Specialist finance industry uses lockdown time to raise money for charity

Despite the troubles caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the specialist finance sector is not letting itself get beaten down.

In a bid to raise money for key workers and charities in need across the country, a number of industry leaders have used their lockdown time to pioneer a variety of charitable initiatives over the past few weeks.

Isolation Golf Bucket Challenge

Perhaps one of the most popular charitable activities that has taken the specialist finance market by storm is the Isolation Golf Bucket Challenge.

It was started by Christian Gugolz, senior business development manager at bridging lender MT Finance, based on a challenge he had seen before (albeit not for charity) and who was inspired by stories of people trying to raise money for the NHS from all over the country.

The challenge is simple: grab 10 golf balls, place the bucket five steps away from you, and attempt to hit the balls into the bucket. For every ball missed, you donate between £2 and £5 to charity. After that, post your video and nominate five more people to take part.

At the time of writing, The Isolation Golf Bucket Challenge had raised £6,378.00, surpassing the £1,250.00 target five-fold.

“The feedback and support has been incredible,” Christian told B&C.

“I genuinely never thought it would take off as much as it has, and it’s been great to see the industry come together and create our own lockdown community.

“There have been donations from far and wide, and even from people that aren’t able to take part because they don’t own clubs, or simply don’t play golf!

“It’s been amazing to witness the generosity and kindness of our industry.”

Get involved and donate here.


What started off as a casual conversation between Simon Lyons, head of ecosystem engagement at Open Banking, and his friend, Chris Daw, Queen’s Counsel at Lincoln House Chamber, turned into the latest charity endeavour called #Lockdownlocksoff.

Simon explained that both him and his friend have daughters who were going to cut their hair, and they decided it would be fun to raise money for the event and post pictures and videos of the final results.

“It’s very informal, we both support and are supporters of teenage mental health charities,” said Simon.

He has since had around 200 private messages from friends, colleagues and strangers.

“It is a small idea that hopefully provides a little light relief in these worrying times,” he commented.

Simon has already pledged £50 for the challenge and encourages anyone who wants to join to donate to Young Minds and post the results of their lockdown haircut experience.

“Tag #lockdownlocksoff and video the result, see if your network can raise a little money for a good cause.

“Let’s see those skinheads on the tube, trains and buses in a few weeks,” he added.

Get involved and donate here.

Kensington Mortgages donates hundreds of thousands of pounds

Earlier this month, Kensington Mortgages revealed it had made a series of donations to multiple charities across the UK.

In a LinkedIn post, Rio Norris, new business executive at Kensington Mortgages, said that the company would donate £500,000 to the NHS, £100,000 to MIND — a mental health charity — £50,000 to a local food bank, and £300,000 to numerous charities chosen by Kensington employees.

“As with all financial services companies, there are small sums of money in Kensington accounts owed to former customers who cannot be traced due to insufficient information being provided — orphaned assets, as they are labelled by the regulators,” explained a spokesperson for Kensington Mortgages. 

“The money is ringfenced and, after a number of years, companies are able to distribute their unclaimed orphan assets to charitable causes.”
Kensington Mortgages added that it was its duty to “act as a responsible steward of the assets”.

“We have therefore used some of this money to help supply equipment to NHS trusts and also to mental health charities and food banks, to support critical frontline institutions during this unprecedented national crisis.”

Run for Heroes

Something that has more recently gained traction across the UK on social media is the Run for Heroes charity activity, hosted on Virgin Money Giving.

Participants are asked to run five km (while adhering to social distancing guidelines) and donate £5 to NHS workers fighting Covid-19, as well as to nominate five more participants in order to reach its target of £3.5m.

The team at Catalyst Property Finance is currently taking part in this charity challenge.

“We've usually got something going on for charity and tend to be led by what the team want to support but, at the moment, we will be focussing on support [for] the front line,” said Anna Bennett, marketing and PR director at Catalyst.

Get involved and donate here.

The May/June issue of the Bridging & Commercial Magazine will be including even more fantastic initiatives that have been launched to raise money for charity during these unparalleled times — please do send us your photos and achievements to [email protected] for us to highlight them and attract more donations to the causes, in our Limelight section.

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