to colleague fundraising efforts


distributed to grass roots voluntary organisations via community foundations


donated to provide school uniforms for children whose parents/carers are unable to afford them

Supporting communities

Through our charitable partnerships and colleagues, Vanquis Banking Group has always invested in its communities. More recently we’ve delivered projects via our Social Impact Programme which have positively impacted individuals in our communities.

We continue to work in consultation with our many partners and external experts to understand what our communities need, and to deliver strategic community investment activities under the following three workstreams:

Our Social Impact Programme splits community investment across three workstreams:

Customers and colleagues

working with charities and specialist partners to provide support that seek to address key factors which affect customer and colleague


Supporting children, young people and adults in boosting their education, skills and aspirations to more widely participate in society and secure a brighter financial future.


Assisting community foundations and other partners in addressing the wide range of social inclusion and social mobility issues that are relevant to our customers and their communities.

Case studies

Participate’s mission is to create an environment in which the great social ideas of individuals and organisations can grow, flourish and create lasting change. It does this through coaching, and helping people to focus on solutions to their challenges through activities which include venture support, business volunteering, third sector assessment, grant delivery, research and youth ventures.

The Venturists is Participate’s youth engagement programme that gives young people the opportunity to start viable social action programmes. Working specifically in schools and communities with high levels of deprivation, it uses a framework that inspires young people to take action on the issues that affect them and their immediate community. Young people become 'Venturists' and identify social issues in their community, developing their ideas to tackle them.

Our second year of funding will enable Participate to work in four school settings: a high school, a special educational needs school and two mainstream primary schools in very disadvantaged areas. We will work with 15 young people from each school where the young people will attend weekly sessions to explore their ideas for social change (either working individually or in small groups). The sessions are delivered by a qualified primary school teacher who has also received enterprise coaching training. Sessions include: idea generation and development, goal setting, budgets and finance, fundraising, marketing, planning, presenting, and influencing – all of the sessions link into the curriculum, boosting educational attainment and key skills. The young people will be inspired and motivated by invited business speakers, social entrepreneurs and community champions who will share their stories, skills and experiences. The weekly sessions lead to a presentation by young people to a Dragons' Den-style panel which can award a small start-up fund. The final sessions provide practical support to help young people deliver their projects and create real changes in their community.

Previous Venturists have created projects to improve the environment, support refugees, help homeless people and reduce food waste. As Bradford is Britain’s youngest city, Participate believes it's vitally important to focus attention on this group as they will be the community leaders of the future and there is an opportunity to harness their energy and ideas for wider benefit.

Colleagues have also had the opportunity to volunteer with this project through the Dragons' Den-style sessions and a community team challenge where a team went in to help build a greenhouse out of recycled bottles – one of the brilliant ideas from a young team of Venturists.

London-based Free2B Alliance supports LGBTQ+ young people and their parents across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton, as well as providing LGBTQ+ inclusivity awareness training to services and organisations. The organisation has a comprehensive range of programmes designed to reduce the impact that being part of a marginalised community can have. These issues can include alienation, abuse and abandonment. It aims to provide safe spaces for young LGBTQ+ individuals and help to champion empowerment, acceptance and peer support. Along with providing one-to-one support it also runs a youth club, school awareness workshops and online round tables for parents and carers.

Our grant is being used towards core costs, predominantly to expand a youth worker role to help meet increasing demands from local schools. This will enable it to engage with three more schools which have approached Free2B Alliance to run additional targeted therapy programmes and to develop a family therapy programme, where it will work with members and their parents to better communicate and promote positive practices.

Free2B highlights the importance of having a presence in school for those young people who haven’t come out to their families and therefore may not be able to access out-of-school support, and may be at greater risk of mental ill health as a result. It has also begun using a trained therapy dog to help young people engage – it plans to use the dog to increase impact during Support Forum sessions.

The predicted impact includes: increased organisational reach; increasing young people’s wellbeing, resilience and social connections; reduced isolation; and improving family connections.

Across the UK roughly 4 in 5 adults have a low level of numeracy, but just what do we mean by numeracy?

Numeracy is not always taught in the classroom: it means having the confidence and skills to use maths to solve problems in everyday life. For instance: at work – understanding spreadsheets and data; in managing our finances – setting and keeping to a budget, understanding interest rates, understanding the financial implications of borrowing money, working out how much money to put into a pension; and as parents – helping children with homework, playing board and puzzle games with children.

As a financial services business, we have a responsibility to make sure colleagues are explaining our products to customers correctly and we want our customers to understand the terms of products they are signing up for, too. To do that, they need basic numeracy skills.

In 2020, we were once again lead supporters of National Numeracy Day. The day looks to raise awareness of the importance of numeracy and helps people take steps to improve their skills. In the midst of lockdown, National Numeracy were able to adapt the day to run as an online festival. More than 50,000 people signed up to improve their numeracy skills during May 2020.
With many parents finding themselves in charge of home learning, there has never been such a stark need to empower children and adults to get on with numbers so they can fulfil their potential.

In light of this, National Numeracy wanted to support parents, carers and teachers with the challenges of remote learning and for every family to know that they can help their children with maths without having to be an expert. So, they launched some free online resources and activities that focus on helping parents, carers and teachers support children to develop number confidence and a positive attitude to maths.

There are many barriers that can prevent a child from getting to school in a morning. This can be because of personal struggles they may have, or perhaps financial, psychological or other challenges the parent or guardian may have. 

SHS is a charity which places practitioners into schools across the country to work with children and families who need support the most. We provide funding for a practitioner at a school in Bradford and also at two schools in Chatham.

During the lockdowns in 2020, the charity has seen demand for its services more than quadruple but have continued delivering vital support to families facing issues such as domestic violence and food poverty. They also helped out with delivering digital devices to those without access.

In the lead-up to Christmas, our colleagues took part in a gift-giving appeal which meant that disadvantaged children across the UK woke up to gifts on Christmas morning. We continued to work with all our partners through these difficult times and have been flexible with our funding to allow them to adapt the programmes to work for the less privileged young people and
families they support.

"As an SHS practitioner working in a secondary school in Bradford, I see how the added pressure of Christmas impacts the families I work with. Christmas isn’t always a happy time for families and even more so this year. I’m working with young people and their families who have had significant bereavements, parents who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, living
in poverty and suffering from poor mental health. These gifts will make a big difference and take away some of the pressures parents and carers feel around this time of the year."
SHS practitioner

Connors Toy Libraries create a safe, warm place for families to come together, especially throughout the winter. Parents and carers have the opportunity to become volunteers, take up training and enhance their CVs. Families can borrow toys and resources to use within their own homes free of charge, allowing children to have access to good quality, specialist, therapeutic and fun toys to support their learning and development.

This charity is based in Portsmouth and has been in existence since 1973. Regular groups across the city create a safe and enjoyable place for families to meet, make new friends, gain peer support, borrow toys and resources and bring their children together to play. A mobile Toy Library was developed when other service providers asked for visits to their settings to provide a play and toy loan session for the families they support.

Whilst confident families attend their local Toy Library sessions, those suffering with post-natal depression, feeling isolated, lacking in confidence or new to parenting find it challenging to attend. An outreach project therefore provides one-to-one support for families for as long as they need it.

It receives referrals for hard to reach and vulnerable families from social services, health visitors, and a range of other networks such as Homestart. It also works with the hostel and refuge provision across the city.

Within the Toy Library sessions families can talk about concerns or issues including behavioural challenges, weaning, toileting, sleeping, attachment, etc. The charity is able to provide support, signposting or referral into the appropriate services where needed. The Early Intervention project was introduced. Parents are also supported with domestic abuse, post-natal depression, substance misuse, financial concerns and housing, again providing signposting to the advice they need at such a difficult time.

A child carers toy store is available for all p1rofessionals working with and caring for other people’s children, including foster carers, nurseries, childminders, speech and language specialists, and playschemes. This ensures all have access to good quality, educational and fun toys and resources for all children to enjoy. Families with children who have additional needs can access the child carers toy store to borrow specialist toys and resources to support their children’s learning and development within their own homes.

Our grant will be used towards the cost of all venues across the city to ensure they remain open for families to attend for 39 weeks of the year.