graphic of axis people, golfer, couple and bag of money surrounding large tenNews

Foundation History: forever at the heart of the community

When John and Tim Hayes formed property business Axis in 1986, the brothers also created Axis’ Core Values. Axis Core Value Number Six is A community we contribute to will welcome and value us. This was the  the cornerstone of what was to become the Axis Foundation – the heart of the community.


The Axis spirit

From very early days, the newly-fledged Axis actively gave back to the local communities where the business operated. Everyone who worked at Axis embraced the Core Values of the Company, particularly Core Value Number Six.

A spirit of giving ran through the company; fundraising activities were resourceful, imaginative – and successful – focusing on helping individuals and causes who could make a difference to local lives.


The Foundation stones

As CEO John says: “I set the Foundation up to formalise and capture all the elements of giving that already existed across the company, particularly giving back in the communities where we were working.”

John Hayes created the Axis Foundation in 2009; donations started formally in 2010.

The motto? To be “at the heart of the community”.

Perks of growth mean giving more

In the early days of the business, the family’s focus was clearly on developing a strong and successful business. Fast Forward to today, with an annual turnover of over £8m and with over 800+ people working for their company, brothers John and Tim Hayes can say that their business has indeed flourished.

And one of their greatest perks of growth and success has been their continued ability to support individuals and causes in the local communities where their business operates.

In 2019, the award-winning Foundation celebrates its tenth birthday; plus the fact it has donated more than £1.3m to over 170 small, local and impactful causes.

This money is raised through staff initiatives and fundraising activities, an annual corporate donation, plus generous support from clients at calendar highlights the Axis Charity Golf Day and the Axis Foundation Charity Ball.

Still at the heart of the community

In the Midlands, Thamesmead, Croydon, Cardiff, Liverpool and Kent as well as throughout London, for example, we work on long-term, renewed contracts with housing providers.

Investing in our local communities, we are able to source materials through local supply chains and offer employment and apprenticeships to young people.

We know that money cannot buy happiness per se, but on top of this community investment, the Foundation’s donations to small, impactful and local causes and individuals in these geographical areas, have brought many a smile to local faces!

The Axis Foundation is still “the heart of the community” – just as we were  in 2009!.


“Giving back is in our DNA. We’ve tried to focus on the areas where we’re active by supporting small and meaningful causes rather than big and grandiose ones. Everybody at Axis gets involved in one way or another through volunteering or fundraising” – Axis Foundation Trustee/Axis Chief Executive John Hayes

“Axis has always had a sense of social responsibility. The Foundation supports local causes that offer a direct benefit to those in need of a hand up, rather than a hand out” – Axis Foundation Chairman, Peter Varney

“The work of the Foundation is very important to us and I’m very thankful to everyone who contributes to its work. Through the efforts, enthusiasm, commitment and generosity of all our people, and our clients too, we can really make a difference” – Axis Foundation Trustee Sandie Ryan

Axis patrons hold one million pound cheque.News

Axis Foundation milestone – one million pounds donated

Little charity celebrates donating a whopping one million pounds to small, local and impactful causes

In 2009 we started as a little charity with a big ambition: to give back to the areas that we are from and where we’ve grown, and to make a positive difference to the people and communities in those areas.

Fast forward to 2018 and the Axis Foundation is celebrating having given away one million pounds to over 110 such causes. PLUS we scooped the Corporate Foundation category of the Business Charity Awards!

“I set the Foundation up originally to try and formalise and capture all the elements of “Giving” that we were already doing right across the company, to say it has exceeded my wildest expectations would be a massive understatement” John Hayes: Trustee, Axis Foundation; CEO, Axis Europe plc 2018

Our Millionth pound!

Our donation in 2018 to South East London charity For Jimmy took our total donations over the one million pounds mark.

“Whilst the value (one million pounds) is nice, we like to think about all the people behind the donations. Those who have been helped and those who have contributed, through fundraising and generous giving. This donation milestone celebration represents all of them.” Peter Varney, Chairman, Axis Foundation

How the Foundation helps

Perhaps money can’t buy happiness, but our one million pounds has bought a lot of smiles, support and relief to those who need it most.

The Foundation has helped hospices and specialist nurses to care for those with life limiting illnesses; contributed to scientific breakthroughs that extend life; provided mobility to those without it; reduced social exclusion; funded adapted minibuses and provided a lot of care, equipment, therapy, outings and experiences.

And that’s just a few of our projects! The number and size of donations has grown each year but we have stayed true to focusing on small, local and impactful charities and causes. We are on an exciting philanthropic journey that is continues to gather momentum each year.

“What is really exciting is that we are growing all the time and giving more to people and organisations in the communities we work in identified by our kind and caring people.” – John Hayes: Trustee, Axis Foundation; CEO, Axis Europe plc. 

Our Foundation fundraiser activities

The funds donated by The Axis Foundation come from an annual corporate donation from Axis Europe plc and funds raised through a charity ball and golf day as well as many fundraising events participated in by the people who work at Axis.

Thanks a Million!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us, worked with us, fundraised or given – indeed, thanks a million.


Big Christmas Giveaway

For most of us, hopefully, Christmas is full of festivities, fun and feasting with family. For others less lucky, particularly for the sick, it may be a cold and desperately lonely time.

That’s why, in the run up to Christmas, the Axis Foundation invites Axis people to suggest the names of individuals or organisations who need a little extra money or support at Christmas.

Regular volunteers in their local communities, Axis people are well placed to know individuals and organisations who need a helping hand at Christmas.

The nominations are discussed by the Foundation Trustees and they allocate support where it is most needed. And that, quite simply, is why it’s called The Big Christmas Giveaway.

Christmas Giveaway donations total £20,000 in the two years since the launch of the Big Christmas Giveaway. In 2019, to mark the start of the Foundation’s 10th birthday year, the 2018 Big Christmas Giveaway was replaced with Generous January 2019 taking our total of giveaway donations to £30,000.

Here are just a few examples of how our Christmas Giveaway donations

Disney dream comes true: A teenage boy who is deaf and severely disabled requiring full time care had a trip to Disneyland in Paris with his father, the full time carer.

Axis Santas: A mum suffering from cancer had her best Christmas ever! Axis people played Santa delivering gifts to her family, including her son who has Leukaemia.

Chair and care: A seriously ill little girl with a rare bowel motility disorder with no cure received a new specialist recliner bed to help her, and also her carers.

Family support: A bereaved young Croydon Council tenant who had become the family’s primary carer received a new carpet for the family lounge. The Foundation also donated vouchers to help with Christmas shopping.

Kitchen TLC: Big Christmas Giveaway donations purchased kitchen equipment for a Day Centre offering meals and care, company and friendship

Peace of mind: A Swan tenant received a new cooker. Axis teams also installed and checked it all for him too!

Winter warmth: A cold elderly tenant who was living in a flat which had no carpet received a new carpet. Axis fitted it for her too.

Shedloads of love: The MS Society Bexley & Dartford used their Christmas Giveaway donation to purchase a shed where they can safely store all their precious donations.

Spanish dreams: A seriously ill little girl fulfilled one of her dreams – to go to Spain to see her cousin get married – thanks to the Foundation’s Christmas Giveaway donations towards her flight and insurance costs.