2014 Chairman’s Awards.

Community Awards Winners for 2014.

John Stewart, our Chairman, announced the winners for the 2014 Chairman's Community Awards on, Wednesday 21 January, at an awards ceremony held in One Coleman Street, London.

This year we had the highest ever number of nominations and the finalists included employees from the UK, US, France and Netherlands. Over 4,000 votes were cast.

John Stewart said: "This is one of my favourite days of the year because as Chairman of the Group, I get to hear stories at first hand, meet people I otherwise may never meet, and really see the values of Legal & General at work in the communities in which we live and work.

"The people sitting in this room today are in the top 1% of social engineers in our business. Our business is, and has always been, about people. And you are particularly skilled in making things happen for the good of others."

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility said: "I'm particularly proud of our UK employees, where over 25% of them volunteered in 2014 during work time to make a difference to other people's lives. This is of course on top of the £1.5 million generously donated by our UK colleagues.

"There are also 30 senior managers who serve on the boards of charities, putting their skills to good use - and in return helping us better understand the real issues around housing, health, ageing and later life, so that we can do a better job for our customers."

We have produced a video of the award ceremony which you can view below.

OUR WINNERS:

We’re very proud of our winners. Please read their stories and join us in congratulating them. They are:

Rosie Slaughter, winner of the Charity Champion Award category

Rosie has been fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care since 2012 and has taken part in trekking the Great Wall of China and more recently the Grand Canyon. Here’s her story:

“I have hosted many fundraising events including a large quiz at the cricket ground, a 5-a-side football tournament, a Zumbathon and I ran the Brighton Half Marathon in February.

So far I have raised approximately £7,100 this year.

I also phone Jinnie, a 90 year lady, every Friday for Age UK. She is almost blind and bed bound and doesn’t have much contact with her family. Hearing how happy she is when she hears it’s me calling is an amazing feeling.

I am looking to start supporting a smaller charity next year called Action Pulmonary Fibrosis, an incurable disease, which I lost my father to. I now feel ready to fundraise for a new cause and am excited to raise awareness.”

Matthew Leverington - joint winner of the Charity Ambassador Award category

Here’s Matthew’s inspiring story:

“In March 2013, I was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which led to me losing caused me to loose 80% of my vision. I wanted to use my experience by turning a negative into a positive to support others in the same situation.

"I volunteered for the charity Royal London Society for blind people (RLSB) and one of their campaigns aimed to try and get more visually impaired people into employment. As part of this campaign I did a speech at the Houses of Parliament in front of 70 MPs and Business leaders to launch a resource called ‘Let’s work it out,’ - designed to help employers and visually impaired people work together in order to find suitable opportunities.”

Claire Hiles, joint winner of the Charity Ambassador Award category

Claire tells us her incredible story:

“I’ve always had a passion for African wildlife since I was a young girl; safari holidays to Kenya made me fall in love with Africa and its wildlife even more so. In September of 2011 I travelled to South Africa alone to volunteer on a game reserve and take part in a rhino relocation.

The hour or so I spent with a 4 year old sub-adult male white rhino in the African bush changed me forever. Seeing everything he had to go through - driven away from his mother by a chopper, darted, interfered with by us humans, endured a 2 hour journey to a reserve which was alien to him - was heart-breaking.

I attend fund raising events, take care of all rhino adoptions, I write articles for the HelpingRhino website on latest poaching stats, and oversee the documentation for events, but the biggest responsibility and commitment I have is managing our social media."

Liam Dray, joint winner of the Community Spirit Award category

Liam tells his inspirational story:

“I originally got involved in charity work when I found myself out of work. I became a full time volunteer for The Sussex Beacon in Brighton which offers specialist care.

“I currently work many weekends at the local Sussex Beacon charity shop and often cover at short notice so that the shop remains open.

“I‘ve taken a lead in organising a location fund-raising dress down day, and organising and running a Christmas stall. I was part of the committee who put together our entry into the Brighton Pride parade and am a founder member of Hove Rainbow Network as the deputy chair/secretary.

“As a member of Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, I take part in charity concerts for charities such as the Rainbow Fund and joined the Hove workplace wellbeing choir and took on the role of key organiser and liaison for the Hove members.”

Ismaelle Brunache, joint winner of Community Spirit Award category

Ismaelle joined us all the way from Legal & General America. Here is her inspiring story:

“I have been volunteering with the Senior Connection shoppers program for 8 years. I am a strong believer of the mission of The Senior Connection of Montgomery County, Inc. which is to provide mobility by linking older adults to services and resources so they can live as independently as possible while remaining integral members of our community.

“I supports senior citizens by helping them shop and provide transportation for their other errands as needed. My motivation comes from knowing that many elderly people are often forgotten about and live alone for many weeks. Volunteers make real difference to the quality of elderly people’s lives.

“I help at several shelters feeding the homeless throughout the year.”

Kellie Harding, winner of the Charity Fundraising Award category

Here is Kellie’s heartfelt story:

“In September 2013, my close friend Charlotte was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer at age 32, when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

“Sadly Charlotte died only a few weeks later, leaving behind her husband and 2 year old daughter Emily. On the 20th September 2013, I was lucky enough to spend a day with Charlotte and her family at St. Peter’s Hospice. I experienced first-hand what a different this amazing hospice can make to patients and their families.

“I decided to trek the Great Wall of China in September 2014 in her memory and to raise funds for the hospice. This was a self-funded trek with 100% of any sponsorship I received being donated to the hospice. I persuaded my two colleagues and close friends to join me.

“My proudest moment was successfully completing the 100k trek, knowing that we’d raised at least £4,000 for St. Peters Hospice

“I would encourage people looking to fund raise to consider doing something completely different, that challenges them and puts them outside of their comfort zone.“

Darren Jeffreys, winner of the Inspiring Young People Award category

Darren is a father of three and now, together with his wife, fosters vulnerable young people and children. Here’s his story:

“I’ve considered fostering for many years. So four years ago, once my own three children had grown up, I decided to commit to this. My inspiration was to offer children a stable home and environment if their own family were unable to look after them or if they were removed from their family for their own safety and protection. They would be looked after however long was necessary. I also wanted to pass on some of the wonderful experiences provided by my own parents.

“Since starting fostering four years ago, we’ve looked after two groups of children who were all under 10 years old. We’ve also provided respite care for other fostered children. Respite care means an emergency placement for a short period or providing care to allow other foster carers a holiday or short break. Our current placement is to provide long term care for two brothers aged 10 and 5.

“If you think you can make all the difference to a child’s life by offering them a safe, secure and stable family environment (and you have the space, then why not consider fostering?

“Of course, you need to know that there are many challenging times, but I can assure you these are easily outweighed by the rewards!”

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