Volunteering during lockdown

Financial knowhow for children

There’s a saying about people who volunteer: they don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Elaine Donnelly, Lloyds Bank Manager, Consett Pool, has been balancing her challenging job with home-schooling her two children. Yet somehow she is also finding time to help colleagues and people in her local community.

Pre-lockdown, Elaine had been working with colleagues Bryan Fenwick and Jon Craib to deliver Financial Capability sessions to over 600 children so far this year. She’s been determined not to let the current situation prevent them from helping other children, so found a way to run the sessions virtually.

Initially Elaine started piloting sessions with her colleagues’ children, which went down really well. Since then, Elaine has been in touch with some of the local schools in her area to find a way of supporting teachers looking after the children of key workers, by delivering the online sessions to those in school.

She is also thinking about how the initiative can be scaled up, and has run a virtual coaching session for senior bank managers in the North area – talking through the Financial Capability training packs and how they can deliver the sessions themselves. The response has been fantastic, and Elaine hopes that they’ll soon see more colleagues taking part.  

As a Mam, I hoped to alleviate the pressure that we all put ourselves under and give parents a break from home-schooling for an hour. These sessions are so rewarding to deliver and the feedback I have had from the parents and children has been amazing.

Elaine Donnelly

Helping the community in lockdown

Elaine is part of the North East area, where helping the community is at the heart of everything they do. They are a shining example of how as an organisation we’re seeking to give practical and emotional support to customers and local communities.

Colleagues are making scrubs for the NHS in their spare time, hosting Brownie pack events on Zoom, volunteering as NHS drivers, and even sending ‘postcards of kindness’. 

Elaine and Bryan have also been hosting sessions for colleagues on a lower pay grade who are aspiring to move into a different role in future. They run a competency based interview for 45 minutes and then provide feedback and offer a follow-up to help with their development plans.

I'm working from home looking after my 86 year old Mum, and these days will give me a chance to share, when I am 86, what I did during Covid – just as she shared, when I was young, what she did during the war. We see all this as our time being a gift to help others.

Bryan Fenwick