The Serco Foundation: Coronavirus Community Support Fund
At this time of unprecedented challenge across the regions where Serco is proud to work, millions of people have been both inspired and helped by the charities and community groups combatting Covid-19 and its effects at a local level. From large, multi-national organisations, to ‘pop-up’ groups formed by friends and neighbours, the voluntary and community sector is playing a major role in supporting vulnerable citizens around the globe.
The Foundation invited Serco’s nearly 60,000 employees to nominate voluntary organisations known to them which are providing meaningful and valuable support to others during this worldwide pandemic, and was met with a wonderful and overwhelming response. From Victoria to Virginia, from Iraq to the Isle of Wight, from Darwin to Dubai, employees wrote in on behalf of a huge range of organisations – from food banks to homeless shelters, from places of worship to senior centres – including those designing new and innovative services from scratch to combat the challenges posed by Covid-19. The scheme was designed primarily to support those areas where Serco and its staff are proud to work, and to acknowledge the impact which smaller organisations, in particular, make to the quality of individual and community lives.
The Coronavirus Community Support Fund ran from March to July 2020, and made grants to almost 300 organisations across the globe supporting the homeless, the elderly, the hungry, and many others struggling with the impact of the virus. Over £545,000 of grants were made during this phase. Recipients across almost twenty countries include hospices, not-for-profit education and healthcare organisations, groups supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence, mental health specialists, religious groups, respite care, community food schemes, not-for-profit transportation providers, and charities supporting displaced or disadvantaged communities.
Kate Steadman, Chair of Trustees, commented, “The work of multinational charities is rightly acknowledged for its role in confronting the hidden enemy of Coronavirus, but inspiring and valuable work is also being carried out by many small organisations across the globe. Our Community Support Fund focuses largely on those. We are proud and privileged to support such amazing people and efforts around the world, and to make a small contribution to their life-changing and, in many cases, live-saving work.”
A fuller report on the scheme will be published here shortly, including case studies highlighting the remarkable work of those organisations the Foundation has been privileged to support.