Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) is at the heart of everything we do in Friends First. It is a philosophy that we incorporate in every aspect of our business, from our actions as an employer to how we engage with our customers, Financial Brokers and the wider community.
Friends in the Market
Our Friends in the Market initiatives focus on giving our customers transparent, value-for-money products, supported by excellent service and clear, effective communications. We continuously strive to enhance our offering to our customers and maintain our reputation as a trusted insurer. And we are constant advocates of improvements that can help our customers meet their financial planning goals.
We also support the development of Financial Brokers in enhancing the quality of services provided to our shared customers.
Friends in the Workplace
We aim to maintain Friends First as a workplace that attracts and retains talented staff who can fulfil their career ambitions. To achieve this we support the development and education of our staff throughout their working lives while ensuring they maintain the right work-life balance.
The health and wellbeing of our employees is important to us. After all, as an income protection provider we understand the impact that long-term illness and an inability to work can have on people’s lives. That is why we aim to give our staff a working environment that lets them grow and develop as individuals as well as allowing them to deliver on our business goals. This includes on-the-job-training, formal external training programmes and continued professional development. Our Workplace Wellbeing Programme includes:
- Laya HeartBeat, cholesterol & diabetes testing
- Corporate challenge – cycling, walking/running
- 8-week 0-5K running programme
- Pilates classes
- Lunchtime seminars
- Mindfulness workshops
Friends in the Environment
Being a sustainable and socially responsible business means we need to positively manage the impact we have on our environment. Our main environmental goals are to continually improve our energy management, reduce the amount of waste we generate and be more environmentally efficient.
We are achieving this through significantly increasing staff awareness of our recycling programme and through various initiatives to reduce our use of energy, water, materials and paper.
Friends in the Community
Through our community programmes we seek to support communities in Ireland and abroad to develop the means to live sustainable lives. We also support children’s education, community development and initiatives aimed at those whose lives are affected by physical or mental health issues.
Local Schools Programme
We work with 2 local Deis schools who educate children from all backgrounds; St Laurence Secondary College in Loughlinstown, where we support a career development programme, and St Colmcille’s National School, where we participate in the “Time to Read” literacy programme for primary children.
We support projects that help those in need in our local communities, including children and the underprivileged. We are supporting 3 local community centres in Ballyogan, Loughlinstown and Shankill. We sponsor a number of sports teams, co-sponsor the Dun Laoghaire Christmas Day Lunch, and the Shankill & Shanganagh Youth Club’s Annual Children’s Away Day.
Our charity programme is about far more than fund raising. We want to positively engage with charities that share our values and have been chosen by our staff. In 2015, our programme raised over €110,000 for our 3 charities; the Irish Cancer Society, the Laura-Lynn Foundation and Lessons for Life. But, just as importantly, our staff volunteered over 1,000 hours of their time, sharing skills and knowledge with our charity partners in Ireland and overseas.
In 2016, we have partnered with these charities:
Irish Cancer Society: a national charity for cancer care and the leading provider of all information relating to cancer prevention, detection, treatment and support in Ireland. cancer.ie
Aware: provides a range of vital support and education services to people impacted by stress, depression, bipolar and mood disorders. aware.ie
Lessons for Life: aims to improve the prospects of vulnerable children in Africa including those orphaned and affected by HIV and AIDS. lessonsforlifefoundation.org
Thanks to all our customers, Financial Brokers, family and friends for your encouragement and support!