BNF Bank’s philanthropic response to society’s needs in 2020
BNF Bank puts Corporate Social Responsibility at the top of its agenda, to give back to the community at large. In all CSR activities, BNF espouses its core values of ambition, responsibility and empathy. Since inception, we focused our commitment to contribute to key areas that we operate in, which allowed the continual implementation of our CSR strategy built on 5 main pillars: Education, Health, Environment, Philanthropy together with Culture and Heritage.
In 2020, which was one of the most challenging years for so many reasons, the Bank extended its support through the setup of various partnerships with influential NGOs and charities as it empathised with sections of society that were in dire need of financial support. Through the Bank-wide staff initiative #YourCause, organised every last Friday of the month, generous contributions poured in from BNF employees who voluntarily paid a contribution by donating money for causes which the employees themselves nominated for inclusion in the programme.
Karl Dingli, Head of Corporate Services at BNF Bank commented that "with the aim of offering ongoing and sustained support for local charitable organisations, it's reassuring to know that such small, unified gestures on our part can make such a big difference to the recipients. We now look back at these initiatives and can say that we're proud of what the team has managed to achieve to help others during the uncertain times of 2020, whilst most were working remotely.
"As mental health concerns were on the increase during COVID-19 pandemic, we welcomed Richmond Foundation's appeal to help them with 'The Gift of Therapy' initiative providing a number of free mental health therapy sessions to those in need but could not afford to pay for them. With a substantial increase in demand from different segments of the community, we collectively also accepted the call from Foodbank Lifeline Foundation and overwhelmingly donated for the second time round a truckload of food to help feed over 270 family members!
BNF believes in leaving a better environment to future generations and what has become an annual appointment, towards the end of March, the Bank observed Earth Hour by switching off all ancillary lighting across our branch network for one hour as a symbolic action in fulfilling our commitment to the planet. We also encouraged you to participate and take up the measures advocated during EU Mobility Week, intended to highlight the issues of pollution, reduction in emissions and air quality.
Another philanthropical initiative is the assistance offered to Inspire Foundation aimed at helping people on the autism spectrum reach their full potential. BNF financially supported the Foundation during its TV Marathon in an effort to upgrade the Foundation's heating system of their hydrotherapy pool which offers a multitude of benefits to persons with a disability. The Bank together with your contributions also supported the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit with the purchase of versatile new equipment to be used by the fully trained rescuers, first responders and fire-fighters on their life saving missions.
Other organisations assisted in 2020 were the Ursuline Sisters, known as 'Tal- Creche' by most for their unwavering dedication and commitment to children from disrupted families or from vulnerable refugees; Jacob' s Brew through Survivors Malta, a patient and family support group created to improve the lives of families facing trauma and help them to never give up against all odds; Dar Bjorn for a newer and bigger neurological intensive care community home fully equipped with the latest medical technological advancements for people with ALS, MS and neurodegenerative diseases and the Service Dogs Malta Foundation, an NGO that helps people living with a disability or condition by giving them a certified service dog to help them in their daily tasks. For the latter, the Bank has financially assisted this NGO to cover training costs for three dogs from puppyhood to their full certification as therapy or service dogs.
Every October and November, we engage in months of action using the Bank's own communication channels, retail network and other touch points to raise awareness on breast cancer and awareness about men's health issues. With your continued commitment, we supported Europa Donna Malta and the National Cancer Platform during these 2 months in a bid to help these organisations continue to ensure holistic and sustainable services for their patients and their families and keep on helping cancer survivors reclaim a positive body image and a healthy lifestyle! Focus then was diverted during the month of December where we wholeheartedly supported The Ladybird Foundation, a local charity that provides joy and relief to terminally or critically ill children based in Malta, giving these children and their families a real chance to turn their dreams into a reality.
Indeed, these are just only a few examples on how as a team at BNF, employees and management get together in unison to try to make life a little bit better to those in need and be at the forefront to safeguard the environment and heritage to be enjoyed by future generations. These opportunities are set to continue well into 2021 and the BNF team is extremely keen to give as much as possible to support the chosen organisations.