Posted: 12 Jan. 2021 5 min. read

Building resilience in the community

Resilience has been named the word for 2021. Resilience is what we’ve all needed to get through the last year and will be just as relevant in 2021.

Resilience isn’t just about our individual ability to overcome adversity, it’s also about supporting others and the organisations which help them. That’s why our societal impact is focused on building resilient futures in our communities. 

Through 5 Million Futures (5MF), we are working with over 70 schools, charities and social enterprises across the UK, supporting them and the people they help by providing what one partner organisation described as “the most comprehensive” package of support they are aware of. This includes fundraising, pro bono services and volunteering - using the time and skills of people across the firm to make a difference.

Schools up and down the country have had a really tough time this year, particularly those with a higher number of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Teachers have taken on extra responsibilities to ensure the welfare and education of their pupils such as hand-delivering hard copies of school work to students who don’t have access to devices or reliable broadband, providing mental health and social work support to pupils with complex needs and home lives. One of our London partner schools told us that at one point last term “around 20% of the students” were self-isolating due to Covid-19, that’s nearly 250 pupils.

Since Deloitte hasn’t been able to give our usual volunteering support to pupils at our 26 partner schools, we have donated £8,000 to each school to help with their ongoing Covid-19 requirements like extra devices, expansion of digital learning, mental health and food provision. The head teacher of one of our partner school said the donation has allowed the school to “develop digital learning resources for students to use at all points in their education”.

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on business too. When one of our 5MF social enterprises Cracked It informed us that they were having to cease trading due to the impact of the pandemic, we asked them what we could do to help. They responded with an invitation: to help them create a legacy for their organisation by taking part in a pilot.

Fast-forward a few months and 11 of Deloitte’s senior leaders have now taken part in a reverse mentoring programme with youth ex-offenders. The purpose was to challenge perceptions and help understand how we might do more to support this group get into employment. One of the organisers said “it’s the first success [the ex-offender] has had.”

David Noon, Deloitte North & South Europe COO was one of the Deloitte participants commented “This was a real eye-opener for me - quite shocking in terms of what I learned - but so glad I did. In addition to understanding how challenging life is for those exiting the criminal justice system, was realising how our firm can really make a difference in terms of education and employment and seeing the impact this had.”

Charities have been hit hard by COVID-19, with an estimated funding gap for UK charities of more than £10bn over the coming months. One of our London charity partners Mind has seen their revenues severely impacted by the closure of their high street shops. So we are helping Mind by running a crowdsourcing challenge with our Deloitte colleagues with the aim of coming up with some brilliant ideas on how they can create additional revenue streams to support their mental health services.

These are just three examples of how we are working with our 5 Million Futures partner schools, social enterprises and charities to help them remain resilient and support their pupils, staff, employees and beneficiaries.

Not only that, volunteering has been shown to benefit people of all ages through increasing feelings of self-esteem, social connection and wellbeing. So, by helping our partner organisations, our people are building their own mental resilience – not a bad way to start the year.

 To find out more about how we’re making an impact visit our 5MF blog.  

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Key contact

Charlotte Boyle

Charlotte Boyle

Manager

Charlotte has been working at Deloitte since 2011 across various marketing roles. She has been part of the firm’s Responsible Business team since 2016, managing marketing and communications for One Million Futures and the recently launched 5 Million Futures programme in the UK.