MBNA Charitable Foundation has picked up a prestigious award for its work in the community.
The Foundation, which is based in Chester, received the Corporate Partner of the Year award at this year's Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) Awards for Excellence.
The award recognised the work the Foundation has done with CCF over the past two years to administer their "Inspiring Education" Fund.
The programme provides opportunities for secondary age pupils to participate in extra-curricular activities, allowing them to develop their passion and inspiration for learning by encouraging them to try new activities.
MBNA's employees are encouraged to nominate schools, with priority given to areas where deprivation is high. Applications are then assessed by CCF and as long as certain criteria are met, funding is provided.
Projects have been wide-ranging, from a contribution towards a new outdoor play area at a school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, through to pupils setting up their own radio station, taking part in a debating society and sporting activities.
Sean Humphreys and Alan North, Trustees of the MBNA Foundation, accepted the Corporate Partner of the Year Award.
The award was presented at the CCF Awards Lunch, held at Walton Hall in Warrington, by Megan Yates of Chess ICT. The event was sponsored by Artorious Wealth Management.
Zoe Sheppard, CEO of CCF, said: "MBNA has been a long-standing and very generous supporter of Cheshire Community Foundation and we are delighted to present them with this award.
"Research shows that participation in extra-curricular activities leads to better academic, psychological and behavioural adjustments in young people, and that organised activities have been linked to higher grades, improved self-esteem, better resilience and reduced engagement in risky behaviour."
Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) connects people who want to give back with the most effective grass-roots charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Zoe added: "Our annual awards are a highlight in the calendar and a chance for us to thank our charities and donors.
"We take managing our donors' money extremely seriously and we know what a huge difference it makes to thousands of people. I'm proud that we have supported more than 153,000 people across the region over the past 12 months.
"In this time, we have also given out more than £1 million of grants, which is a 40% increase."
If you are a donor keen to make a difference or a charity in need of support, contact Cheshire Community Foundation on 01606 330 607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCF currently has a major focus on tackling the widespread issue of mental health in young people having recently launched its Young Minds Matter campaign.