Applications roll in for Portsmouth firm’s community project

DONATION Mark Smith of the Car Finance Company
DONATION Mark Smith of the Car Finance Company

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TIME is running out for charities to get their applications in for a fund set up by finance companies.

Mark Smith, the founder of Portsmouth firm The Car Finance Company (TCFC), has donated £14,000 to a pot of cash specifically for local projects.

Once other businesses heard about his goodwill gesture they increased the pot to around £20,000.

Charities can bid for one of three amounts to be taken from the pot, and will be judged by a panel made up of TCFC employees.

Paddy Blair, compliance officer at TCFC, is on the panel.

He said: ‘A lot of the staff are residents of Portsmouth anyway. The business has established itself as a key employer in the area and we want to give something back to the community and I think getting all employees involved in that decision process is good for both the business and the community.’

‘I’m looking for something which is genuinely going to affect and benefit residents of Portsmouth.’

Once all applications are received, TCFC will put the information on a company-wide communication system where all staff can vote who they think should receive funding.

Three finalists will be chosen for each amount available and the judging panel will then make the final decisions.

Paris Gower, a member of the best practice forum which focuses on treating the customer fairly, is also on the panel.

She said: ‘I’m looking for how it’s going to benefit the community of Portsmouth, whether they make a park or the beaches cleaner, just how it’s going to benefit everyone.

‘I think this is important because it’s nice to know that people still care. I think it’s a lovely thing to do.’

The firms have already received more than 70 applications and are expecting several more before the end of April deadline.

Anyone interested in applying can visit thecarfinancecompany.co.uk/friends.