Virgin Care has joined businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens through the coronavirus crisis.
It has teamed up with former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, as a founding member of the C-19 Business Pledge.
While the organisation, which has been delivering publicly funded health and social care for more than a decade, is already delivering vital community services as part of the pandemic response, it has also signed up to the new pledge to continue supporting colleagues and communities through the pandemic and recovery.
The C-19 Business Pledge is being driven by the team behind the Social Mobility Pledge. Virgin Care signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge in 2019 and it is due to publish a report into its work to improve social mobility in Essex in the coming months.
The national scheme encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities across Britain get through the crisis.
It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery. It comes after Justine received a huge response from businesses and universities getting in touch with her through the existing Social Mobility Pledge, willing to be part of a national effort.
The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 900,000 people, employees and students, throughout businesses and universities. As well as Virgin Care, they include BP, Barratt Developments, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper and Severn Trent Water.
Justine Greening said: “With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding in sectors across the UK, businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions.
“But those companies who are able to, can have a huge role in battling the impact of coronavirus and make a real difference in these uniquely challenging times.
“Virgin Care already plays a crucial role in communities, and even more so now to protect the most vulnerable that have been affected both directly, and indirectly, by coronavirus.
“It’s great to have them on board with the C19 Business Pledge, which is all about encouraging as many businesses as possible to get involved and then helping them do that faster and better by sharing all the work that’s already been done.
I applaud Virgin Care for the work they are doing with employees, customers and communities that will help get Britain through this crisis.”
Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Care Dr Vivienne McVey said, “We are working hard with the NHS and local authorities locally and nationally to respond to the pandemic both as a health and care provider – where we are supporting people in the community and freeing up capacity – and as an employer, supporting our colleagues with the difficult work they are doing.”
“It is vital that we all pull together to respond to the pandemic not only through the peak, but for the months that follow, and we stand committed to continuing to help however we can with the response to, and the recovery from, the pandemic.”
Employers that sign up to the pledge commit to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities. They will not only help Britain through the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also through its recovery.
- Firstly, to support their own employees throughout and beyond this challenging time. For example, this could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.
- Secondly, to publish clear and simple advice for customers (those people who use services, for Virgin Care). Where possible they could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting them if they are having problems.
- Thirdly, doing what they can to help communities in Britain through the epidemic. Over the coming months we are likely to see a sharp increase in isolation, loneliness, mental health and household financial issues in our communities across the country. There will be an increased need for communities to come together with practical support, such as food deliveries, collections and financial assistance for organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable people.
For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit www.c19businesspledge.org
Notes to Editors
The C-19 Business Pledge is driven by the Social Mobility Pledge – a campaign for businesses to be a force for good by delivering a level playing field on opportunity and boosting social mobility in the UK. The Social Mobility Pledge is a growing coalition of over 500 organisations; 450 businesses employing almost 4 million people across the UK, as well as over 50 UK universities representing over 1 million students.
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