First Student Parent Company Receives Award for Child Charity Work

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In addition to owning North America’s largest school bus contractor, FirstGroup plc also owns and operates bus and metro lines as well as school bus routes in the UK. The company is also dedicated to donating millions of British pounds a year to local charities benefiting children, for which it was honored last month with an award.

Save the Children, an international organization that launches relief efforts in response to natural disasters and civil conflicts and promotes child safety, education and nutrition, recognized FirstGroup with an inaugural Corporate Business Award in the category of “Outstanding Results in Engaging the Public” during a Sept. 22 ceremony. Save the Children said FirstGroup stands out for its “significant support” of and contributions to the charity’s global work.

FirstGroup funded a 2010 research report into Save the Children’s benefits system and donated more than £1million ($1.57 million) worth of advertising on company buses for the charity’s “I worry” campaign during the run up of England’s general election. So far this year, FirstGroup has also raised more than £410,000 ($643,000) in support of the “No Child Born Without a Chance” campaign about child poverty in the UK and in support of the British television show “Born to Shine,” which is inspired by Save the Children.

Since 2007, First Group has raised more than £4.5 million ($7 million) for Save the Children. FirstGroup supported two pilots of Save the Children’s UK project Families and Schools Together (FAST) in Manchester and West Dunbartonshire. The projects have since been rolled out on a wider scale.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the invaluable support and achievements of FirstGroup for the first time at Save the Children’s Corporate Business Awards,” said Douglas Rouse, corporate partnerships director at Save the Children. “Through FirstGroup’s support, we are working to ensure children here in the UK get a better start in life.”