Helping young people find positive role models - Standard Life raises
$300,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters

MONTREAL, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life will announce, at the second edition of Standard Life's Big Search taking place today on Mount Royal that it has raised $300,000 to date in 2010 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. With the help of its employees and business partners, Standard Life contributes to Big Brothers Big Sisters' Canada-wide recruitment campaign for new youth mentors.

About 300 people have come together for Standard Life's Big Search, a recreational activity largely inspired by geocaching. This is one of the first times geocaching is used as part of a fundraising event in Canada. Participating teams must use a GPS and a list of coordinates (latitudes and longitudes) to find items hidden throughout the park to accumulate as many points as possible. Standard Life's Big Search will also take place in Toronto on Friday, June 18, 2010.

"We are proud to reach out to our networks to join Big Brothers Big Sisters in its effort to recruit new mentors, and to continue investing in the well-being of youths in Canada," said Joseph Iannicelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Life. "We have chosen to focus on the urgent need for new mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters estimates that some 10,000 young people could benefit from a role model who could help them build self-confidence and achieve their full potential. The situation is urgent, especially when considering how mentoring helps reduce school drop-out rates, substance abuse and bullying."

In 2009, as a result of the fundraising undertaken by Standard Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters received applications from more than 350 potential new mentors. The objective for 2010 is to receive at least another 600 new applications.

"It is a privilege for Big Brothers Big Sisters to be able to count on a partner as committed as Standard Life," said Bruce McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "Standard Life truly cares about the fate of youths in Canada. Its executive team and its staff demonstrate their leadership through their passion and the incredible effort they put forth in order to create awareness for the severe lack of mentors and the benefits mentoring has on young people."

Lack of mentors in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada

A recent survey conducted by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada revealed that nearly a quarter (21%) of parents in Quebec experienced difficulties when trying to obtain mentoring services for their children. What's more, the survey shows that 85 per cent of Quebec parents fear drug abuse, depression and lack of interest in school as the top threats to their children. However:

    - 97 per cent believe the guidance provided by an adult volunteer can
      play a decisive role in the assistance offered to troubled children and
    - 70 per cent believe that it is valuable for children and teenagers in
      need of guidance to spend a few hours each week with an adult volunteer
      who provides friendship and support.
    - 22 per cent believe that they themselves would have benefited from
      having a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister when they were children or

Other companies support mentoring

The generous donors and businesses participating in Standard Life's Big Search include Artio Global Investors, CTV Montréal, Rogers Publishing, IQ Business Events, Porter, and Quebecor.

About Standard Life

Standard Life is a long-term savings and investments group headquartered in Scotland, which has been doing business in Canada for over 175 years. Standard Life provides retirement, investment and insurance solutions. With over 2,000 employees based in Montreal and in offices across Canada, it serves more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and pension plan members. Its Canadian division represents Standard Life's largest operation outside the U.K.

In 2009, Standard Life donated over $1.4 million to some 85 charitable organizations across Canada. For more information: Public Accountability Statement (

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada is the largest youth mentoring organization in the country, offering quality mentoring services from adults to more than 27,000 children and teenagers. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada presently has 19,500 volunteer mentors working with 135 agencies to help young people in over 1,000 communities. For more information:

SOURCE Standard Life

For further information: For further information: For pictures and video footage of Standard Life's Big Search: Valérie Lamarre, Advisor, External Communications and Public Affairs, The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, (514) 499-7999 (ext.: 8150), Cell.: (514) 605-3439,; Ana Marinescu, NATIONAL Public Relations, Cell.: (514) 501-0262,

Organization Profile

Standard Life

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890