Investing in social transformation – the work of our foundations

Published by Yolanda Erburu
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Global Practice Lead

07 March 2017 . International

Good health and wellbeing are necessary for a successful and blooming society. At Bupa, we recognise this, and we want to play an active role to make it happen.  
Grandad and child
Being our main focus to fund and provide quality health and care services for our customers, engaging people more widely to have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing is just a natural extension of what we’re all about at Bupa. 

One of the ways in which we do this is through our Health Foundations in Australia, the UK and Spain. They are powerful transformation tools and since they were launched, they have invested an impressive £62 million to create a healthier society. Through them, we channel our investment in research and initiatives to improve public health and the health of the communities in which we live and work, and I’m really proud of the achievements that we’ve made so far.

Through the Bupa Health Foundation in Australia, for example, we’ve invested £18 million (close to AU$30 million) in over 110 projects since it was first established in 2005. We collaborate with some of Australia’s leading health organisations and researchers to improve health outcomes for all Australians and contribute to the sustainability of the nation’s health system. Our recent partnership with the Stroke Foundation developed enableme, a free online resource to help people manage their own recovery and grow stronger after stroke, which now has a worldwide community of stroke survivors and carers. Other initiatives include raising awareness of the critical ‘First 1000’ days period of child development from conception to age two, and projects to improve data utilisation to enhance patient journeys and clinical outcomes.
In the UK, the Bupa UK Foundation has awarded more than £1 million in grants since 2015 through two funding programmes focused on mid-life mental health and caring for carers.  From piloting new interventions and services to supporting people in crisis, breaking down barriers and taboos related to mental health, or supporting the health and wellbeing of carers through exercise, diet and nutrition, we fund to create communities for mutual support, reaching over 130,000 people.

In Spain, the Sanitas Foundation continues working year after year on our flagship program, Inclusive Sport. Its aim is to promote the practice of sport at school between children with and without disability. We’ve been working on this project for seven years now, which has allowed us to fund 60 doctorates and other research works, train almost 20,000 teachers, trainers and other professionals to teach inclusive physical education and have involved 37,000 children in sports and inclusion in Spain, therefore improving their health. In 2016 we’ve invested almost €1 million (£858,000) in this and other projects to support our communities.
Until 2013, Bupa also funded an international foundation which focused on medical research and distributed around £33 million pounds over more than 30 years, funding research projects in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

These are just a few examples of the ability and the power that our foundations have to create shared value by improving public health. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be showcasing more of these stories in detail from the eyes of those who make these projects possible.

Yolanda Erburu

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Global Practice Lead

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