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National Friendly’s ‘genuine desire to make a difference’ to the community earns it top award

16/02/2021

Supporting the community in its home city of Bristol has helped mutual society National Friendly land a major industry award.

National Friendly’s sponsorship of events at Bristol’s iconic Hippodrome theatre along with a hospital charity fundraising partnership in the city impressed the judges in the Protection Review Awards, earning it top billing in the Doing it Better category. 

The Protection Review is the definitive overview of the UK’s multi-billion pound health and protection insurance sector and its annual conference and awards presentation – staged virtually this time – is regarded as the ‘go-to’ event for the industry.

In presenting National Friendly with the Doing it Better award, the judges said it had shown genuine community initiatives aimed at making a difference to its local community in a tangible way.

They were particularly impressed with the Matinee Mingles initiative at the Hippodrome. Launched in association with Bristol Age UK, the scheme addresses loneliness in later life at a time where people may become more vulnerable.

The judges were also impressed with the firm’s partnership with Southmead Hospital Charity, the official charity of North Bristol Trust (NBT).

National Friendly was able to raise its highest annual amount of £26,500 for NBT’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after Louise Webber, a team leader with personal experience of the charity, nominated NICU to be charity of the year in 2019.

The judges added that National Friendly’s entry also “included numerous meaningful initiatives motivated by a genuine desire to make a difference to the local community and to embed a principle of helping out in the company culture”.

National Friendly PR and corporate partnerships executive Kurtis Reece, pictured at the launch of the Matinee Mingles, said: “We won praise for our work in the community in Bristol, working collaboratively with local organisations and charities to make a fundamental difference to local lives.

“We worked alongside The Bristol Hippodrome, supporting the organisation’s social events for the over 60s. People were entertained and got a chance to mingle without feeling self-conscious.” 

Bristol Hippodrome theatre director Ben Phillips said: “We are delighted that National Friendly’s sponsorship of our Matinee Mingle has been recognised by the wider business community.

“The Matinee Mingle is one of our initiatives directed at overcoming loneliness through encouraging older patrons to continue enjoying live theatre in a safe and friendly environment here at the Hippodrome across all our shows.”

Southmead Hospital Charity fundraising manager Adrian Brown said: “We are over the moon that National Friendly has received some much-deserved recognition for their contribution to the local community.

“From young to old, National Friendly has given so much support to the people of Bristol.

“Our corporate partners mean the world to us, and in National Friendly, we’ve found an organisation who are passionate, dedicated and driven in helping others.

“We are so grateful for their incredible fundraising, and the impact it has had on seriously ill babies and their parents at North Bristol Trust’s NICU.”

Kurtis added: “The support we are able to give back to our community results from the countless individual fundraising acts that our staff in Bristol throw themselves into. I continue to work closely with our corporate partners to develop our community initiatives throughout 2021 and I am delighted that National Friendly’s efforts has now been recognised.

“Our company is relatively small but its collective heart is big.”

Established in 1868, National Friendly specialises in private medical insurance, guaranteed life assurance, assisted living insurance, savings and investments. It has no shareholders and exists to serve the best interests of its 33,400 members. Its head office is on Bristol’s Queen Square.