Operation Santa Claus

Bankers make song and dance about giving

Annual talent show brings out the best in Barclays staff, who voted for their favourites

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 5:40am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 5:40am

They may work with money all day, but the city's bankers are still keen to spend their free time raising cash to help the needy - and have some fun in the process.

A total of 350 staff from Barclays filled Grappa's Cellar in Central on December 12 to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus through the bank's annual charity talent show and auction.

It was off with the suits, ties and formal business wear and into costume as the Barclays crew transformed themselves into singers, dancers, musicians and creative art performers. After the show, fellow colleagues voted for their favourite performers.

"The event has become part of our company culture," said Robert Morrice, chairman and chief executive of the bank's Asia-Pacific operations. "Everyone from the company has a part to play in showing their talents, ranging from executives to juniors, and they all enjoy being part of this annual fun event."

Ticket sales and other activities on the night generated funds for Operation Santa Claus, a charitable campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK. Barclays has been one of its major donors over the past nine years.

The bank launched online auctions earlier this month and these became both live and silent auctions during the evening.

The company-wide effort over the past few weeks raised HK$708,800 for Operation Santa, which Barclays supports in addition to its own local charitable programmes.

"By participating in Operation Santa, we support those charities which we can't fund through our programmes. It also helps to draw our staff's attention to other charities they might want to become personally involved with," said Clare Williams, head of Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific.

The charity talent show night was so popular that tickets went in two weeks, she said. In the end, only one third of the bank's 900-strong workforce could attend.

"We are always looking for a larger venue so more staff can participate in this charity event because they find it meaningful to learn about charities where they can personally get involved and lend a hand," Williams said.

This year Operation Santa Claus will help 18 local charities.


How you can give

  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
  • You can donate with a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus" and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
  • Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail osc@scmp.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com