Lloyds Banking Group has formed an Isle of Man branch of its UK-wide Group Ethnic Minority (GEM) network.
The network, which counts among its members African, Asian, Italian, Polish and South African nationals, focuses on career advancement by connecting and supporting colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds across Lloyds Banking Group, providing them with networking and mentoring opportunities. At its heart are raising cultural awareness and supporting community engagement, with two Douglas primary schools recently benefiting from the programme.
Colleagues from across the Lloyds Banking Group in the Island (Lloyds and Scottish Widows) joined forces to transform the play area at St Thomas’ School by painting the sheds and surrounding walls using materials part funded by the group, while at Scoill yn Jubilee, with assistance from parents, they cleared an overgrown section of ground to prepare it for use as a teaching garden.
The two projects, which complement the group’s Our Day to Make a Difference volunteering initiative, were led by Isle of Man GEM chairman Jean-Paul Nguegang, whose five-year-old daughter Abigail attends Scoill yn Jubilee. He said: ‘The projects were among the first to be led by the GEM network in the Island. We’re about to embark on another challenge – some painting work at Peel Clothworkers’ School – then during 2014 we hope to expand membership in the Island and identify more community volunteering projects the network can become involved with.’
Lloyds Island director Peter Reid and Scottish Widows managing director Juan Clarke are fully supportive of the GEM network.
Mr Reid said: ‘Our colleagues have worked hard in 2013 to genuinely support the communities in which they work and live. Here is another excellent example of them rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in and I am pleased to say the results were well worth all the hard work.’