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Covid-19 Champions: Meet the Living Wage Community Champions

Our annual Champion Awards ceremony on June 16th will celebrate and recognise the outstanding contributions individuals and organisations have made to the Living Wage movement. This year, to recognise the contribution of Living Wage Employers in the fight against Covid-19, we have introduced a new “Covid-19 Stronger Together” award category. We have been blown away by the inspirational stories of Living Wage Employers who have gone above and beyond to protect and support their communities through the pandemic. We couldn’t wait until June to share these with you, so in the lead up to the ceremony, we’ll be celebrating their efforts every week.

For many, the coronavirus pandemic has been defined by isolation. The need to avoid other people, keep a social distance and stay at home shape our day-to-day lives. But as much as the measures to control the spread of the virus have kept us apart from one another, the crisis has also brought people together in support of their communities.

Paying the Living Wage and supporting communities go hand in hand. Members of our movement have voluntarily chosen to go above and beyond the government’s minimum rate of pay because they believe workers should be supported to meet their everyday needs, to care for their families and participate in community life. Whether by training healthcare workers to use PPE free of charge, donating transport vehicles to a new local community of refugees or supporting families to cycle together in lockdown by distributing free bikes, members of our movement have put communities at the heart of their response to the pandemic.  

Meet the Living Wage Employers championing communities throughout the pandemic.

TYF Adventure

At the beginning of October 2020, Pembrokeshire in West Wales became home to a group of young men who had fled war-torn countries. TYF Adventure donated the vehicles they would normally use on their adventure sessions to this new local community, and offered their vans for food deliveries.

Bike for Good

With a huge surge in the rate of people cycling during the first lockdown, Bike for Good teamed up with more than 15 organisations to make cycling accessible for all families, distributing 132 free children’s bikes to families

High Speed Training

In March 2020, a member of staff at High Speed Training realised their course on Personal Protective Equipment was getting an unusual amount of views, but the sales weren’t matching the spike. Realising that the viewers were healthcare workers wanting guidance on how to use PPE equipment safely during the pandemic, High Speed Training offered their course free of charge to frontline care staff. Over 18,000 health workers took up their kind offer.

Aviva

  • Donated 5,700 Facemasks to the NHS & Emergency Services when PPE stocks were low
  • Supplied more than £10,000 of food items to 8 UK food banks and charities
  • Supported employees with a previous clinical role for the NHS, Forces, Reserves or Red Cross to return on secondment
  • Encouraged employees to use volunteering hours to help with the vaccination rollout
  • Donated an extra £10 million to the British Read Cross to support Covid-19 community projects

FundApps

FundApps increased their community donations in 2020 by 40%, taking it to a total of £70,000 for the year. They also introduced a matched giving scheme for employees.

FundApps said: “We know these organisations play a vital role and believe it's a duty of business to support them.”

Safe Shores Monitoring

To support the wider community, Safe Shores Monitoring offered their lone worker app, Companion, and flexible monitoring platform, Archangel, completely free for three months to all key workers, volunteers and homeworkers who all faced new risks and personal safety challenges working throughout the pandemic.

Aberystwyth Student's Union

This Student’s Union worked hard to support their local community, delivering over 50 presents and hand written cards to residents of local care homes who might not have had any contact over the Christmas period. The Union also supported their own community, providing around 400 isolation packs to students self-isolating in Aberystwyth and delivering Christmas presents to 220 students who were forced to spend Christmas alone because of the pandemic.

Buckinghamshire Business First

Buckinghamshire Business First partnered with local charity Heart of Bucks to support their local community through the pandemic. They distributed hardship grants of £500 to individuals badly impacted by Covid-19 and also donated to the charity’s Community Investor Fund.

Newcastle University

Newcastle University mobilised students and colleagues across the University – including porters, cleaners, caterers, and security teams – to join their pandemic front line. Working together they supported the university community by:

  • Delivering food and household essentials
  • Distributing the hundreds of parcels arriving daily to their recipients
  • Providing much-needed friendly faces and reassuring words for lonely and anxious students.

Social Impact Services T/A Brightsparks Agency

Worked with their sister company Brightsparks CIC to build and deliver an online training course on Emotional Resilience to support the parents of school-aged children through a difficult year, reaching over 1000 parents.

Bible Society

  • Donated over 400 resources to go out with food and toy boxes for the Swindon Christmas Toy Appeal
  • Supplied 125 desktops and laptops to support the Wiltshire Digital Drive
  • Provided volunteers to sort, wrap and deliver gifts for both the Women's shelter and Gateway Church

Boo Coaching & Consulting

For every day of paid work they are commissioned, Boo Coaching and Consulting give back one hour to society. In 2020, they gave back 163 hours. Team Boo spent the majority of their hours on the NHS (supporting the wellbeing of frontline workers), and also supported local schools and charity partners.

Prickly Thistle Scotland Ltd

Manufacturers at Prickly Thistle contributed to the community’s fight against Covid by developing the first fully certified non-clinical facemask. Launching at the end of 2020, their facemask outperforms the face fit efficiency of a surgical mask and rivals the performance of the clinical FFP2/3 masks.

The BOHO Group

Property management firm the BOHO Group have taken such good care of the BOHO community during the pandemic that they have had zero confirmed Covid cases in their building.

University of Bristol

Nominated their colleague Caroline for her tireless work in supporting Bristol’s student community. Well done Caroline!

Register to join our online ceremony on 16 June, 6-7.30pm to find out the winners of this category, and many others.

27th May 2021
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