How did Societe Generale first connect with City Gateway?

Societe Generale has been working with City Gateway since 2009 when the charity was based close to SG House in Tower Hill. Initially we hosted ‘insight days’ giving an overview of the bank. Since then the relationship has developed to include a wide range of volunteering, an apprenticeship scheme, local fundraising and financial support from the Societe Generale Community Fund.

What has been the most valuable part of the partnership?

The partnership has been incredibly valuable over the past nine years. It has allowed us to support our local communities and make a tangible difference to people’s lives. We have built excellent relationships with City Gateway staff and have benefitted from their knowledge and guidance to ensure the bank’s support has the most impact. It has allowed us to work in a number of different areas from the Women’s Programme to the Apprenticeship Scheme.

Our employees tell us of the personal rewards of volunteering. It provides an opportunity to enhance their own skills and gain great satisfaction from the experience – something that is recognised internally by the business.

‘The variety of volunteering opportunities allows us to offer flexible programmes. The Literacy Lunches for instance, allow employees to fit the sessions into their busy schedules relatively easily.’

Developing our apprenticeship scheme with City Gateway since 2014 has been very successful. This social mobility programme supports young people into work. Over 50% of our apprentices have gone on to secure roles within the Bank; the programme has become a real talent pipeline.

We were the proud winners of the Asian Apprenticeship Award in the Financial Services category last year in recognition of the company’s commitment to the programme.

City Gateway was one of our key charity partners for 2017 which enabled us to widen our relationship to support them with fundraising events, most notably the JP Morgan Challenge where over two hundred staff ran the 5.6km raising £40,000. The event really encouraged our core value of team spirit by bringing people together to compete and raise valuable funds for a worthwhile cause.

What are the highlights of the partnership?

Personally I have really enjoyed supporting our own CSR team apprentices for the past three years. It has been extremely rewarding to see these young people grow and develop new skills as their confidence grows over the course of the year.

Another highlight has been managing the volunteer recruitment and engagement in the Literacy Lunches programme which facilitate language classes for women in the local community. Our volunteers find the programme incredibly rewarding and always come back to the office with positive stories and a refreshed perspective.

Our long-term partnership with City Gateway has enabled us to make a tangible difference to our local communities as well as benefitting the bank and our employees.