Wednesday, 24 February 2010

It was not just about the money: Lloyds TSB Foundation in Scotland

THE Lloyds Banking Group announced today it is to stop funding its charitable arm the Lloyds TSB Foundation in Scotland bringing a 25-year-relationship that has seen £85 million donated to Scottish charities.

But it is so much more than that. Despite being one of the largest grant giving trusts in Scotland, the Lloyds TSB foundation was never just about the money. In my own parish in the Gorbals, I have direct experience of the relationships they have forged with those they funded, adding value to their own financial support and making it go further. It has enabled many in truly dire and unglamorous circumstances to gain confidence in their own abilities and has shown faith in the vision of those people.

Lloyds TSB Foundation understood that in the fragile places where much of their money went, the change hoped for and the change achieved was not always the same thing. For those amongst our poorest communities, even small steps can lead to big successes, and this meant that that potential of street-level work has not been overlooked by the foundation.

The economic situation has already hurt millions of people who cannot afford to fight back. They haven’t the means to. And now with the destruction of the Lloyds TSB Foundation, salt will be rubbed into the already painful wounds of those affected. It is frankly, unacceptable and shameful behaviour from a bank.

So you see, it was never about money for us, it was about communities having a better chance and a better story. Lloyds Banking Group has taken that away today.

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