NatWest staff volunteer for Swindon mental health charity

By Barrie Hudson - 3 February 2023


A team from NatWest came to Swindon's Phoenix Enterprises and worked alongside clients.

  • NatWest's Kelly Roberts, left, with Phoenix Enterprises CEO Clare McDougall

    NatWest's Kelly Roberts, left, with Phoenix Enterprises CEO Clare McDougall

Based in Swindon’s Elgin Industrial Estate, Phoenix Enterprises helps around 100 vulnerable adults in Swindon each year. 
Through working in their warehouse, people gain self-esteem, confidence and skills, with many going on to secure paid work.
NatWest have a policy of encouraging their staff to volunteer and get involved in the local community, and sent 28 staff to help out.

Phoenix Enterprises CEO Clare McDougall said: "Phoenix Enterprises is all about helping people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

"They are referred to us by the council, by GPs or by word of mouth.

“Everyone here is facing additional challenges in their life, with most coming from disadvantaged financial backgrounds. 

"In spite of their challenges, these are some of the hardest working people you will ever come across.”

The volunteering session was arranged by Kelly Roberts, deputy manager at the bank's Swindon branch.

She said: "We were all so impressed by the people who benefit from Phoenix’s services. They all want to work, they want to feel included in society and contribute, just like everybody else.

“I am so glad we took the time to go and help and I really feel we made a massive difference. We did hand-assembly jobs, just like the service users, and by doing so we raised much needed funds for the charity. It always makes you feel good when you know you’ve really helped.

"We are a mixture of senior personal bankers and branch managers, and we have also got Lemara Hibbert, who is our local director.

"NatWest is all about going out and helping our local communities, so it's something we're doing more of.

"Some of the senior personal bankers here have come from Weston, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Chippenham. 

"Mental health and disability is something that's personal to myself so I wanted to help a charity that was personal to myself.

"I've got a cousin who's got Down Syndrome and has recently been employed by a local company. All he wanted to do was to be given a chance - he just wants to go out and earn a living, and be employed like everybody else.

"That's why this meant so much to myself and said I wanted to come out here as our local charity."
Clare McDougall said: "We are always looking for volunteers. They can do any number of things from hand-assembly work, like the NatWest volunteers, or giving one-to-one help to someone with a disability, ensuring they enjoy themselves and feel productive. 

"They can mentor someone, helping them with interview skills, CV writing and job searching. And last but not least, there are always DIY jobs that need attention.”

Information about the organisation and its volunteering opportunities for individuals and teams can be found at

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