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The importance of giving back to the community

The importance of giving back to the community

23 October, 2020

Managing Director of our Guernsey office, Ben Hill highlights how the island's financial services industry is not only a benefit to the island’s economy, but also serves as a vital contributory to Guernsey’s social make-up and community. *

The multinational financial businesses based in Guernsey are sincerely committed to giving back to the community and have dedicated corporate social responsibility initiatives that they adhere to on an annual basis. They take their responsibilities to society very seriously and each business often works hard to support educational, sporting, cultural and environmental causes that make a positive difference to the wider community. Initiatives include everything from cleaning beaches, to reading in primary schools and helping to improve the physical and mental well-being of the island’s population.

Unlike much larger centres like London, Guernsey has the benefit of a first-class financial services industry working in a small community. We all benefit from the fact that we can therefore build hands-on relationships, and genuinely give back to those around us in terms of both money and time. Many employees can use their professional skills to make a significant difference, for example, by assisting non-profits with legal pro-bono work, financial literacy, IT assistance and many other issues.

The Guernsey Community Foundation is an important stalwart driving the island’s efforts to promote effective philanthropy and stimulate the well-directed giving of money, time and ideas within the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Their Community Awards celebrate the organisations and businesses that are raising money for local charities and undertaking community projects, and the finance industry is always well represented in the list of nominees and winners. By contributing to creating a strong and committed charitable sector and working effectively with government and other businesses, the financial sector significantly contributes to a vibrant and caring Guernsey community.

At Ocorian, it is our culture, values and way of doing business that sets us apart. We give serious consideration to the impact our business activities may have, not only on our clients and employees, but also the local communities in which we operate. We encourage participation in a number of local sports and charitable activities and often sponsor causes integral to Guernsey’s community fabric. A good example of this is our sponsorship of the St James’ arts centre PA system, which is a key component in St James’ consolidation as the island’s cultural hub. We have also made donations to other local registered charities, non-profit organisations and community hubs such as the Guernsey Scout Group, Jubilee Day Centre, Vauvert School PTFA and Les Bourgs Hospice.

I have been amazed by the proactivity of my colleagues when it comes to their own charitable fundraising, and it is a great privilege to work for an employer that fund matches the amounts we raise for causes close to our hearts.

It all comes down to being a responsible business, it defines who we are. We believe we have a moral duty, as well as legal and financial responsibilities, to safeguard Guernsey’s communities for future generations. Long may it continue.

*Article first published in Guernsey Press on 21/09/20