There is little doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will go down in history as one of the UK’s darkest times. Having found ourselves in a head to head battle with an invisible enemy, one of our only forms of defense has been to self-isolate, seeing us face the biggest lockdown of society in our history.
With 8.4 million workers furloughed and a further 2.3 million claims from the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the financial impacts of COVID-19 have been enormous. Early on in May, it was announced that there had been a six-fold increase in Universal Credit claims, taking the figure to nearly two million.
So it’s no surprise that the poorest members of our society are being disproportionately affected by this crisis. Sadly, during the final two weeks of March there was an 81% year-on-year increase in demand for food parcels. And most worryingly of all the number of parcels given to children rose by 122%.
But the ironic thing about darkness is that it helps us to see the light. The stars are always present, but we only see their beauty against the backdrop of a nighttime sky.
Our appreciation for our loved ones, neighbours and communities has grown and bonds have been strengthened. With a newly found sense of unity, businesses, individuals and communities have rallied together to support each other during this terrible time and to overcome COVID-19. It’s wonderful that stories of quickly forming community support groups, like that of MIS Active Management Systems customer services manager Keith, have become the norm rather than the exception.
The herculean efforts of the carers, NHS and key workers keeping the country going amidst the crisis have received an outpouring of support. The powerfully emotive Clap for Carers campaign pushed us passed our fears and saw us momentarily leave the safety of our homes to show mass appreciation for these incredible people.
"As we wave goodbye to the Clap for Carers campaign, and lockdown begins to ease in line with Government guidelines, we at MIS are keen to maintain the momentum of community spirit and give something back." said Chris McLaughlin, managing director, MIS-AMS.
"This is why our parent company MIS Group, has decided to launch Food for All, a campaign which will see MIS donate £20,000 to foodbanks across the UK and raise the profile of these amazing charities."
Each week for a ten-week period, we will be donating a proportion of our £20,000 fund to foodbanks located in a specific region of the UK. Starting in our heartland of the Northwest, we’ll be moving on to Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber, North East of England, East and West Midlands, Wales and the South West, South East England, East of England, Greater London and Northern Ireland.
But with so many excellent and well-deserving foodbanks across the UK, we need your help to choose which ones to support.
Each week, we’ll be asking you to tell us about a foodbank making a difference and doing excellent work within a specified region.
Please email your suggestion, including the foodbank’s name, contact details, charity number and a short paragraph describing why you think we should support them and what difference they are making within the community to firstname.lastname@example.org
From each batch of suggestions, we’ll randomly select ten to put forward for an MIS staff vote. The team will be voting based upon your paragraph describing what difference they are making in their community.
The foodbanks with the most votes will be contacted directly, and announced on our social media channels.
And if your chosen foodbank is selected by staff, we’ll also get in touch with you to let you know.
So keep an eye on our LinkedIn page to find out when we are looking for suggestions in your region.
For more information about the eligibility criteria for beneficiaries and the process we are using to allocate the donations, click here.