You are here: Programme news

How your pennies can make a difference

ESR – Helping make a big change from small change.

Did you know that ESR teams are now able to support charities by using the ESR portal to raise awareness of the charity giving scheme ‘Pennies from Heaven.’

Many Trusts are asking their local ESR teams to add an image to the ESR portal so that NHS staff can learn about Pennies from Heaven and join in to donate to charity.  So far over half of NHS Trusts have launched the scheme and NHS staff have already donated £1.4m, much of which has benefited NHS charities.

Who are Pennies from Heaven?

Pennies from Heaven Distribution is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The company is responsible for collecting the donated funds from an employer who is participating in the Pennies from Heaven Scheme and paying these to the selected charities. The company is externally audited each year providing employers with assurance of our credible donation processing.

How does the Pennies from Heaven scheme work?

Do you know how many pennies were on your last payslip? Probably not, so why not donate them to charity via the popular Pennies from Heaven scheme. If you earn £850.34 then you keep the £850 and donate the 34p to charity. It’s based on the premise that individually the ask is small but if everyone joins in, the impact is huge.

How can ESR help ?

Adding the Pennies from Heaven invitation on the ESR portal is having a big impact on real lives. A simple image is added as a portlet on ESR with an embedded link to provide the employee with more information and the opportunity to sign up and donate their pennies. With such prominent positioning, this simple function is bringing the concept of Pennies from Heaven in front of large numbers of NHS employees that might have previously been unaware of it. If all NHS staff joined in they would raise £7.2m each year just from donating pennies!

The Northern Care Alliance, based in Greater Manchester,  has implemented the portlet in support of their charitable trust. Keven Mahon, Technical Systems Manager, at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust commented on the ease of doing so:

It was really easy to add the image as I use the Portal quite a lot for communications. In order to add this image, all one would need is to be is the ‘Portal Administrator’ in ESR and have a basic knowledge of adding ‘Web Portlets’ and very basic HTML coding skills. And the good news is that even if someone didn’t have the basic knowledge then the Regional ESR Implementation Advisors from the NHSBSA ESR service could assist, as they have extensive experience in helping NHS organisations use Web Portlets on ESR.

Since implementing the portlet on their ESR platform, NorthCare Charity has seen a real impact:

Since having the opportunity to promote Pennies from Heaven on our ESR Portal, we’ve seen a big increase in support for staff across the NCA. We had several weeks of little to no sign ups last winter/in the new year. However, since the image has been online from April this year, we’ve received 127 new sign-ups to date. With a large workforce across the NCA, we’re hoping more staff will see the information when they visit their ESR Portal and get involved and support their NHS charity in this simple way.

How can your organisation become a charity helper?

Would you like to help your local NHS charity and set up a Pennies from Heaven portlet on ESR? All you need to do is get in touch with Pennies from Heaven who will connect in your charity to discuss the opportunity. Pennies from Heaven has created a very simple guide to help set the portlet up and will provide the imagery and embedded links so it’s super simple and super fast.  This enables an employee clicks on the portlet to find out more and they are directed to the relevant sign up page. This enables an employee ‘click’ on the portlet to find out more and they are directed to the relevant sign up page.

Further Information

You can find out more about Pennies from Heaven at and you can get in touch with the Pennies from Heaven team at

If you require any information about implementing the Portlet on ESR then please contact your ESR Regional Functional Account Manager.







No comments have been left for this article

Have your say...

Your name will be published alongside your comment but we will not publish your email address.

All comments will be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

Please ensure you complete all fields marked as mandatory.