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Citizens Bank Foundation announces $2,500 grant to New Beginnings

Grant will support victims and survivors of domestic violence

MANCHESTER, N.H. (August 12, 2013) – The Citizens Bank Foundation has awarded a $2,500 grant to New Beginnings' Changing Patterns, Changing Lives program. The program works with victims and survivors of domestic violence to foster resiliency and self-sufficiency, with the ultimate goal of breaking generational patterns of violence and its consequences, such as homelessness and food insecurity. The grant is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, the bank's program for supporting efforts to break the cycle of homelessness.

New Beginnings, one of 14 member programs of the New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence, has been providing services in Belknap County since 1991. It offers a variety of services to assist individuals and families suffering from violence, including temporary housing, support groups, one-on-one counseling, educational programming, court advocacy and 24-hour crisis assistance.

"The Changing Patterns, Changing Lives program is unique in that it not only addresses the existing crisis, but it also works with victims to understand the patterns of violence so they will not be repeated," said Joe Carelli, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens in New Hampshire. "By providing a comprehensive model of services, New Beginnings is able to build stronger, self-sustaining individuals and families by nurturing skills in financial literacy, food security and overall health and well-being."

According to Kathy Keller, Executive Director of New Beginnings, there is a direct correlation between experiencing domestic violence and living in poverty.

"Ninety-five percent of clients served by our organization are living at or below poverty level," said Keller. "By incorporating program elements like community gardening, nutrition and cooking education, and a financial empowerment curriculum, participants develop the skills needed to significantly increase their chances of breaking the cycle of violence and poverty."

If you or someone you know is suffering from any form of violence or abuse and is in need of services, please contact New Beginnings at 1-603-528-6511.

Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter is part of the bank's broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. Get more information about Citizens Bank's community initiatives online at www.citizensbank.com/community.

About Citizens Helping Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.