Creative Partnerships in the time of Covid

Published by Lisa Basford on

Image: Steve Johnson on unsplash

In our last blog we talked about Purposeful Partnerships and the trends we can see in corporate-charity partnerships. Long-standing partnerships have had to adapt, evolve and innovate to stay effective in a tough year. New partnerships have been launched as organisations seek to combine their efforts and respond to emerging needs in the most effective way possible.

Here are five partnerships that caught our eye this year….

Tackling food poverty

In April the Trussel Trust announced a collaboration with Sainsbury’s, British Gas, The Entertainer, Palletforce, XPO Logistics and FareShare to find a national solution to distribute food to food banks. The collaborative efforts ensure food from supermarkets, wholesalers and other suppliers can be quickly distributed to charities and community groups, struggling in the time of Covid-19.

Supporting autistic students to find employment

Santander Bank and Ambitious About Autism have extended their partnership in response to the growing concerns about graduate unemployment. We already know that the pandemic has hit young people’s work prospects hard. Additionally, research shows that autistic students are the least likely of all disabled students to find employment when they complete their studies. The £1m investment in Santander Universities aims to increase the number of autistic graduates finding meaningful employment, at the same time boosting the neuro-diversity of the UK workforce.

Loneliness and older people

Age UK and Cadbury’s first joined forces in 2019, uniting to address the increasing issue of loneliness in older people. 225,000 older people often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. 30p from the sale of each wordless bar was donated to Age UK.

Loneliness is intensified when we have to socially distance, or even isolate. This October, Age UK and Cadburys ran their Donate Your Words campaign once more but with a twist. This year we are encouraged to celebrate the story of an older person we know, and who better to promote their work than Captain Tom Moore?

Flexible working and green savings

In October O2 and partner, The Carbon Trust launched the Green Savings Calculator. This innovative tool helps businesses to understand the financial savings and carbon reductions made through flexible working. According to O2, if the average UK business employee moves to working from home for 2 days per week and reduces business trips to twice a month, savings of 21 tonnes of CO2 could be realised. This represents more than £100k in financial savings and a reduction of over 3,300 hours in commuting and business travel.

Reaching out with emotional support

Recently, Barclays and the Samaritans announced their new partnership to provide emotional support during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. The three-year partnership is part of Barclays’ £100m Covid-19 Community Aid package. Samaritans’ volunteers have provided emotional support to over a million people since the start of the first lockdown. The new partnership allows the Samaritans to continue this much needed service, meanwhile Barclays staff can get involved as support volunteers or listening volunteers.

These new or adapted partnerships represent how corporates and charities have come together to respond to the events of 2020.

Which partnerships have impressed you this year?


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