The role of Welsh businesses in the Coronavirus crisis
These are unprecedented times, with every sector across the UK being battered by the ripple effect of COVID-19, mass lockdowns and school closures.
In Wales, this is happening just a month after widespread flooding forced people from their houses and businesses, incurring loss and devastation across the country.
The charitable sector is one of those hit hardest by the economic downturn, as evidenced by a report from ACEVO. Their report showed 60 small charities closing down on a daily basis; UK charities expecting a 48% loss of income; and in total, the charity sector expected to lose £4bn.
Critical support for the most vulnerable in society is falling off a cliff edge.
Community Foundation Wales have been swift to respond to the crisis with the launch of the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund just three weeks ago.
We launched the fund with £200,000 and had a large contribution of £100,000 from the National Emergencies Trust. Since then, we have seen donations come in from many individual donors, some of whom are already fundholders with us.
The Admiral Group were one of the first major corporate organisations to get involved. When donating they stressed that they were not donating out of a CSR obligation but wanted to be a part of a fund that was helping the communities of Wales, giving back directly to the areas that their employees live in. Admiral recognised the importance of small, often volunteer led groups, who provide vital work within the community, and who would simply cease to exist if their funding sources dried up.
Right now, grants are going out from our fund to organisations across Wales. These groups are trying their hardest in difficult circumstances to help elderly or vulnerable people who are isolated and who need supplies, or to be a friendly ear on the end of a phone.
Groups like Moorland STAR, a community centre in Splott, who have switched from doing a face-to-face luncheon club, to now distributing hundreds of hot meals a day to elderly people in the local community.
These are the immediate problems that we are addressing. The people who use these services need help now, more than ever.
At the same time we also need to think about what Wales will look like after lockdown has ended. Consider the people who have lost loved ones during a time of crisis, but who have had no human contact to help them. Our fund will go to groups that are providing support now, but also to groups whose services will be required months down the line, when we expect a looming mental health crisis.
Without the support of corporate donations, these groups will not survive, and they will not be able to continue the vital work they do in a time when we will most likely need them the most.
Big businesses in Wales employ thousands of people, most of whom are now working from home, back in their community. We are asking corporate organisations to think about their workers, and how much of a difference it would make to them if they felt that their employer was making a tangible, lasting contribution to those affected by COVID-19.
Please donate today.