Making a million for The Prince’s Trust

Making a million for The Prince’s Trust

From getting more girls involved in the UK tech industry to an entrepreneurial programme for Apache youths in the US, and setting up sustainable mentoring relationships in Germany, Barclaycard colleagues are stepping away from their desks and standing up for their communities.

Barclaycard’s citizenship programmes are about giving something back and helping people by sharing skills and time. Wherever they are based, Barclaycard colleagues are teaching disadvantaged young people the valuable skills they need to get their foot on the job ladder and to succeed in life. Not only that, they’re raising funds to help charities provide life-changing education and training programmes, too. The Prince’s Trust, Barclaycard’s lead UK charity, is just one of them.

Two in a million

The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people across the UK through a variety of life-enhancing programmes. So far, the charity has supported more than 825,000 youngsters and counting, but it needs all the funding it can get to keep that momentum going. That’s where the Million Makers competition and our two London and Northampton-based Barclaycard teams come in.

The heat is on

A competition harnessing colleague’s entrepreneurial spirit challenged teams of employees to transform £1,500 worth of seed funding from The Prince’s Trust into at least £10,000; the plan was to collectively raise £1 million in just six months. One of those involved was Chirag Thakrar from the Barclaycard Commercial Payments team: “Up and down the country, 55 teams from all kinds of companies – including Barclaycard – came up with business plans that we pitched to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of volunteer senior business leaders to secure £1,500 worth of seed funding from The Prince’s Trust.”

Putting the ‘fun’ into fundraising

With the £1,500 in the bank, the two Barclaycard teams – from London and Northampton - got to work in June 2017 to raise as much money as possible; they were nothing short of creative. Chirag explains: “We set up The Prince’s Trust-branded contactless donation boxes, where colleagues tapped their card to donate money.” The London team also gave colleagues the chance to win festival tickets and signed sports memorabilia kindly donated by eager-to-help Barclaycard partners.

And our Million Makers team in Northampton were just as inventive. Sallie Ferguson who works in procurement runs down the list: “A 5km run around Northampton, a samosa sale, cricket tournaments… we even went along to a Northampton Saints Rugby game armed with donation buckets and raised a huge chunk of money.”

The Midlands team reinvested the funds raised into a big Christmas-themed finale, with auction and raffle prizes ranging from experience days to a £2,000 holiday voucher. “The fantastic thing is, they were all donated by suppliers, partners and even colleagues…” says Sallie. “…The whole Million Makers mission has been a huge team effort. We aimed to get the feel-good factor into all of our events and colleagues have really done us proud.”

A life-changing six months

With a little help from their friends, the teams collectively raised over £44,000 for the charity. What sort of impact might this have? Well, it would pay for 74 unemployed young people to complete a 12-week ‘Team’ personal development course, giving them the chance to take on their own group community project and make a positive difference to the place where they live. The young people could also get help in developing their English and maths skills, support prepping for interviews and improving their CV, plus two weeks’ work experience in something they’re interested in.

“A humbling feeling”

That’s how Chirag describes his experience as part of the Million Makers team and it’s easy to see why. What started off as two small core groups of colleagues with big ambitions to raise money for the charity has touched all parts of the business and will have a life-long impact on the lives of many young people. “Everyone put their heart and soul into making our fundraising as successful as possible,” says Chirag. “Everyone has their day jobs, but there was no shortage of passion when it came to organising events and making them as successful as possible.”

Passion and pride

Throughout the six months, colleagues truly demonstrated that Barclaycard innovative spirit we’re so proud of. Chirag explains it best: “We’re here to make people’s lives easier, whether through financial services or partnerships with charities - we’re not a one-trick pony. The people we touch aren’t just customers but those who are hard to reach in the community, whether directly through our initiatives or via the partners we interact with. The whole experience was so inspiring and we’re all immensely proud of everyone who took part.” 

Fundraising in numbers

A 5k run was a walk in the park for 100+ colleagues

50+ colleagues had paddles at the ready in a table tennis tournament

50+ colleagues got spooky in a Halloween-themed event

And 100+ colleagues and suppliers pitched up for a five-a-side football tournament

150+ colleagues went to Barclaycard’s colleague raffle and live auction

70+ items were kindly donated by colleagues and partners