Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK, government guidelines have become ever more stringent, with the country now being on effective lockdown with all but essential shops and services being closed and social distancing taking hold.
Many companies have well-established corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes that include volunteering and attending money-raising events such as quiz nights.
With the government’s lockdown now in full force, one might expect CSR activity to have ceased altogether. However, that it not the case.
Once news of panic buying had declined, news outlets began filling the airwaves with stories of the spread of the pandemic both at home and abroad. However, there are heart-warming interludes where both random and co-ordinated acts of kindness in our communities are reported, ranging from people going out of their way to care for the elderly to professional sports clubs donating unused match-day food and drink to the homeless.
And while businesses are taking unenviable decisions around placing employees on temporary furlough leave, some of those affected are trying to identify ways they can use their time to the benefit of the community.
The tourist and leisure industry has in part responded admirably, with many hotels remaining operational but for the exclusive use, free of charge, to the NHS. Pubs have used their initiative to host online events and quiz nights, many of which also aim to raise money for charitable causes. And supermarkets have extended opening hours exclusively for NHS staff.
Charities themselves are adapting with a greater emphasis on social media for fundraising. At Boyer, we are doing our bit to help. Our London office is partnered with the Southwark Foodbank, which last week launched its first Digital Foodbank Friday with people able to donate money online.
Coronavirus has completely changed the world in which we live and work and we have all had to adapt. CSR programmes up and down the country have been, and will continue to be, suspended and completely rewritten over the days, weeks and months to come, but the human instinct to be kind to one another has shone through more across the last few weeks than at any other time I can recall.
Mark Batchelor is director of Boyer