12 July 2016

Making a difference together

2 minute read


  • We’ve reached our five–year goal a year early, by channelling £16 million into local communities
  • 732,000 people helped into a home of their own by working with partners
  • 76% of Nationwide employees involved in local communities.

Nationwide’s Head of Citizenship, Stephen Uden, reflects on the past four years and how customers and employees have made a difference to their local communities.

It’s been an exceptional few years in terms of the work we’ve been doing with local communities and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support as we couldn’t have done this without you. We also want you to help us plan for the future.

Back in 2012, we launched Living on your side, a five–year strategy that set out how we could make a lasting difference to local communities across the UK. Doing what is right by you, our members, and the communities in which you live, goes to the heart of what it means to be a building society.

As we enter our last year of Living on your side, we’ve almost reached all the milestones we set ourselves back in 2012 and accomplished even more than we ever expected. It’s been really difficult pulling out the highlights for you as there are so many to choose from that have made such a positive difference to so many people, here are just a few.

Key achievements so far:


  • 732,000 people helped into a home of their own through working with partners, such as Shelter and the Elderly Accommodation Counsel, and through our Mortgage Charter, first time buyers support and working with landlords
  • We’ve reached our five–year goal a year early, by channelling £16 million into local communities
  • 925,000 people helped to start saving
  • 76% of employees involved in local communities
  • 8,500 trees planted so far, out of a pledge of 60,000.

For me, the overall highlight has been engaging more than three–quarters of our employees in their local communities in some shape or form. Every day I hear so many inspirational stories from our employees who give up their time to help others or raise money for charities close to their hearts.

“Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to invest and unlock £16 million in local communities.”

Even if you’ve just voted for a local charity in one of our branches or made a donation at one of our fundraising events, it’s made a real difference.

The fact that we’ve helped almost three–quarters of a million people into a home of their own is phenomenal. Working with charities such as Shelter and the Elderly Accommodation Counsel has given thousands the chance to stay in their own homes with their own roof over their heads.

What’s next?

Now it’s time to look to the future and start creating a new five–year plan – and we want you to be involved every step of the way.

We’ve carried out research with our members to understand the issues that matter to them. Overwhelmingly, and maybe not surprisingly, they’re telling us that we should be focusing on housing, financial education and supporting vulnerable customers. We want to hear what you think about each of these big social issues and the difference Nationwide could make. Find out more and share your ideas.

I’m really focused on listening to the needs of our members and the communities in which they live as we start to build this new plan. Please do take the time to share your views so that together we can make a genuine difference.

Thank you

About the author

stephen-uden

Head of Citizenship, Stephen Uden, looks at how Nationwide is putting responsible business principles into practice.

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