Lloyds Banking Group, has been recognised for their outstanding work with young people by the Prime Minister with a Big Society Award, becoming the first bank to receive the award.
The Lloyds Scholars Programme opens doors to students providing them with the financial backing to attend leading universities including the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Bath and University College London. The programme offers students from lower income households a complete package of financial support, paid internships, a business mentor and the opportunity to develop their employability skills.
The retail bank, which has branches across England and Wales, runs the scheme with the support of over 1,000 Lloyds Banking staff who volunteer to mentor the scholars. The young people on the programme are encouraged to volunteer 100 hours in their local community, and in doing so challenge themselves, develop new skills and make a real difference in their area. With 240 participating students to date, Lloyds Scholars have already completed more than 38,000 hours of voluntary service since the programme launched in 2011.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
This Big Society Award recognises the remarkable efforts of the hundreds of Lloyds banking staff who have helped open the doors of some of Britain’s leading academic institutions to young people in need of support. It is fantastic to see so many of these talented ‘Lloyds scholars’ going on to use their skills to volunteer in their home towns.
António Horta Osório, Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group said:
Through tackling social mobility and providing paid internships and business mentors, the Lloyds Scholars programme is helping to build the next generation of future executives and senior managers. By insisting that these gifted young people also undertake a minimum of 100 hours of volunteering each year of their scholarship, not only is Lloyds developing employability skills, but also addressing the needs of local communities and helping Britain prosper.
We are enormously pleased and honoured that our work and that of our mentors and Scholars has been recognised with a Big Society Award.