Covea employees make donations to over 100 Covid-19 charity heroes


Covéa Insurance employees have nominated over 100 charities to share in a £100,000 fund donated by the insurance business.  The insurance company invited its employees to nominate charities of their choice that they feel passionate about supporting, recognising the heroic efforts of those carrying out vital work in local communities during the pandemic. The company was inundated with heartfelt requests, some very personal, covering causes from health, domestic abuse and poverty, through to equality, mental health and animal welfare.  Faced with so many worthwhile causes, the company decided that every single charity nominated by employees should benefit and has now begun distributing funds.

Covéa Insurance People Director, Lisa Meigh explains:

“Supporting and giving back to our community has always been an integral part of our company culture. Normally our people would be driving a jam-packed calendar of charity fundraising events and initiatives, but in light of the crisis and not being together they haven’t been able to do this. We know that many charities, large and small, have struggled with funding during recent months and that many of our employees are missing the opportunities to get involved and help their communities at a time when it is most needed.  This donation has empowered our people to be able to help charities they feel passionately about by asking them to choose where the money goes. The response from our people has been overwhelming and their stories behind their nominations have been incredibly moving. We are immensely proud of the passion and depth of feeling of our people, and that we are able to support them in giving back to make a difference to so many charities that are missing out on vital funding due to the crisis.”

Charities chosen to receive the money are as diverse as the employees who nominated them, with some having very personal meaning to employees.  Here is a small selection.

St Gemma’s hospice, Leeds “St Gemma's Hospice cared for my wife in her final days last year and is truly a special place that goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional care and support to patients and their families at the most difficult of times. They have had to cancel numerous fundraising events this year due to Covid-19 in addition to having to close their network of charity shops, but despite this severe impact on their funds they have stepped up and are offering more services including a telephone support line for those affected by the coronavirus, which is open to anyone. I really cannot think of a more worthy cause to support.”

Berkshire Women’s Aid “Domestic abuse increased considerably during lockdown, with many more women and children needing vital support. Berkshire Women’s Aid provide emergency support, outreach services and group sessions to assist victims of this crime.  I have had first-hand experience of their services and they have been amazing.”

Halifax Homeless and Community Kitchen “The volunteers who run this community kitchen work selflessly, week in week out, alongside their family responsibilities and day jobs to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people in our community have food.  Before the pandemic they ran a street kitchen feeding the homeless outside the bus station and during the week ensured that surplus food was collected and redistributed from local supermarkets and food shops/restaurants and cafe's to families on the breadline in the local community.  During the pandemic volunteers who were furloughed from their day jobs turned full time to ensuring surplus food reached as many people as possible across the community.  They not only help people with food but they talk to them and help them seek whatever additional help they need by signposting them to other organisations that can help.  To say that these people really help the local community and make our town a better place is an understatement.”

Reading Together “Following the recent events in Forbury Gardens, I wanted to pick a charity which helped the people around me. This was especially important to me because I used to work with one of the victims. This charity is supporting the families of the victims as well as those who were injured in the attacks. The money will be put towards a permanent memorial; and to provide other support for the people of Reading to come to terms with what has happened within our town.”

Woke Babies “Woke babies is a charity which makes it easier to discover children's books with black characters. In 2017 only 1% of children's books had a black protagonist. When I was growing up, I couldn't remember hardly any books with anybody who looked like me - i.e. mixed race. The few books with black protagonists would probably be recognised today as portraying people in a stereotypical way sometimes frankly bordering on offensive.  I believe that every child should be able to see themselves reflected positively in films, TV and in literature. It is a way of helping us to see where we fit in and the endless possibilities. I was blown away by a news item about this charity, they talked about how when a child connects with a book, it can help to transcend boundaries, enhance imagination and empower children to believe that anything is possible... I love that sentiment of everything being possible regardless of who you are. Is this just for black children? Absolutely not. Woke Babies is for ALL children so they can start to see the world through lots of different lenses and value each other’s differences.”

CoppaFeel! “This charity saved my life, they encourage young people to get to know their bodies, especially boobs and to have the confidence to talk to someone if something is not right. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer aged 31 and felt as though I was the only young person going through this before I found CoppaFeel !I have now volunteered with them for 6 years (6 years today), going out to schools and businesses talking about my experience and empowering young people. This charity is tiny and all awareness and fundraising activity (other than on social media, birthday fundraising etc) has had to stop.”

Born Too soon “I have not had the time to revisit the charity for a little while, but they are the reason we celebrated a lock down 7th birthday last week. My daughter Charlie was born 3 months early and weighed in at 900g (if you go on the sites landing page she was just like the little one in the incubator holding a finger wearing a knitted hat to keep warm). It is stressful for anyone having a baby, to have one premature especially early term is even worse. They are fighting for life and need all the help they can get to do so. But to consider recent events, when at your most vulnerable, to fear even entering a hospital yet also having to face leaving your cherished new family member in their care when they themselves are in the most vulnerable COVID category must be a tension I can only guess at. How the amazing specialists in the neonatal unit managed this astonishing tension I don't know. Probably as calmly and professionally as they did for me and my family 7 years ago. This NHS trust would not have the equipment to provide this care if it wasn't for this charity, a sad fact of the NHS funding limits. I owe them everything.”

Involve Kent “Involve Kent have provided amazing support to my family since my Dad was diagnosed with dementia. The often unseen impact of conditions such as dementia is on the loved ones who become their carers – unbelievably 3 in 5 of us will become carers at some point in our lives. Involve aim to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of Carers. They support Carers in their caring role; enabling people to provide unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not manage without help. They value and enhance the contribution Carers make to society by giving their time and support to others.”

Charity recipient, Heart of Kent Hospice Fundraising Director, Ann-Marie Kelly said:

“Heart of Kent Hospice has been at the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve adapted all of our services, so we can continue to provide expert care and compassion to people with a terminal illness and their families in our community.  The Hospice has been severely impacted by the pandemic and in April we had to launch an urgent appeal. We are so very grateful to receive £5,000 from Covéa towards our appeal. As a charity partner, Covéa employees have volunteered for our Hospice and we know the charity holds a special place for those who have experienced our care first hand. The whole Hospice team join me in saying - Thank you Covéa.”

Authored by Covea


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