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FirstGroup chooses Action for Children as £1m charity partner

FirstGroup chooses Action for Children as £1m charity partner

Staff at transport operator FirstGroup plc have voted for Action for Children to become its next national charity partner. The three-year partnership is expected to be worth around £1 million in donations and gifts in kind.

FirstGroup staff will take part in fundraising for the charity, and the company will donate advertising space to it across the UK transport network.

Action for Children will be the main beneficiary of FirstGroup’s responsibility activities across its UK businesses:

  • First Bus
  • Great Western Railway
  • Hull Trains
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express. 

The partnership will run from 2018 until 2021. 

How was the  chosen?

The process of finding the company’s next UK charity of choice started earlier this year when the names of more than 90 charities were suggested by employees. Those charities were whittled down to four finalists and Action for Children was selected following an all-employee vote. 

Action for Children CEO Sir Tony Hawkhead with FirstGroup chief executive Tim O'Toole

(l-r) Action for Children CEO Sir Tony Hawkhead with FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole

Tim O’Toole, chief executive of FirstGroup, said: “We received applications from some truly inspirational charities, and thousands of our employees took part in the voting process. We’re looking forward to April next year when we will begin an exciting and productive three-year partnership.” 

Past charity partnerships

The partnership with Action for Children will be the fourth that FirstGroup has adopted. It has supported

  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Save The Children
  • Macmillan Cancer Support. 

FirstGroup is on course to donate more than £1 million in cash, fundraising, and the commercial value of gifts in kind to Prostate Cancer UK, its current charity of choice, before the partnership completes in 2018. 

FirstGroup’s financial support has funded the distribution of more than one million Know Your Prostate pocket guides which include details on how to spot the symptoms of prostate cancer. 


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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