Hastings Direct launches £50,000 Covid-19 support scheme for local causes

07 Apr 2020

Hastings Direct (“Hastings”) has announced it is making an initial amount of £50,000 available to support smaller charities in Bexhill and Leicester through the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme aims to help the most vulnerable in our communities via food hamper provisions and through a community grant fund for local charities that colleagues would like Hastings to support.

In the Bexhill area, Hastings will be raising money for Dom’s Food Mission, and in Leicester for Open Hands to support the amazing work they both do for their local areas. Colleagues are passionate about supporting local charities and know the difference that £50,000 along with their fundraising will make to help the charities to continue to provide a lifeline of support to individuals and groups in the local community.

The monies will be split as follows:

  • Over £10,000 via Just Giving - Hastings has kicked this off with a £2,500 donation for each charity and its colleagues have been invited to additionally donate as and where they can, along with any kind contributions from the public. The company will then match contributions up to a further £2,500 for each charity.
  • Up to £40,000 has been made available for any local charities that are helping our communities with coronavirus related projects and schemes. The Hastings Direct Covid-19 Community Grant Scheme gives local charities within a 20 mile radius of Conquest House (Hastings’ head office) or St George’s Way (Leicester office) the opportunity to apply for a grant. The applicant must be a registered charity. To apply or for further information, please contact community@hastingsdirect.com.

Dom Warren, founder of Dom’s Food Mission, Hastings, said, “We are thrilled to be receiving this ongoing financial support from Hastings Direct to help keep our work going in our communities at this very difficult time. Since the coronavirus outbreak we have seen an increase in emergency food packages for families, NHS workers, the elderly and vulnerable as well as extra support for refuges and care homes, with those needing food increasing from 5,000 to around 6,000 mouths a month. Groups and individuals are increasingly feeling desperate and alone and I’m proud of the lifeline Dom’s Food Mission can provide.”

Bethany Corbett, Manager of Open Hands, Leicester, said, “We’re thrilled to be receiving this ongoing financial support from Hastings Direct to help keep our work going in the community at this very difficult time. Open Hands provides food parcels and a weekly hot meal service to those in need in the Leicester community however since the coronavirus outbreak, we have found our services have been stretched and access to donations is now more limited. We have had to close our coffee shop and have had to operate on minimum team numbers to be able to continue to deliver our work safely. We’ve seen a 50% rise in demand for our emergency food parcel service and expect this to rise significantly over the coming weeks and therefore really welcome this support.”

The company scheme recently donated £500 to Leicester Hospital Charities to help pay for supplies and food for NHS workers in the Critical Care Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary. 

Toby van der Meer, Hastings Chief Executive Office added, “We’re proud of our ongoing commitment to our local communities and the invaluable work they do. Over the past few weeks we have introduced a number of extraordinary measures to ensure that we keep colleagues safe and support our customers, especially NHS and frontline healthcare workers so we want to be there for our communities too. We hope our commitment and this support will allow charities and good causes to continue to help those in need at this difficult time.”

To support Dom’s Food Mission at this time, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hd-domsfoodmission

To support Open Hands at this time, please visit

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hd-openhands

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For interview opportunities with Toby van der Meer and/or either charity, please contact pr@hastingsdirect.com

Protecting colleagues and customers through the Coronavirus pandemic

Hastings is committed to protecting and supporting colleagues, customers and the wider community during the Coronavirus pandemic. By keeping customers safely on the road, in particular NHS and frontline healthcare workers who need their vehicles to get to and from work, and being available to service any claims they may unfortunately have. We have also taken wider customer actions to include additional support for customers impacted by the coronavirus with financial difficulties and waiving some of our normal fees, as well as providing free RAC breakdown assistance, a priority customer service and clams line for NHS and frontline healthcare workers. Our CEO, Toby van der Meer is further supporting this by offering his direct email to NHS and frontline healthcare worker still experiencing difficulties with our service

The welfare of colleagues is paramount and Hastings has taken many steps to ensure their safety. Any colleagues who can work from home are doing so including vulnerable colleagues, those who are pregnant, and those that are self-isolating.  Hastings has also significantly reduced the number of colleagues in its offices and are working at pace to deploy homeworking telephony solutions to all customer support colleagues.  In the meantime Hastings has taken many measures to make the office environment as safe as possible for colleagues, including appropriate distancing between desks, increased cleaning schedules, free takeaway food and hot drinks from our colleague canteen, and importantly advising colleagues to observe social distancing at all times.