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East Anglia Future 50

Aviva's donation revolution to help the grassroots

PUBLISHED: 06:40 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 16 February 2019

Aviva building on Surrey Street, Norwich
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Aviva building on Surrey Street, Norwich PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Insurance giant Aviva is at the forefront of a revolution in the way big business supports charities, according to one of the firm's bosses.

Lindsey Rix, Aviva’s managing director, savings and retirement. Picture: Keith WhitmoreLindsey Rix, Aviva’s managing director, savings and retirement. Picture: Keith Whitmore

Managing director of savings and retirement Lindsey Rix said Aviva’s Community Fund touches far more people’s lives because of the way the money is distributed.

This year’s fund awarded up to £25,000 for charities and causes across the country. More than 550 projects were chosen including 30 in Norfolk and north Suffolk.

People were asked to nominate a cause within one of three categories – environment, health and wellbeing or skills for life.

The general public then voted to pick which projects they thought deserved the award. The winners have now been announced and that money is, according to Ms Rix, beginning to make a difference.

Aviva's Community Fund has helped 30 community projects in Norfolk 
Picture: Lloyd Sturdy/VisualMediaAviva's Community Fund has helped 30 community projects in Norfolk Picture: Lloyd Sturdy/VisualMedia

She said: “The Community Fund is something we are extreme passionate about because it provides crucial support for local causes and projects aiming to boost the strength of our communities across the region.

“Historically big businesses – and Aviva as well, I am sure – looked at charitable funding with a view to making one or two big donations but this project touches many more people’s lives.

“We wanted the categories to resonate with us as an organisation – the categories felt akin to our values.

“We look at a range of things for entrants – purpose, what they want the money for, how many people’s lives will it impact and touch ... a wide range of aspects.”

Ms Rix added that the fund also benefits the firm because staff members see that not only the money but the support and connections that have been made are making an impact in their own communities in the East and across the whole of the UK.

“I have seen how this support money has touched the lives of some of my friends and family in the communities in which they live and work. I know a few charities that have received this money and seen the impact it has had. This is a grassroots up fund and this is really important to us – that is why it works so well in my opinion.

“We are passionate about supporting the communities where we live and work. And this fund resonates with our employees as well – they can see that the firm they work for is doing something good, something worthwhile. Emotionally, practically and financially that makes a difference.”

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