Social responsibility in the community

Supporting young people to achieve their potential

Cheese matters

We like feeling that we've made a meaningful contribution to someone's life, so we run community projects to ensure we're giving something back. In the 16 years that we've been in the UK we've supported projects like the Nottingham Forest Football Club Community programme, been flagship supporters of the Nottingham Ice Centre's youth skating programme, and have raised millions of pounds for local and national charities.

In the future we'll start focusing more on employability and financial capability programmes.

During the year we made charitable donations of over £1,000,000, directly benefiting more than 25,000 individuals from nearly 500 charitable organisations. This is a great achievement, but we're ambitious about taking our commitment to the next level.

We want to help young people, regardless of where they live, develop behaviours and skills that will help them become more employable, access a wider range of job opportunities and achieve their potential. By learning to be proactive, building resilience, being confident with their finances and developing the broader skills needed to be successful in the world of work; young people will become more confident and more employable.


In 2012 we launched a four-year partnership with YouthNet, the online charity for 16-24 year olds.

The charity's website is the place to go to for young people looking for advice and guidance on any aspect of their life. Capital One's support focused initially on the Work & Study guidance they provide, but we're delighted that our support has helped YouthNet develop new services that offer advice to young people.

By 2017, we hope to have doubled the number of young people YouthNet Support.

For YouthNet, our support has been invaluable in giving them a much needed injection of funds, allowing them to develop their website so its services remain cutting edge and can grow. But we also have big ambitions to make sure the partnership is more than just a philanthropic one-way journey. We've also supported YouthNet by giving them access to specialist training courses, as well as using the brains of our new graduate intake to spend a day cracking a business challenge for the charity as part of our Innovation in Action day. Giving YouthNet access to our business expertise helps them grow and better provide support in the future. Find out more about YouthNet  opens in a new tab .

Cheese Matters

Did you know that cheese is a slang term for money? We named our local financial capability programme Cheese Matters to get away from the idea that finance has to be boring. The programme, developed and run in partnership with two other businesses and Businesses in the Community (BiTC), brings secondary school pupils closer to the reality of financial management. It follows the story of a young man who has got himself into debt, explores the consequences and then lets the students make decisions about what the outcome should be. The programme has been delivered to over 1,000 local students, and we aim to cover every school in Nottingham by July 2014.


We love to recognise the time and effort put into fundraising and community involvement by our employees, so we have several donation schemes that make every penny count:

  • Through our Pound for Pound scheme we match 100% of the money they raise for charity
  • If our employees volunteer regularly for a local community group, we have a Volunteer Grant available for them to give to their charity of choice
  • Our Pennies From Heaven scheme helps employees automatically donate the pennies in their salaries to Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • Give as you Earn gives employees a tax efficient way of donating to their favourite charity straight from their salary

Local schools

We have been supporting local schools Bulwell Academy and Big Wood School, in Nottingham for many years. We focus on delivering high-quality employability workshops and financial capability sessions through Cheese Matters. We have also offered work experience to our partner schools, which teaches students about our organisation, the world of credit and what it takes to be successful in the world of work.

We also offer our AWE (Aspirational Work Experience) Tours to local primary schools. These are one-day experiences which cover the basics of financial management, an introduction to the world of work and a fun insight into what we do. The sessions are facilitated by volunteer employees, who love nothing more than helping young people learn.


Our employees are encouraged to take at least one day a year - or the equivalent in hours - to get involved with our community activities. They make a meaningful contribution by using their skills to benefit local charitable organisations. We've created business plans, websites, and databases and provided financial consultancy to local community groups.

81% of our employees took part in some form of community activity in 2013. They said that community is an important factor in what makes Capital One a Great Place to Work, resulting in us being voted the best workplace in the UK.