Written by Lord Leitch, Former Bupa Chairman
Alongside the health and care that we at Bupa provide to our customers around the world, we work actively to make a strong positive impact on the communities in which we operate. This is a natural part of our purpose of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. As Chairman I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’re doing to support local communities across the Bupa world, and especially the wonderful initiatives led by our Bupa Foundations.
In Australia, Spain and the UK, these Foundations support health research and projects that make a real difference to local people. Funded by Bupa, they are one of our best-kept secrets – but their work is incredible. Connecting with local communities is a cause close to my heart and so I want to share a bit more about them with you.
In 2017 alone, the Bupa Foundations across the UK, Australia and Spain invested around £3.5m in research, health programmes and social initiatives that are helping create a healthier world and improving the wellbeing of people living in our local communities. And there’s more being invested through grants and match funding, too.
The Bupa UK Foundation, for example, focuses on the factors that underpin good health, such as healthy living, mental health, and the prevention of long-term conditions. With these focus areas in mind, we supported more than 50 projects in 2017, including Deafblind Scotland, which offers coaching for young people with dual sensory impairment, and CLIC Sargent, an online platform which brings young cancer patients together to share information and advice, helping them build a support network and a sense of community.
In Australia, meanwhile, since 2005 our Health Foundation has supported over 100 health and care projects, investing more than £16m in over 110 partnerships across the country, promoting better health for all Australians.
One of these is the hugely significant partnership between the Bupa Health Foundation, Bupa Australia, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia. The first output of this partnership is the First Thousand Days report, which highlights the importance to a child’s future health and development of the period from conception to the end of his or her second year. It’s a fascinating report, and I warmly recommend having a look here. It’s surprising just how crucial these formative years are, and as the proud father of a NN-month old it’s given me plenty to think about.
In Spain, the Sanitas Foundation has invested around £10m since it was set up in 1996, with a particular focus on improving the health and wellbeing of Spanish communities through inclusive sport.
Last year the Sanitas Foundation hosted its eighth Inclusive Sports Week, connecting those with and without disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and the social integration of children with disabilities through sport. It’s a truly wonderful initiative that captures the imagination of thousands of people each year and bring our communities in Spain closer together, helping to create a truly disability-aware generation.
This is just a flavour of the great work led by the Bupa Foundations worldwide that is making a positive impact on the communities in which we operate – you can read more about these initiatives here. I encourage all Bupa customers, employees and communities to find out more and champion this work. The Foundations brilliantly reflect our Bupa values and are a vital part of our commitment to being a responsible and sustainable business.