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Anglian Water leads regional Business in the Community network supporting local organisations in COVID-19 response

21 May 2020

News

Anglian Water, in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) has been leading the charge in setting up a Business Response Network in the East, to help organisations and charities most in need during the fight against Coronavirus.

 

The scheme, set up in April, works by pairing up organisations in need of resources from food, to technology or transport with local businesses offering help.

 

Just five weeks later, the network has already made over 400 matches across the country between local community groups, schools and charities and UK businesses who can help to meet their urgent needs during Covid-19.  30 have been in the East of England.

 

Andy Brown, Head of Sustainability for Anglian Water has been instrumental in setting up and jointly leading the East of England National Business Response Network as part of the water company’s longstanding membership with Business in the Community.

 

He said: “Our business is built on the communities it serves and never has it been more important for companies like ours to step up, so that’s exactly what we’re doing. 

 

“We’ve received requests for help from local charities, the NHS and social enterprise collaborations and it’s been truly humbling to see the generosity shown by businesses across the East of England and beyond, who want to give something back during these unprecedented times.”

 

Across the East of England matches have been made to help various local community organisations including:

 

  • The Ferry Project (Wisbech, Norfolk) matched with Vodafone - they had a pressing need for 20 mobile phones and some credit to keep in contact with residents so they can continue providing support. With the support from Anglian Water they were able to facilitate a donation of 20 mobile phones with £10 credit.

  • Access Community Trust (Thetford, Suffolk) matched with Hireco - The trust needed a refrigerated van to enable them to safely transport food for up to 150 people per day.  Reaching out with support from Anglian Water an offer of support was made through Hireco.

  • Rush 2the Den (Northampton) and Open Doors Church (Peterborough) matched with Costa Coffee and Centrica - Through a great working relationship with Costa Coffee a donation was made to two local food banks, providing each with over 4,000 biscuits. These were coordinated and distributed by BITC with the support of Centrica who kindly used their vans and volunteers to distribute to the venues.

    Open Doors Church said of the support: “We are so thankful today that through the mediation of BITC we received a donation of sandwiches, milk and fresh fruit and vegetables from Greencore foods. This food will be given out and put in food parcels for the hungry, vulnerable and those self-isolating by the Millfield Community fridge."

  • FIND Families in Need (Ipswich) matched with Copdock Mill Pet Foods - Following a request from FIND for cat and dog food for pets of local single, families, lone parents, children, elderly, sick, disabled or homeless, BITC approached a pet wholesaler who generously donated a pallet of pet food and cat litter.

 

Andy continued: “We’re calling on other businesses in the region to get on board this initiative, so that we can support even more of those who are struggling during the current pandemic, whether that’s by providing physical products or support in other ways. No matter what the size of the request or the pledge for help even the small things make a huge difference.”

 

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, said “The contribution that businesses are making to support our most vulnerable communities is magnificent.  Their offers of support through our National Business Response Network magnifies the impact of business giving – bringing the scale of a national business network to the doorsteps of our local communities. We know what local communities need as they battle the impact of Covid-19 on their towns and cities and we’re calling on businesses who want to offer support to contact us to make sure their support gets to the right place at the right time.”

 

Community organisations in need of help and business offering their knowledge or services can call the 24-hour hotline on 0141 285 3821, email localresiliencesupport@bitc.org.uk or post on the online board of needs and offers: https://lnkd.in/dGiEdi9.