UBS - The Bridge Academy

Award Type: 

South East Local Impact Award Winner, London Employee Volunteering Company of the Year

UBS has a long-standing community affairs programme with the aim of overcoming disadvantage by supporting education and entrepreneurship in its local communities through a combination of funding and the commitment and skills of employees.  In 2012, over 2000 UBS volunteers collectively gave 17,000 hours of their time to the community.

Business impacts

  • 94% of UBS employees involved in volunteering report an increase in their sense of wellbeing and happiness.
  • 77% of employees reported increased job satisfaction resulting from involvement in the community affairs programme.
  • Employee core skills have improved through volunteering: 74% report an increase in their team-working skills, 67% report an increase in their leadership skills and 78% believe they now are better at maximising the performance of others.

Social impacts

  • The Bridge Academy’s first GCSE results in 2012 were above the national average and third best in the borough.
  • The gap between attainment for young people receiving free school meals and those without at The Bridge Academy is only 5%, compared to a national figure of 26%.
  • IntoUniversity, also supported by UBS, boosts university applications through homework clubs and mentoring. 77.1% of IntoUniversity school leavers secure a university place, compared to 18% of students on free school meals nationally.

UBS logoUBS has supported its neighbouring borough of Hackney for the last 25 years, not only with funding but by providing tens of thousands of hours of employee time.

The company has long supported education as the global focus of its Community Affairs activity.  In 2000, Hackney Council wanted more and better education for 11-18 year olds and asked UBS to consider sponsoring a new academy in the borough.  UBS embarked on the project in 2003 and The Bridge Academy opened in 2007.  All UBS employees are encouraged to volunteer at The Bridge Academy.

UBS has a strategic focus, visible senior management support, clear policies and guidelines and administrative support to enable volunteering.  The community focus has been education in London, predominantly Hackney, which has enabled UBS to develop strong bonds within the local community.

UBS works closely with its community partner,s and enters into signed agreements with each of them which outline employee volunteering opportunities within partner organisations and anticipated impact.  Every volunteer receives training and a CRB check if appropriate.

The UBS Community Affairs team works alongside the HR team to deliver bespoke projects for employees at different stages of their career to aid skills and competency development.  Additionally, each employee is entitled to two days paid work time per annum to volunteer.

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