QBE Foundation

European Operations

Hi everyone,

It gives me great pleasure to report that the QBE European Operations Foundation has enjoyed a record breaking year in 2017.  

Our two year partnership with Breast Cancer Care has been our most successful yet. Through original employee fundraising initiatives such as 'Hours of Hope' and 'Tour de QBE' an enormous £294,232 was raised. 

We have seen a record number of employees volunteering with 622 days given over to building deeper relationships with our charity partners and making a lasting difference.

We also awarded £788,670 in grant funding to 88 charities proposed by our employees.

The commitment shown by our employees has in no small measure allowed us to achieve our goals.

I hope you enjoy reading about some of the worthwhile causes we have supported in 2017. 

Grant Clemence 
QBE European Operations Foundation Chair
Head of Casualty

We’re here to make a difference 

QBE employees and the Foundation have together donated over £6m* to charitable causes that specialise in helping people in local communities overcome disadvantage in their lives.

This includes:

  • £1.99m through fundraising
  • £3.53m in grants to charities
  • £866k through payroll giving

This has been achieved by distributing funds through four charitable initiatives:

  • Employee matched fundraising (up to £10,000** per employee, per year)
  • Matched payroll giving donations (up to £1,500*** per employee, per month)
  • Employee volunteer day (one day per year, per employee)
  • Discretionary grants awarded to registered charities

* Please note the Foundation's accounts for 2017 are yet to be audited and are not included in the above figure.

** or equivalent local currency

*** currently available to UK employees

We’re passionate about supporting causes that our employees care for and in 2017 we provided financial support to 143 different charities that they are actively involved with. Some employees support charities through fundraising and volunteering and others have benefited from the services they provide. We’re proud to be helping charities make a difference to those who need it the most.

Here are just some of the charities we supported:

We’re dedicated to supporting
our Charity of the Year partner

Two years ago, QBE’s UK employees chose Breast Cancer Care as their charity partner with the aim of raising £200,000 by the end of December 2017.  The target was surpassed by an incredible 47% and eventually the partnership raised a total of £294,232, which helped Breast Cancer Care provide a range of services, including specialist nurses, regional face-to-face services and a helpline to support thousands of women and men living with, through and beyond breast cancer.

Fundraising events included skydiving, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbonwalk and Afternoon Tea events, the Royal Parks half marathon, trekking Ben Nevis and Goatfell on the Isle of Arran; and The Welsh Dragon event, which saw Stafford employees cycle 175 miles coast-to-coast. 

In addition, we held two large scale fundraising events. Our one-of-a-kind cycle challenge in 2016, the ‘Tour de QBE’, saw QBE employees take to their bikes across the UK and raised £82,000 in the process; and the launch of the ‘Hours of Hope’ campaign in 2017 challenged every QBE UK employee to raise or donate £25 in October to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The ‘Hours of Hope’ campaign raised more than £74,000 in just one month! 

We’re working hard to maximise funds

Our employee matched fundraising scheme matches unit for unit up to £10,000 (or equivalent), doubling the amount our employees raise through fundraising 

Équipe ‘78 is a group of cycling enthusiasts who in August 2017 put their healthy peddling power to a good cause by raising funds for the Kensington Foundation.  The ride, which took place over two days, saw cyclists cover distance of 520 km from Toronto to Montreal.  Claims Manager, Darren Goldman took part in the event and raised over CAD $21,575 which included matched funding from the QBE Foundation.  The Kensington Foundation provides charitable support for health care services offered at Kensington Health.  It also supports the delivery of high-quality health care to thousands of patients, residents and clients in Toronto. 

Our employees in Sweden and Denmark came together in support of the globally known fundraising event Movember.  Employees and brokers put down their razors for the month of November to grow their facial hair and take part in a moustache competition. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, female employees painted on or wore fake moustaches too. In return, each participant sought sponsorship for a donation to support research in male cancers.  Together the group raised over £1,600 for Cancerfoden, including matched funding. 

We help communities

Helping the communities where our people live and work is our biggest motivator. We encourage employees to make a difference and give back to communities by offering a volunteer day each year which they can choose how to use.

10 QBE Re employees in Brussels spent their volunteer day in a social care home for the elderly.  The home’s budget and time pressures only enabled them to provide a bare minimum of one-to-one time with residents.

So, during their volunteer day, QBE’s team set out to give the home’s inhabitants some individual time.  Employees spent their day talking with and listening to the home’s residents, playing games, baking pancakes and just creating a little warmth and happiness by keeping them company.  The team had a fantastic day.  The time they gave brought its own rewards, in the sense of knowing they were making a difference, as well as meeting new people, having fun and being a part of the community.

The Bradfield Youth Club in Peckham, London exists to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people aged 4 to 16 years by providing a safe place for them to go and enabling them to develop life skills. 

Like many small charities the Bradfield Youth Club are struggling to maintain key frontline services and seldom have sufficient resources to cover on-going building maintenance and decoration. Over six months, four QBE volunteering teams have helped to transform the centre, both increasing revenue opportunities and improving the environment for the young people.

Daniel from the charity commented: “The teams were amazing and exceeded expectations. They all seemed really interested in the Club and what we do here. Everybody got stuck in and was keen to make a difference.”

We provide
financial support

Our discretionary grant scheme enables us to offer financial support to charities with healthcare, education and community-based projects.

In September the QBE Foundation awarded over £237,500 to 39 different charities that align with our philosophy of helping people overcome disadvantage. Following a successful awareness campaign we invited QBE employees to nominate a charity of their choice and tell us why they believed it deserved a £50,000 grant.  The shortlist included a variety of international nominations from offices across the UK, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

The two chosen charities were Anthony Nolan and the Miscarriage Association, and each received £50,000. The two have very different programmes. Anthony Nolan supports lifesaving stem-cell transplants for people with blood cancer and blood disorders, while the Miscarriage Association provide information, resources and personal support to those who have suffered miscarriages, through their forums and phone and email helplines.  

Two further grants of £25,000 each were given to Porchlight and Fundacion Aladina. Porchlight is a charity that offers support to young people between 10 and 17 years old dealing with problems such as cyber bullying, through their Young Persons’ Services; and Fundacion Aladina supports children with cancer and their families by providing them with psychological, emotional and material support.  The remaining 35 nominated charities all received a discretionary grant of £2,500.

Tiny Tickers received a £5,000 grant in support of their Think HEART campaign to inform health professionals, businesses working with or caring for children, and parents about the five key signs and symptoms of a heart defect in young babies. Approximately 1,000 babies leave hospital each year with their heart defect undetected.  Tragically, congenital heart disease remains one of the biggest killers of babies under one year. However, the QBE Foundation is helping Tiny Tickers change these statistics. Together we have raised awareness by providing information and advice to parents, health professionals and nurseries caring for young babies.

The Foundation’s 2017 Financials