A West Yorkshire banker has returned from a garden party at Buckingham Palace after being invited in recognition of his service to local charities.
Yorkshire Bank senior business partner for Calderdale, Ian Firth, was invited to the first of this summer’s palace garden parties this month (July 7) after his work continuing the charitable and philanthropic vision of Victorian industrialist Edward Akroyd who founded the bank 150 years ago.
“It was wonderful and a total surprise to be invited” says Ian who joined Yorkshire Bank as an 18-year-old school leaver 39 years ago and is based at its West Yorkshire Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), Canal Road, Bradford. “There were hundreds of people there and I got to see The Queen, Prince Phillip and The Duke of York which was all very exciting.”
The invitation, through one of the deputy lieutenants for West Yorkshire, recognised Ian, and Yorkshire Bank’s work, in Calderdale which has included support for Overgate Hospice, Elland, his chairing the finance committee for the Community Foundation for Calderdale, which has supported hundreds of local organisations and membership of Calderdale Rotary Club which has raised £100,000 for local charities during the last decade.
As the business banker on the beat where Edward Akroyd, a renowned philanthropist who built the model village of Akroyden, launched the bank to help working people, Ian Firth, sees himself as a guardian of the bank’s founding vision.
“Yorkshire Bank still has a very strong approach to community social responsibility and we do like to help wherever we can by supporting like-minded organisations in the community.
“I was born and bred in Halifax and the fact that the bank was founded here by a man with the social concern and vision of Edward Akroyd does remain an inspiring and motivating factor even after 150 years.”
Yorkshire Bank’s adopted charity since 2008 is Help the Hospices and dozens of events are being staged throughout the UK to help the national charity and individual hospices including many in Yorkshire. Tthe bank has raised over £500,000 for the charity.