Nationwide Building Society invests at least 1% of its pre-tax profit to support good causes each year. Nationwide’s Social Investment Live brought together 150 of its Social Investment Champions at Swindon’s Self-Build Renovation Centre, the UK’s only permanent exhibition centre designed specifically for self-build, renovation and home improvements – the perfect venue to help employees learn about its new social investment strategy and encourage them to get involved.
Nationwide’s Social Investment strategy has a new focus on housing, whilst continuing to work closely with the housing and homelessness charity Shelter. The event’s core objectives were to use intimate and engaging breakout sessions, with defined goals, to give employees an insight into the housing issues that are affecting communities and encourage them to support the new strategy.
The agenda included three breakout sessions, a presentation from Nationwide’s CEO and a question and answer session to round the event off. Throughout the day, each breakout session had a set of goals to be achieved. The three sessions covered different topics; Housing, Innovation and the role of the Social Investment ‘Champion’. The idea behind the breakouts was to create small intimate areas where delegates could actively engage in the session and where the messages could be portrayed on a more personal level.
Housing 101 – A huddle session in the ‘Build It’ theatre where delegates watched a VT following Francesca, a young woman who received help from Shelter when she was struggling with a difficult housing situation. Following this VT, delegates were able to have an informal chat with Francesca who now works at Shelter to help people facing bad housing and homelessness. Keeping the room dark with uplighters and a simple screen put the focus on the speakers and encouraged delegates to feel relaxed and open in the discussion.
The second aspect of this session aimed to immerse delegates in some of the scenarios that Shelter works with. To make it as authentic as possible we used actors and the venues model of a run-down house to recreate these scenarios. Small groups were then taken on a journey around the house to listen to their stories. The goal was to get employees as close as possible to these situations and for them to feel a personal connection with their social messaging.
Innovation Lab – This session encouraged delegates to think creatively about other social situations. Delegates watched a VT on why social innovation is important, what the future might look like and how that might affect Nationwide, it’s members and the wider community. Delegates were then asked to think creatively about bringing this to life at Nationwide.
Champion 2:0 – Aimed to inspire Nationwide’s Social Investment Champions. This session was hosted by Nationwide’s Social Investment Ambassador of the Year and Social Investment lead for the branch network. In keeping with the intimate theme of the event, it was important for delegates to hear from someone who is actively involved in Social Investment projects, keeping the session more personal than just a general presentation. Through discussions and question and answer sessions the aim was to give delegates the information they needed to understand how to take the role of ‘Champion’ further and why they are so important.
Nationwide’s goal was to give employees what they needed to be able to feel a personal connection with the new strategy, hear from case studies, ask questions and be actively involved moving forward. The breakout sessions, huddle discussions and personal presentations were all part of the process in creating this personal event and were supported by a presentation from Nationwide’s CEO at the end of the day. This presentation helped to reinforce the messages that had been discussed throughout the day, but also gave delegates the chance to raise questions and receive direct answers to what Nationwide themselves are doing to support these issues, now and in the future.
Samantha Owen, Social Investment Manager at Nationwide Building Society said;
“The event exceeded all expectations and feedback from colleagues has been overwhelmingly positive. Corporate Events’ ability to take our ideas and turn them into reality ensured we met, if not exceeded, all our objectives for the day. Its ability to remain cool and calm throughout also made the process a positive one. I look forward to working with Corporate Events again soon.”