Promoting equal opportunities
Being one of the biggest institutions in the banking sector in Poland, we actively counteract social exclusion and promote equal opportunities. In our case, this means undertaking efforts to ensure full accessibility of all bank’s product and services to customers with disabilities and offering them outstanding customer service standards on the Polish financial market, as well as facilitating social integration of persons with disabilities with the rest of the society.
Our flagship project and one of the pillars of our activity is the Barrier-free Service project the purpose of which is to ensure access to all services and products offered by the bank to customers with various types of disabilities, but also seniors, pregnant women etc.
The programme was launched in 2010. Since then, we have introduced a number of improvements.
Barrier-free Service – full accessibility of products and services
Barrier-free service means to us full accessibility of products and services through a number of dedicated solutions such as talking ATMs, the audio induction loop pilot project, barrier-free branches, professional service, barrier-free helpline, barrier-free website, appropriate procedures and communication solutions and mobile banking.
More information about the Barrier-free Service project can be found in the chapter CUSTOMERS.
Educational and integration fencing events – Passion, Integration and Security
Since 2015, the bank has been working closely with the "Sports, Education and Work Academy for Integration” supporting the organisation of fencing integration events in schools. The bank is a strategic sponsor of the project. The events are held with the participation of paralympic world and European champions in wheelchair fencing. The demonstrations intended as lessons of tolerance and integration are highly interactive. In addition to lectures, there are videos, games and a lot of physical activity, but also a question and answer session. During the meetings, disabled athletes persuade children not to be afraid to help other people and teach them important words, such as empathy, fair play or integration. They show by their own example that life in a wheelchair can be happy, full of passion, dreams and success and that the wheelchair is only a vehicle which helps them to move around. An important aspect of the meetings is prevention of accidents. The fencers warn children against carelessness and bravado and teach them how to be responsible and avoid risky behaviours in everyday life. In 2016, in addition to the events, the bank’s Foundation executed the second prevention campaign targeting children and teenagers, reinforcing the messages communicated during the events. Eight new educational comic books were produced under the common title "Start Thinking". The comic strips – in the form of 2,500 promotional banners – were displayed in Warsaw tube trains for a period of the 2-month outdoor campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to promote safe fun, thoughtful behaviour and avoiding recklessness which can have tragic consequences. The comic strips are funny, but at the same time inspire a lot of thinking. At present, they can be found at the Foundation’s website opens in new tab and in social media.
In 2016, thanks to the support received from the bank, the Foundation organised 197 sports integration events in school all over Poland attended by 20,000 children and young people, including around 1,000 persons with disabilities.
In partnership with the Barrier-Free Poland Foundation, Bank Zachodni WBK has been sponsoring for three years now the Mazovia Cup wheelchair rugby tournament organised by the Warsaw team called Four Kings. The idea behind the Mazovia Cup was to compete against the best players. The event is the only competition of this rank held in the Mazovia region. In 2016, the event was for the first time attended by all leading international teams which is a proof of the tournament’s prestige in Europe. In the competition for the cup, the best Polish team Four Kings Warsaw had to play against the Prague Robots (Czech Republic), Germany Development (Germany), Roosters Helsinki (Finland), Flying Dutchmen (Netherlands) and WRC London (UK).
Wheelchair rugby is a discipline which shows clearly that there are no limits in sport and that even the most difficult situations in life can be overcome. For the bank, supporting disabled athletes is an element of the Barrier-free Service programme. By implementing projects of this kind, we counteract social exclusion and show that what matters to us most is the people, not their impairments. The players from the Warsaw team Four Kings were the main characters of Konrad Kruczkowski’s first documentary produced as part of the ‘Hello Dad’ project, entitled “Dad drove into the changing room”. opens in new tab
More information about the ‘Hello Dad’ project available at Support to social initiatives.