Supporting the local community Bank Blitzes Backyard to help older people

BITCI News - Members News - Jul 31, 2017

On 14 and 15 July, Age Action and Bank of Ireland took part in the Great Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz, which saw hundreds of bank volunteers swapping their calculators for watering cans and their spreadsheets for spades to give their older neighbours a ‘dig out’ in the garden. The gardening bonanza matched up bank employees with local older people who needed a bit of help keeping their gardens maintained.

Over 300 Bank of Ireland colleagues, Age Action teams and gardening experts mobilised in Dublin, Cork and Galway to mow the lawns, trim the hedges and generally brighten up the gardens, and the lives, of hundreds of older people.

The event was part of Bank of Ireland’s wider commitment to Age Action as one of its three flagship charity partners in Ireland. The partnership aims to support older people to remain active in their communities and to stay connected. It combines volunteering, fundraising and financial support, as well as providing teaching on the basics of the internet and digital world through Tea & Teach sessions.

Picture shows Bank of Ireland volunteer Miriam Byrne (green); Bernie McHale (red) and Tom Fitzgerald (purple) in Age Action client Carmel Gormley’s (not pictured) garden in East Wall, Dublin, as Age Action and Bank of Ireland took part in the Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz, which will see 320 bank volunteers swap their calculators for watering cans and their spreadsheets for spades to give their older neighbours a ‘dig out’ in their gardens. .Pic:Naoise Culhane

The Backyard Blitz specifically supported Age Action’s Care and Repair– a programme that carries out minor repairs for older and vulnerable people free of charge. Volunteers offer friendly, safe and free DIY and practical support to assist older people to live and stay in their own homes for as long as they wish.

Commenting on Backyard Blitz, Justin Moran, Age Action said; “We were delighted to team up with Bank of Ireland.  The demand from our members and clients was unbelievable. There was huge excitement about teams of volunteers coming to help out and they got a really warm welcome.”

The Backyard Blitz was the biggest volunteering initiative undertaken by Bank of Ireland to date. It supported colleagues in making a tangible impact on the lives of older people in their communities. This aligns with our strategy of partnering with organisations that complement our responsible business approach for customers and colleagues in communities throughout Ireland.

The overwhelming response from Bank of Ireland colleagues was that they really enjoyed the interaction and banter with the older people and the genuine impact that they could have on their lives. One of the volunteers summed it up saying “it was an amazing day, and great to feel like you can make a difference to peoples’ lives with great teamwork and hard graft.”

Some of the key highlights from the day were:

  • 321 Volunteers and garden experts;
  • 125 Gardens;
  • 1,041 Cups of tea;
  • 11,990 Metres squared grass cut;
  • 2,003 Metres squared weeds pulled;
  • 4,572 Metres squared paving washed;
  • 7,426 Shrubs pruned.

Check out more Bank of Ireland’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility initiatives 

We have supported our member Bank of Ireland to select their three charity partners. If you are a business interested in engaging your employees in strategic community initiatives that make a real impact in the community, get in touch.

Would you like to read more about how to engage with your local community? Check out our CSR Case Studies