An East London charity founded to continue the social welfare work of Clement Attlee is shaping better futures for young people with the support of Clydesdale Bank.
The Attlee Foundation, based in Tower Hamlets, was established with support from across the political spectrum in 1967 with the aim of benefiting people disadvantaged by poverty or lack of opportunity.
Before becoming Prime Minister, Clement Attlee was a youth and community worker in the Spitalfields area. The charity that now bears his name owns and operates the Attlee Youth and Community Centre, which includes a sports hall, five-a-side pitches, basketball/netball courts and an adventure playground.
It also runs the Attlee Means Business project which, working with city businesses, helps develop entrepreneurial skills in young people.
Patrons include Baroness Boothroyd, Lord Carrington, Lord Healey, Ken Livingstone and the Rt Rev Dr John Sentamu.
The charity turned to Clydesdale Bank after growing dissatisfied with its previous banker, which it felt was hindering rather than helping its work.
“Our bank was really falling down and we were getting very poor service,” said Alan Steele, Treasurer of the Attlee Foundation. “The simple act of getting access to our cash was becoming very difficult.
“We needed a new bank card and the process of getting a replacement was handled so poorly that we were left without one for some time. Also, we needed to update our authorised signatories which became a complicated procedure. When we asked for help, we were simply sent a new blank form to start again.”
A member of the Foundation’s management committee had done business with Clydesdale Bank previously and suggested it as an alternative.
“We did some background checks and invited Clydesdale to come and talk to us,” said Alan. “They received a thorough grilling from our trustees but understood the issues facing us and were willing to find solutions.”
Value for money is a key consideration for the Foundation and Alan believes it has found that with Clydesdale Bank with lower charges and a better quality of service.
“The working relationship is important too and the people at Clydesdale are far more people-centered, approachable and interested in us and the issues we face than we are used to,” he added.
Alex Brown, Business Development Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Paddington FSC said he was delighted the Attlee Foundation had chosen to move its banking and he would be happy to talk to any businesses or organisations unhappy with their current arrangements.
“A survey conducted for Clydesdale Bank earlier this year found that almost 40% of South East businesses are considering switching their banking provider in the next two to three years, with poor levels of service and dissatisfaction with their current bank being one of the key drivers,” he said.
“The Attlee Foundation fell firmly into this category and we believe that many organisations are using 2011 as an opportunity to look at whether their current bank truly fits their needs and future growth potential. If that is found wanting then it should be no surprise when businesses start to vote with their feet and switch bank in the next couple of years.”