Business Charity Awards 2015: Single Project - Société Générale with the Alzheimer's Society: Creating a Dementia-Friendly Company

For a company that has successfully backed a specific project run by a UK charity

The company trained more than 1,200 staff as Dementia Friends
The company trained more than 1,200 staff as Dementia Friends

What was the project?

The banking firm Société Générale supported the Alzheimer's Society in its aim to sign up a million people as Dementia Friends by March 2015. The initiative is run by the Alzheimer's Society to change public perceptions of dementia, remove stigma and make the UK more dementia-friendly.

How did the company do it?

Société Générale selected the Alzheimer's Society as its charity of the year in March 2013. The bank's 3,000 UK-based employees raised more than £900,000, beating the original target of £500,000. Société Générale and the Alzheimer's Society also came up with Dementia Awareness Month in October 2014, with the aim of training 20 per cent of the bank's staff as Dementia Friends and engaging 20 of the company's external partners with the programme. Training sessions were included in team meetings and made accessible on the intranet for all staff. The bank held its first dinner for suppliers to promote the project, and ran a workshop to share skills on corporate fundraising, policy and campaigning.

Why did it win?

The company trained more than 1,200 staff as Dementia Friends, which was double its initial target. The partnership has left a lasting legacy, and the bank's staff are continuing to deliver dementia sessions beyond the end of the partnership. The bank continues to sit on the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia-Friendly Business Resources steering group.

What did the judges say?

Deborah Fairclough, head of research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "The project provided lasting benefits and a template that the charity could replicate with other corporate partners."


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