The past few weeks have been extraordinary. We all find ourselves in incredibly challenging times, which is introducing huge tests for individuals, households and companies alike. The Government advice is clear but there’s no guidebook for how to react to this situation, and the vast majority of us are trying to do the best we can.
With social distancing and strict isolation rules brought in, many people in the UK will now feel cut-off from society. Having said that, there have been a number of inspiring stories of individuals embracing the community spirit – whether that’s shopping for a neighbour or volunteering for the NHS - and it’s been incredibly touching to see how people have come together at what is a challenging time.
At LV=, we’ve always taken great pride in the fact that we always trying to do the right thing, whether that’s for our customers or our employees, and that’s why we wanted to play our part as well. As Corporate Responsibility Director, it’s my mission to look for ways we can help our employees and the communities in which they work. So we collected our thoughts, came up with some ideas of how we could help, started hitting the phones to make it a reality and we’ve now empowered our people to help those in our communities who need support.
One of the main initiatives we wanted to focus on was the Letters of Kindness scheme
. When we spoke with a number of local care homes, it was heart-breaking to hear their stories of how lonely their residents are becoming now they aren’t able to interact with friends and family as much as normal. This initiative encourages our employees to write to a nearby care home, with a letter or pictures that can be shared with those living there. The care home staff will then send responses back to us, with all costs being covered by us. We’re hoping that this will be the catalyst for a number of long-term bonds between our people and the elderly in care.
We also know that across the country there are many people struggling to provide food for their families at the moment, so we’re also encouraging our people to make donations to the Trussell Trust
to support the vital work of food banks around the country. We have a designated JustGiving page
for people interested in lending support this way and the business will also match the amount that is raised.
The homeless are particularly vulnerable at the moment, as social distancing has resulted in soup kitchens, day centres and shelters needing to close and many more will be feeling the strain of self-isolating. On top of that, Big Issue
sellers can no longer make a living as people aren’t on the streets, so we’re supporting a campaign to encourage people to buy the magazine digitally and keep that all important revenue coming in for those who need it most.
Some of our people are also joining the national call for NHS volunteers
or even contacting their local Community Action Network and seeing how they may be able to chip in with the local effort.
I’m so proud of our people who are working hard at this challenging time to provide help and support where they need it and I hope our efforts go some way in helping our local communities.