Now National Friendly steps up to help primary school learning through local charity
Originally, the company was started to provide sickness benefits to working men, but also, uniquely amongst friendly societies at the time, it welcomed working women and children too.
National Friendly is enthusiastic about getting involved in projects which help the local Bristol community. The organisation has stayed close to its roots, something embraced by the current management with passion.
As a result, it has a unique insight and view into the pressures facing local people, particularly now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ripped through education, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable and the charities which exist to try and help these groups.
National Friendly has been a long-term partner of Ablaze (https://ablazebristol.org/)
Sally Melvin, CEO at Ablaze said, "Ablaze's Reading Buddy programme has been our flagship Primary programme since 2005. We rely wholly on the support of local businesses, not only to put volunteers on the ground in schools, but also to fund Ablaze's future growth and success.
Kurtis Reece, National Friendly's PR and Corporate Partnerships Executive points out that the education of pupils in primary schools is now under serious pressure, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Pupils receiving the support of an Ablaze business Reading Buddy not only increase their attainment levels but also improve their communication skills and outlook on life. With COVID and the current restrictions in place to tackle the spread of the virus, the Ablaze Reading Buddy programme is unable to operate as normal.
The pandemic is presenting all charities, including Ablaze with a number of critical issues, especially funding, with normal fundraising activities suspended.
The result is that vulnerable primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more at risk of being left behind in literacy and reading skills than ever.
For National Friendly's Reece, this is all about fundraising in a period of acute hardship, especially for vulnerable children. He ends, "National Friendly is supporting Ablaze Bristol through our own local sponsorship but alone this will not be enough. We need to encourage local businesses, the corporate sector and corporate donors to step forward, as well as encouraging the general public and parents to donate to this worthy cause. We remain true to our history, helping to support children in securing a better future.
For more information, please visit https://ablazebristol.org/