Danske Bank has announced that it will be supporting Extern NI as its new charity partner, with a focus on helping to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable and socially deprived young people in Northern Ireland.

Extern helps 20,000 local people each year to change their lives through a wide range of services. 

Danske Bank’s support in 2020 will specifically support the charity’s work with children and young people, through fundraising, volunteering time and skills, mentoring and other joint initiatives.

Announcing the new partnership, Danske Bank’s Chief Executive Kevin Kingston said: “As a responsible business we want to play our part in helping to address the biggest societal issues facing Northern Ireland.  Social deprivation is a very real and alarming issue here. As many as one in four children are living in poverty, and many young people simply don’t have a hand at their back – getting another chance can change a life.

“By raising awareness of the issues, engaging with colleagues, customers and partners in fundraising activities and by sharing our time, skills, and professional expertise, we hope to help create those chances. In turn, we look forward to learning from Extern’s 40 years of experience in this area and to use that knowledge to improve how we support our own colleagues and customers who are in vulnerable circumstances.”

Extern’s Director of Services, Danny McQuillan, added: “We are absolutely thrilled that Danske Bank has chosen our work with young people to be the focus of this new charity partnership. Not only will Danske Bank’s fundraising enable us to deliver additional and much-needed support for the young people we work with, the partnership will also provide them with access to a whole new array of vital opportunities for mentoring and life-skills development through Danske’s fantastic team of staff volunteers. We are incredibly excited by this partnership and the potential it has to make more possible for marginalised children and young people right across Northern Ireland.”

Amongst their many services, Extern NI supports people living with mental health issues and the impact of suicide, people who are homeless, people living with problematic drug and alcohol use, people with an offending background, and minority communities.