Posted: 04 May 2020 12 min. read

Coming together to see through a difficult time

In a time of crisis, the power of community becomes clear. Neighbour helping neighbour, strangers forming friendships, individuals coming together (even if it is remotely) to see each other through a difficult period.

With the progression of the Coronavirus situation, the impact of community has been felt first-hand by many of us across the UK and around the world, as we come together to help one another out through this challenging time.

Providing business support where it’s needed most

For our part, we know that our strength lies in our people and believe we will make the greatest societal impact when we use our skills and expertise to help organisations of all kinds to survive this difficult period. One way the firm is doing this is through supporting our clients. We're also supporting wider society, working to help our charity partners and social enterprises so that they can continue to support vulnerable individuals that need them most. We know that we'll have the greatest impact if we help them to survive this turbulent time so that they can continue to serve these communities now and beyond the crisis.

So that's what we're doing. Our focus is on providing business support to the organisations that need it most. Here’s how we’re helping:

Webinars for our charities

A team from across the firm has hosted webinars designed to help our partner charities and social enterprises navigate through the new legislative framework, as well as provide business continuity support.

Donations for frontline workers and charities

We've provided digital continuity in the form of laptop donations. Our IT Service has donated 28​0 laptops to the NHS and our One Million Futures charities.

The team is also providing volunteers to a new initiative that aims to support those in the community who don't have access to the devices they need.

We have donated over 7,500 cups of Change Please coffee for NHS Nightingale staff. Change Please, a One Million Futures social enterprise, empowers homeless people by offering barista training and housing support. Natalie Forrest, COO NHS Nightingale, says 'The support is a humbling reminder to us of the efforts being made across all sectors of the community to support the NHS at this challenging time.'

NOW Group  is a social enterprise in Northern Ireland that runs cafes and a catering business to support people with learning difficulties and Autism into employment, training and volunteering. While in lockdown, they’re providing meals to frontline workers. We’ve supported with a donation and advice to help as they pivot their business.

Tailored pro-bono work

The Responsible Business team is facilitating tailored support in the form of pro bono work, helping our societal partners respond to the current situation. Currently, the team is exploring opportunities to support with food provision to local communities via social enterprise partners, empowering them to continue to give back to society in extra meaningful way.

Food bank Support

The need for food bank services is greater than ever. At the same time, social distancing measures complicate service delivery. In London, we've teamed up with the Trussell Trust, an organisation that supports a nationwide network of 1,200 foodbanks. We’ve made a donation and are also providing logistical resource support.

Social Inclusion

In Edinburgh, we’re working with Social Bite, a social enterprise working to end homelessness. We’ve provided a donation to pay for over 8,800 meals for socially isolated people and offered logistical expertise as they continue to run this huge operation.

In Northern Ireland, we’re helping Simon Community NI by donating laptops to hostels, allowing connection with the outside world and residents to continue studies. In addition, staff have acted as delivery drivers to help get all-important PPE distributed to Simon Community sites across Northern Ireland.

Our team in Nottingham is continuing to support Framework to help people achieve financial stability, social inclusion and independence. The team has donated funds to deliver lunches to some of Framework’s services in the local area.

Appreciation for our teachers

To show our continued support and appreciation for the schools that remain open during this difficult time and the teachers working within them, we've sent care packages to 22 of our partner schools. Our gifts included coffee and chocolate supplied by our social enterprises, Change Please and Devine Chocolate. A small act of appreciation for such an important service. 

Our national charity partner Teach First trains new teachers and promotes a fair education for all. They have seen a decrease in funding for training. We’ve provided funds which will help 11 new teachers start their Time to Teach training this year. This programme is still in pilot phase and supports those who want to make a career transition into teaching.

Fundraising for our One Million Futures charities

We’ve launched our Coronavirus Fundraising Appeal in support of our One Million Futures charity partners and are encouraging those who are in a position to do so to make a donation in support of their work.

Our One Million Futures charities provide critical frontline services across the country. The money raised will fund a range of important initiatives, such as accommodation for rough sleepers, equipment to help schools move learning online and call centres for those needing mental health support during this time.

Virtual Volunteering

With lockdown measures in place, traditional forms of volunteering have been limited. To continue to support our societal partners, our team has been busy investigating opportunities to bring our volunteering online with virtual activities, including online mentoring and mental health check-ins.

As well, our tax practice is working with TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People to help them keep their helplines running during the current crisis. The charity has had a significant increase in their services due to incomes lost and businesses closing. Deloitte Digital are also helping them develop a cloud based telephone system.

The struggle may not be over yet, but we’re committed to helping where we can and continuing to make an impact that matters during this time.

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Key contact

Deanna Foster

Deanna Foster

Senior Assistant

Deanna is part of the Responsible Business team, progressing the firm’s societal impact through work with charity, school and social enterprise partners across the UK. Deanna helps drive communications and marketing initiatives, building the profile of the firm’s flagship programme, One Million Futures, both internally and externally.