The coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses across the UK hard. Most have been forced to drastically reduce their trading or stop altogether under the strict lockdown restrictions in place across the country. Social enterprises are no exception to this. But many of them are finding innovative ways to pivot their work in line with these restrictions, to continue to fulfil their social missions. Here are five inspiring social enterprises doing just that…
As people everywhere isolate in their homes and practise social distancing, loneliness is becoming a problem for many. With its primary mission being to tackle loneliness and isolation, InCommon’s work has never been more urgent.
InCommon aims to connect people across generations by bringing young and old together to meet and learn from one another. As part of their programmes, primary school students visit elderly people living in retirement homes to socialise together and take part in educational activities. Given the current circumstances, InCommon has moved its services online. They’ve launched a new project called InCommon Buddies, which allows children and older people to stay in touch remotely and they’re now able to connect online and over the phone.
With restaurants and cafes shutting up shop, people are turning to online deliveries so they can chow down at home. In response to this demand, social enterprise catering company, Fat Macy’s is now offering a range of hampers and veg-boxes that can be ordered online. Their range includes an Easter hamper as well as a ‘Corona Care Package’.
Operating a delivery service means that Fat Macy’s can still offer delicious food while continuing to provide valuable training for young Londoners living in temporary accommodation.
Feed Me Good
While many of us are spending our days at home indoors, people are looking for things to stay occupied (particularly those at home with children).
Feed Me Good, a CIC providing health and wellbeing services, are offering free tips and classes online to keep people entertained and in good health during this period. They’re running classes on how to cook nutritious, homemade meals, providing advice on how to grow your own food, and suggesting fun ideas for activities that people can do with their families in lockdown.
With the demand for cleaning and sanitising products at a record high, companies have had to ramp up production and delivery.
Ethstat is a member-owned co-op and social enterprise that provides stationery and office supplies, including cleaning and washroom products. To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethstat has focused its efforts on providing in-demand products such as PPE supplies, hand sanitiser, cleaning & washroom products and supplies to equip home offices such as chairs, monitors, printer consumables and home stationery.
Throughout this period, they are still donating 100% of their profits to charity and are working hard to support where possible.
“We are providing essential food bags for the many hundreds of homeless people in our South London Community. We are working closely with Nightwatch Croydon and their fantastic team of volunteers to offer essential frontline help in the form of 5-day emergency food bags. We are donating gloves and sanitiser to local care homes. We are handing out robotic pet dogs and dementia dolls to lonely, vulnerable elderly people.” Yasmin Halai- Carter
The coronavirus crisis has thrown society’s key workers into the spotlight. They include healthcare professionals working on the front line treating patients; shop assistants and delivery drivers providing us with food and essentials; and cleaners who are helping to keep our public spaces safe.
Rising Stars are a cleaning company offering professional commercial and industrial cleaning services. They specialise in biohazard cleanups, deep cleans and waste removals. Not only do they deliver an essential service, but they also provide employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged groups, such as ex-offenders.
At this crucial time, Rising Stars are increasing their capacity to meet demand, helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in spaces such as hospitals, schools and vehicles for public transport.
If you’re in need of cleaning services at this time you can contact Rising Stars by phone on 01922–277117 or 07882 589997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rising Stars are also running a crowdfunding campaign to help protect key workers during the pandemic. You can show your support here.
In times like these, the work of social enterprises is more important than ever.
Supply Change exists to help social enterprises thrive by connecting them with organisations who want to make their spend matter. One of the ways we’re continuing to do this is by collating a directory of social businesses for buyers. The directory will allow buyers to see who they can still source from but also which organisations they can support, either financially or non-financially.
If your social enterprise is still offering goods and services or if you need support during this time, let us know by filling in this form and we’ll feature you in the directory.
We’re also crowdfunding so we can continue our work during the COVID-19 crisis. Donate to our campaign here.