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Gloucestershire Business News

County insurance group is one of UK's biggest supporters of charity

Gloucester-based Ecclesiastical Insurance Group is the fourth biggest corporate giver to charity in the UK.

According to the 11th edition of 'The Guide to UK Company Giving', the specialist insurer, which has just over 1,000 UK staff, finished higher in the rankings than global giants such as HSBC, Marks and Spencer Group and Goldman Sachs International and was the top insurance company in the guide.

While Ecclesiastical is a commercial business, it is owned by a charity and says its purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society by managing a successful, ethically-run portfolio of businesses.

A significant proportion of the company's profits go to its owner, Allchurches Trust, which donates these independently to good causes, while Ecclesiastical also has its own extensive programme of charitable giving.

Ecclesiastical marked a major milestone in June 2016 when it celebrated hitting its target of donating £50million to good causes in three years and that total has now risen to more than £67million.

Ecclesiastical Group CEO, Mark Hews, said: "Our purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society and we have been donating our profits to good causes for many years. The £67milion we have given since 2014 has helped more than 3,000 organisations and now we're aiming even higher with a target of £100million by 2020.

"I'm thrilled that we've made the top five in 'The UK Guide to Company Giving', particularly when you consider there are 5.5million businesses in the UK and our contribution to charity ranks us among some of the biggest, which is incredible given our relative size.

"It's not just about giving money though. We have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we share with not-for-profit organisations as well as practical skills and an army of willing volunteers in our amazing staff."

As well as match funding all payroll giving, Ecclesiastical matches staff fundraising efforts and gives every employee a £125 personal grant, which can be given to any charity and is doubled if they also volunteer for them. Together, these initiatives raised nearly £250,000 in 2016. Over 60 per cent of employees gave their time volunteering too.

Ecclesiastical scooped the Better Society Award as Insurance Company of the Year in 2016, which celebrates the efforts commercial organisations make to create a better society, and maintained its 'CommunityMark' standard awarded by Business in the Community.

Pictured: Ecclesiastical's service of thanksgiving at Gloucester Cathedral in 2016, when the company celebrated hitting its target of donating £50million to good causes in three years and a recent session led by one of Ecclesiastical's charity partners, Coram, for Ecclesiastical staff.

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