The daily news on the Covid-19 crisis is currently consuming the media and seemingly our lives. But one of the few positive things to emerge from these frantic times is the greater sense of community across the country. Extraordinary efforts and brilliant ideas are bringing people together to help fight the ongoing battle against this pandemic.
From the inspirational centurion, Captain Tom Moore, raising an astonishing £32 million for the NHS to individual acts of kindness and brands offering significant support to emergency services and essential workers. There have been plenty of good deeds to celebrate alongside the heroic efforts of our NHS staff and the key workers who continue to assist the public on the frontline.
And with so many businesses banding together to help those in need right now, we thought we’d join in and share some positive stories. Here’s how some of our closest friends and clients are playing their part.
This first brilliant gesture comes from our good friends at Thomas Franks, a global catering company. For the past few weeks, Frank Bothwell and the Thomas Franks Foundation have very kindly provided 1,500 free NHS meals a day and 6,000 meals a week for the vulnerable or those in food poverty.
Local recipients include Ellen Badger Hospital, Katherine House Hospice, South Central Ambulance Service and many more.
Their new ‘Feeding Communities’ initiative was originally funded by The Thomas Franks Foundation, but as the need for their meals spiralled, they’ve managed to secure from their clients a staggering £170,000. The additional funding will only last a matter of weeks, so if you’d like to contribute to their incredible service then please click here.
Thomas Franks has pledged to continue providing food aid to vulnerable children and the homeless even after the crisis is over. On top of this, they’ve begun partnerships with other charities such as Only A Pavement Away, the Grace Foundation and many more to further support the community. We couldn’t be more proud of the team over there!
Unity Trust Bank
It didn’t come to us as a shock to read that Unity Trust, a bank known for their ethical approach, were lending a hand to those in need. In March, The Big Issue sent out an urgent appeal for support. Unity Trust responded quickly, purchasing a three-month subscription for each of its 110 employees in a bid to support the publication.
With lockdown and social distancing keeping people out of town centres, many Big Issue vendors have struggled to make a living and have been left vulnerable. The subscription initiative encourages businesses and individuals to carry on supporting those in need – with 50% of net proceeds going to sellers.
Unity Trust’s mass subscription has made a huge difference by providing certainty to the magazine and vendors during these odd times. They’ve not only provided a great source of uplifting content to their staff but they’ve also set an example to colleagues that society must respond to difficult social challenges to come through together.
Big Issue readers can buy a three month subscription or make a one-off contribution online. As for those that can’t purchase online, for the first time in history, the Big Issue magazine is also available at Sainsbury’s and Co-op stores.
SEIB Insurance / Ecclesiastical
The next bit of good news is from our old friends, and specialist insurance brokers, SEIB. No strangers to charitable actions, the team at SEIB recently donated £2,500 to St. Luke’s Hospice – a specialist, holistic care charity based in Basildon. These regular contributions are part of an annual campaign at SEIB which encourages staff to vote for the cause they would most like to support.
The donation was made possible by SEIB’s parent company, Ecclesiastical and their “Closer to You” campaign which has a goal of giving £100m to charities by the end of 2020!
In fact, as part of the SEIB Giving Virtual Awards, they have already given £50,000 to over ten charities this year.
We think these huge charitable aspirations (and donations) from both companies definitely deserve a round of applause.
Throughout the past few weeks, the charity has continued in its mission to create sustainable pathways out of poverty, in an aim to eradicate homelessness in Wolverhampton. Using their premises and network of volunteers and partnerships, Good Shepherd remains open, hosting regular dinner services and providing crucial respite from the streets in a dangerous time.
However, as part of a larger and more pressing project, Good Shepherd has once again worked its magic, securing two additional 4 bedroom properties for their most vulnerable service users. Temporary shelters haven’t been a suitable environment throughout the outbreak. So, moving quickly, Good Shepherd secured and moved four service users into a 4 bed, private rented, shared house – giving them the comfort of their own accommodation at a crucial time.
The success of the project has led the charity to obtain a second 4 bed property which is now ready to move rough sleepers from emergency accommodation into a more sustainable option. An inspirational effort from an amazing team!
And that’s it for some of our favourite good deeds so far. It’s amazing to see so many individuals and teams come together in a bid to support others throughout this time. We want to do our best to share as many positive stories as possible – we think it’s something we all need right now.