Today, Direct Line Group launches the third phase of the Community Fund which will distribute £1 million to charities to help them deal with problems that have become more acute due to Covid. This follows the distribution of £2.5 million pounds to 200 charities, helping over one hundred thousand people with a range of support including emergency essentials, food, accommodation, PPE, mental health services and online educational access for children.
This final phase of the 2020 fund is focussing support on charities that are helping to tackle social mobility, left behind groups, food poverty and public health. Direct Line Group is also supporting the Business in the Community ‘Build Back Responsibly’ campaign which conducted research with hundreds of businesses, community groups and young people to identify key opportunities for all businesses to create a positive legacy out of the Covid crisis.
Mark Evans, Director of Marketing and Digital and lead for Direct Line Group’s Society pillar, said: “At the heart of our strategy is our vision is to be a ‘force for good’ and that means doing the right thing by our customers, our people, the planet and society.
“It’s this desire to be a ‘force for good’ that guides the business every single day. It’s the reason why we set up our Community Fund to provide support to people and communities most affected by Covid.”
Kate Hainsworth, CEO, Leeds Community Foundation, said: “We help the most disadvantaged in society that are overlooked by other funding and support. Initially, we knew we had an immediate challenge make sure children were fed, but as the pandemic changed, so did our needs. We used the Direct Line Group Community Fund to provide digital access for families, supporting their educational needs. We also ran a campaign to remove the stigma from used school uniforms. The funding has been amazing and made such a difference to vulnerable families in Leeds.”
Dr Ron Daniels BEM, Executive Director, UK Sepsis Trust, said: “Patients recovering from Covid will experience changes to their psychological health, cognitive function and also physical after effects. We urgently need to help those that have survived Covid as well as those recovering from Sepsis. That’s why the money from the Direct Line Group Community Fund is critically important to enable us to expand our support team and help people that really need it right now.”
Ben Harding, Regional Manager, Envision, commented: “In Bristol, we work with local businesses, schools and young people, building employability skills such as resilience. The Direct Line Group funding has enabled us to run two 12 week social action projects and help 30 young people develop business skills, consequently, supporting the local community.”
Catherine Sermon, Executive Director for Campaigns and Content at Business in the Community, said: “Thanks to the Direct Line Group Community Fund we were able to listen, learn and shine a spotlight on the inequalities that have become worse during the pandemic through engagement with hundreds of business leaders, community groups and young people. Through our research, funded by Direct Line Group, we have identified the key opportunities which we are using to challenge businesses to ‘Build Back Responsibly’ and make sure no one is left behind.”
More information about the Direct Line Group Community Fund can be found at www.directlinegroup.co.uk