Barclaycard super heroes

Superhero stories part three: Keeping colleagues connected through team events

Over this past year while many have been working from home, there have been countless examples of teams finding ways to keep connected, to help lighten the mood and lift spirits.

In the final part of our superhero stories, we celebrate some of the Barclaycard Payments colleagues for what they’ve been doing to keep entertained online. From sports, community projects, to singing, some might say they are ‘Lockdown Heroes’ -  here’s a selection of colleague stories.

Michelle Hejtmankova: Upbeats choir

Michelle Hejtmankova, Head of Product Management Issuing, Barclaycard Payments leads the Northampton Upbeats choir, a chance for colleagues to join a virtual singsong to help lift spirits whatever your vocal talent.

Michelle shared: “The Barclays Northampton Campus Upbeats Choir has been running every Friday since the beginning of 2019 and has continued throughout the UK lockdown. There’s a different theme every week, and colleagues dive in whenever, from wherever they are in the world. As well as making you feel energised and uplifted, according to research by scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, singing also strengthens the immune system.”

Pragya Joshi: The Summer Rainbow Relay team

Pragya Joshi, Communications, Business Payments, was one of the organisers of the Summer Rainbow Relay, set up by a group of colleagues in 2020 in support of the NHS. It touches upon number of areas including wellbeing, charity and team spirit.

More than 370 colleagues across Barclaycard Payments took part in a six-week fitness campaign, that ran from June to August 2020. Whatever the fitness ability, colleagues could pick the physical activity from walking, running, cycling, rowing to track and record the distance each week. They also threw in some fun with weekly sporting challenges to keep everyone motivated.

“The team has done a great job at driving this fantastic initiative, helping to raise funds for NHS. By coming together as a team to rally behind a worthy cause, they were able to ensure we had time to focus on colleague wellbeing at the height of the global pandemic, when everyone was working from home in the UK, and when physical and mental wellbeing was the topic of all engagement and wellbeing discussions,” says Pragya. “We were delighted to raise £2,800 for the NHS at the end of the campaign. The 58 teams that took part covered 8,700 miles in total. So well done to all involved, and to all the organisers.”

Anna Porra and Wendy Warren: Championing Citizenship

Across Barclays, colleagues are making a positive difference in our communities by helping people develop new skills to get into work and supporting businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive.

We caught up with Barclaycard Payments colleagues Wendy Warren, Head of Sales Management, and Anna Porra, Commercial Strategy Director, on the work they do to champion Barclays’ Citizenship, by volunteering their time and expertise.

“I work alongside a passionate and motivated team of colleagues. To call out some examples, we’ve helped people build their skills and break down barriers to enable them to succeed now and in the future. Last year, over 200 colleagues across Barclays volunteered to support our LinkedIn Profile review programme in the UK, working with our partners The Prince’s Trust, Catch22 and Springboard.’’ said Anna.          

“Through finding new ways of working, I’m proud that our Citizenship team has continued to deliver some great outcomes for a range of charities over the last year.” said Wendy.

As well as supporting Barclays’ Citizenship programmes, colleagues also support charities which are close to their hearts. Here’s some of the highlights from across Barclaycard Payments:

  • In 2020 Payments colleagues raised a fantastic £80,000 to be split between NHS Charities Together, Northampton General Hospital, Wildhearts and a selection of other charities that are helping to make a positive difference in the community.
  • 2020 was the fourth year colleagues supported The Chocolate Elf appeal in support of Northampton Young Carers, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. The team asked for donations of chocolate advent calendars which they wrapped and delivered to over 1,730 children at Christmas. That’s 400 meters of Christmas wrapping paper, multiple rolls of sellotape and countless hours of wrapping!
  • By partnering with Keep Britain Tidy, the team also organised a litter pick. In September 2020, 320 Barclays Payments colleagues made a pledge to litter pick for the Great British September Clean despite the global pandemic.

The moral of the story here is together we can achieve so much. Thank you to Michelle, Pragya, Anna and Wendy for giving us an insight into their world -  they are just some our everyday ‘heroes’ who wanted to share their story.