Hastings Direct £50,000 Covid-19 community grant scheme

We really want to help make a difference to vulnerable people in our Community at this difficult time so in true Hastings style we’ve stepped up our efforts and I’m delighted to launch our £50,000 Covid-19 community grant scheme that will provide support in our Bexhill and Leicester areas. We’re also working with Advantage Colleagues in Gibraltar to work up plans to support their local communities.

We have made an immediate £50,000 available and will work with Colleagues and Customers to provide additional local support. This will start in two specific ways by:

1.      Donating £10,000 to support two local charities that are providing essential ‘Food Hamper’ services in our local communities and urgently need help  Dom’s Food Mission, Hastings  and Open Hands, Leicester.

·        We have donated £2,500 to each charity to start. This is a very large amount for them and will keep them going for a number of days.

·        Colleagues can also contribute via dedicated Just Giving pages if they wish to as follows:

o https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hd-domsfoodmission

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

·        We will then match Colleague contributions initially up to a further £2,500 per charity

·        We will promote the charities with publicity via our Hastings Direct and Careers websites to open up the opportunity for our Customers and potential Colleagues to make their own donations.

We have worked with and supported these charities before and many of you will have been involved in Community days with them so know the great work they do. As you can imagine, with the current restrictions, sourcing surplus food or donations from supermarkets, individuals or businesses has become extremely difficult. Any monies raised therefore can really help the charities buy what is needed to help feed the most vulnerable in our communities. We’ll be sharing their full stories with you over the next week or so.

2.      Making available £40,000 for any other local charities that are helping support our communities with Covid-19 related projects and schemes. Here’s how it will work:

·        Local charities (within a 20 mile radius of our sites) can apply for a grant via our Community mailbox.

·        All requests will be reviewed and approved by the Community Grant team as long as the charity meets the required criteria

·        The charities must be registered charities and their own bank accounts so we can arrange payments.

I am delighted to share that, following a request from a Leicester Colleague, we have already made our first donation of £500 to Leicester Hospital Charities. This was to help pay for supplies and food for NHS workers in the Critical Care Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

We will be sharing full details, regular news, updates and ways you can help from next Monday but I wanted to share the headlines with you now so you can in turn share this news with any local charities that you know that may be supporting Covid-19 related projects and need some help. Just ask them to get in touch via our Community mailbox. We’ll also be reaching out to local charities via social media and local press.