We were "particularly proud" to see Paul Maynard MP collect the Society Champion award at this year's Charity Champion awards, say sponsor, Visa Europe.
At Visa, we know that global brands like ours have a responsibility to operate with integrity in all aspects of their work. That's why we are firmly committed to supporting local communities where we operate; and why we were proud to sponsor the Society Champion Award which celebrates the Parliamentarian who has done the most to improve lives within communities, at this year's Charity Champion Awards.
Our corporate responsibility initiatives focus on a clear unifying theme which is the protection and empowerment of young people, helping them to aspire and achieve. Working with a number of partners, charities and community groups our volunteering programme enables our people to share their skills and expertise directly with local communities whilst developing their own capabilities and experience.
More than 100 of our UK employees are currently engaged as mentors or have volunteered in at least one school-related activity this year, be that helping Year 10 and 11 students at Paddington Academy receive vital preparation for work through mentoring support, or giving additional help in reading and maths to local primary school children in their lunch hour.
As well as the value it can bring to young people, volunteering helps us to connect with our communities in a meaningful, tangible way. We benefit as a business because our people are motivated and engaged.
We were particularly proud to see Paul Maynard MP receive this year's award in recognition of his work on behalf of the disabled community. Recently, Visa Europe partnered with the UK's leading disability charity, Disability Rights UK, to become the exclusive sponsor of the charity's Doing Sport Differently programme. This initiative aimed to inspire the 11 million disabled people in the UK to overcome whatever barriers they may face to lead healthier and more active lives.
We also work with a number of other partners for the benefit of our local communities. Our connections with schools in Westminster are deepening through our involvement with Business in the Community's 'Business Class' programme which brings clusters of businesses around the shared goal of building long-term, needs-led partnerships with secondary schools in deprived communities.
Our efforts also extend onto the web. As a founding partner of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) we have been helping to support the fight against online child abuse since 2006. More than 50 Visa Europe volunteers have participated in CEOP's PROTECT training programme which equips private sector partner employees to educate children and young people in online safety. Overall PROTECT has reached more than 31,500 children.
The Charity Champion Awards celebrate the positive impact politicians can have in the charitable sector. Congratulations to all the winners.