Hays Travel is giving £538,000 in donations and financial support to local communities across its retail network during the current financial year.
Toni Gibson, head of sales operations and community initiatives at the agency chain, said the Hays Travel Foundation will have given donations of £330,000 by the end of this financial year (April 2024).
Since it started in 2015, the foundation has made donations worth £1,374,306 in total.
The foundation also matches the amounts raised by branches, Gibson said at the Hays Travel retail conference.
Recent fundraising included a joint Hays Travel-Intrepid Travel trek in Peru which raised £15,137.
Causes supported ranged from a project providing ‘giggle doctors’ for children living with illness, disability and serious health challenges to musical initiatives and a summer holiday club for disadvantaged kids.
Meanwhile, Hays is giving its 460 shops a combined total of £208,000 to support fundraising efforts in their local community this year.
Gibson told the conference in Portugal on Wednesday (November 15): “This is the right thing to do; customers spend hard-earned cash in our branches so why would we not want to give back?
“The local community partnerships support fundraisers, sponsorships, local causes and local charities.
“We do not want to be a faceless business that just takes money; we want to be proud of what you have done and the difference you can make.”
Hays Travel chair Dame Irene Hays gave a certificate of recognition and extra fundraising money to Paul Morgan, manager at Cameron Toll in Edinburgh, to mark his branch’s efforts in fundraising over the past six months.
He cycled the equivalent of the distance from Edinburgh to the conference venue – using £190 from Hays Travel to generate donations worth £3,000 for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.
Other agencies have supported local charities that help people cope with the impact of suicide or to help mental health causes. Others support children with illnesses or life-limiting conditions, while one branch helped a carer to accompany a local pool player in a tournament in Malta.
The 25 branches in Northern Ireland have set themselves a £20,000 target to help Autism NI, while staff from head office in Sunderland, along with regional and divisional sales managers, have raised £4,286 with a sponsored walking event.
Pictured from left: Toni Gibson, Paul Morgan and Dame Irene Hays