COVID-19 has forced us all to rethink the way we behave and operate. From implementing social distancing measures in production, to enabling entire workforces to operate from home during lockdown, to wearing a mask when out in public; businesses and communities have been forced to be nimble and flexible.
The pandemic has pushed us to adjust to a ‘new normal’. It has also created and, in some instances, exacerbated the issues facing our society. We are facing a rising tide of redundancies and unemployment, with the vulnerable most at risk. Officials warn that we are facing a ‘mental health tsunami’ as individuals face increasing demands at work and home. The ‘digital divide’ is starker than ever, with some homes being unable to access online support, education or work. Experts warn that the climate crisis is becoming more urgent and that it is a much bigger crisis than the one we are in currently.
The responsible business network, Business in the Community, is leading the charge for this campaign. Managing Director, Kieran Harding explains:
“The pandemic has provided serious difficulties for individuals and businesses. On the other hand, this year has also made the impossible, possible. Companies have been more generous, more supportive and more flexible than many said was conceivable. 2020 might have brought some of our hardest challenges, but it has also shown us that the sky is the limit when it comes to responsible business.
Power NI has partnered with Business in the Community to build back responsibly via their recent Digital Donations campaign. Power NI both donated £20,000 to the campaign and enhanced 50 schools with £500 grants to via staff led nominations.
Gwyneth Compston, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager comments;
“It’s important to us as a large local employer that we give our 430 staff the chance to practically support their local communities. This latest community programme dovetails perfectly with our current role as a Business in the Community NI Digital Donations Appeal partner. Digital access was a huge problem before the COVID pandemic struck, but the past year has really brought it to the fore and by working together we can hopefully make a difference right across Northern Ireland.”
Gwyneth continues highlighting the wider scope of work Power NI has
“We hope this contribution from Power NI and our staff will go some way to helping more children and young people to achieve their potential and go forward confidently and competently into their future world.”
The campaign is supported by champions including: SHS Group (Mental Health and Resilience); encirc (Inclusive Employment); Danske Bank, Power NI and PSNI (Digital Inclusion) and ABP Food Group, Danske Bank, encirc, Lidl, NI Water, Power NI, SONI, Translink and Deloitte (Climate Change).