The financial organisations doing their bit for those in need amid Covid-19

As the UK lockdown continues, so too do the acts of kindness and support being shown by individuals and firms across the country.

And whilst Monday bought with it the news of new symptoms, challenges and tensions, it also saw the UK insurance and long-term savings industry launch a huge new fund to help support those hardest hit by the current crisis.

Launched in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation, and a network of partners, the Covid-19 Support Fund has a fundraising goal of £100m, with £82.5m already pledged by a number of organisations.

Of the funds already raised, £20m will be going to The National Emergencies Trust (NET) to support their vital work supporting community-based charities on the frontline against the coronavirus crisis.

Commenting on the donation, NET chairman, General Lord Dannatt, added: “Since the launch of our coronavirus appeal, generous pledges have meant we have been able to distribute more than £30m and make more than 4,000 grants to charities across the UK.

“We are hugely appreciative of the support from the insurance and long-term savings community and will work to ensure the funds raised are quickly distributed to those who are most in need."

The fund is supported by members of the Association of British Insurers, The British Insurance Brokers’ Association, Lloyd’s, and The London Market Group.

Organisations who have already contributed to the fund include Aviva, RSA, AXA UK, Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), Admiral, Rothesay Life, Just Group, NFU Mutual and Canada Life.

Meanwhile, focusing on a local level, The People’s Pension (TPP) has teamed up with Crawley Town Football Club (FC), and its catering partners Strong Flavours, to provide 100 meals per week for staff at Crawley and East Surrey hospitals.

Designed to support those battling Coronavirus on the frontline, the first week of the scheme was funded by staff and player donations, and TPP “jumped at the chance” to provide further support to allow the initiative to continue.

“At the start of the outbreak,” Crawley Town head of commercial, Joe Comper, explained, “TPP had asked me if there was any way they could help us to support the community, so I put this idea to them and they jumped at the chance to offer help, by matching our donation to the fund and between us we’re providing four weeks’ worth of meals for our local NHS workers."

The firm already has close ties with the Crawley community, with Broadfield Stadium, the home ground for Crawley Town FC, renamed The Peoples Pension Stadium in late 2018.

TPP chief executive officer, Patrick Heath-Lay, added: “As a business deeply rooted in the Crawley community, we are always looking at ways to support the local area.

“Like everybody, we are hugely grateful to the incredible efforts of NHS workers both across the country and locally."

Looking even more locally, to within the pensions and financial services industry itself, Quilter has made a version of Thrive, its employee mental health support programme, available to financial advisers in the UK.

Forming part of the firm’s ‘There for you’ website, launched to support the financial adviser business throughout the current crisis, the new resource will offer materials to support the wellbeing of both advisers and their clients alike.

This will include podcasts and videos, tips on how to work from home most effectively, and materials on how to build resilience and cope with isolation.

Quilter CEO, Paul Feeney, emphasised that whilst many have seen their home become their workplace, its “just as important” to feel supported, clarifying that advisers are more than “just financial advisers” to their clients, but “coaches and friends”.

He added: “The World Health Organisation has just published a report warning that we are on the cusp of a mental health crisis, underlining that it is vital that we all are able to access help and support, particularly when we’re feeling isolated and vulnerable.

“As we enter Mental Health Awareness Week there is no better time to recognise the importance of talking about and supporting one another’s emotional and personal wellbeing.”

Don’t miss our previous good news updates to see more of the good work being done by financial organisations amid the current pandemic.

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