Rob Hudson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, shares how we launched our Community Impact Fund at the height of lockdown to help small charities and community groups to provide essential support in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the start of lockdown, we faced a host of unforeseen challenges. While we had to make swift, and often challenging, decisions to protect our people and the future of our business, we also had to make sure that we played our part in supporting the communities in which we work.
We saw vulnerable members of society unable to access essential groceries and medicine, key workers separated from their families, and even the Armed Forces brought in to deliver essential supplies to those most in need.
What was inspirational, however, was the way hundreds of thousands of people volunteered to provide care in their local communities; to make sure nobody went without. And as a business, we wanted to be involved in this mammoth community effort.
We swiftly launched our Community Impact Fund – a £150,000 pot to support small charities and community groups that were on the ground making a real difference in their local areas. We worked with local authorities to identify those coordinating COVID task forces and providing specialised care to the most vulnerable. We quickly issued grants to 21 local charities across the country, helping to keep many essential services running for the foreseeable future.
From befriending calls to those with life limiting conditions, through to food banks that are supporting the homeless, I am humbled to already be seeing the impact that these grants have had.”