Good Causes share £3.5 million from the Direct Line Group Community Fund

Our Community Fund has gone from strength to strength and we’ve continued to work with a number of the charities addressing three priority areas.

  1. Marginalised groups and loneliness
  2. Mental health and wellbeing
  3. Food poverty

Direct Line Group launched the Community Fund in 2020 to help communities affected by the panemic.

Since then we’ve been working with local councils and leaders to identify charities that support vulnerable people struggling during these difficult times. 

The first two phases saw the distribution of £2.5 million pounds to 200 charities, helping over one hundred thousand people with a range of support including emergency essentials, food, accommodation, PPE, mental health services and online educational access for children. 

The 2020 fund has focussed on supporting charities that help tackle issues such as social mobility, left behind groups, food poverty and public health.

Phase 1: DLG provided immediate support to the most vulnerable in society (April to May recipients)

  • Fareshare: Purchasing PPE to protect staff/volunteers
  • KidsOutSupporting refuge houses for mothers and children fleeing domestic violence, providing supermarket evouchers and toys
  • Ipswich: Emergency packs to the homeless
  • Birmingham: Hygiene, baby and child packs
  • LeedsProviding people in poverty with emergency food
  • Turn2us: Turn2us had a spike in demand for services in DLG office locations
  • Mind: Donation funded capacity to support an additional 40,000 calls during Covid
  • Trussell Trust: Contributed to 400,000 extra emergency parcels
  • Bromley: Community Links purchased food, supplies
  • Glasgow: Funding Council to purchase food, toiletries
  • Voluntary Action Doncaster:  volunteer expenses, food bank donation

Phase 2: A lifeline to small, local charities (June)

·         £500,000 distributed to 180 charities nominated by our people

Phase 3: Positive societal impact and legacy (launching today)

Mark Evans, Director of Marketing and Digital and lead for Direct Line Group’s Society pillar, said: “At the heart of our strategy is our vision is to be a ‘force for good’ and that means doing the right thing by our customers, our people, the planet and society.

“It’s this desire to be a ‘force for good’ that guides the business every single day. It’s the reason why we set up our Community Fund to provide support to people and communities most affected by Covid.” 

Kate Hainsworth, CEO, Leeds Community Foundation, said: “We help the most disadvantaged in society that are overlooked by other funding and support. Initially, we knew we had an immediate challenge make sure children were fed, but as the pandemic changed, so did our needs. We used the Direct Line Group Community Fund to provide digital access for families, supporting their educational needs. We also ran a campaign to remove the stigma from used school uniforms. The funding has been amazing and made such a difference to vulnerable families in Leeds.”

Dr Ron Daniels BEM, Executive Director, UK Sepsis Trust, said: “Patients recovering form Covid will experience changes to their psychological health, cognitive function and also physical after effects. We urgently need to help those that have survived Covid as well as those recovering from Sepsis. That’s why the money from the Direct Line Group Community Fund is critically important to enable us to expand our support team and help people that really need it right now.” 

Ben Harding, Regional Manager, Envision, commented: “In Bristol, we work with local businesses, schools and young people, building employability skills such as resilience. The Direct Line Group funding has enabled us to run two 12 week social action projects and help 30 young people develop business skills, consequently, supporting the local community.”

Catherine Sermon, Executive Director for Campaigns and Content at Business in the Community, said: “Thanks to the Direct Line Group Community Fund we were able to listen, learn and shine a spotlight on the inequalities that have become worse during the pandemic through engagement with hundreds of business leaders, community groups and young people. Through our research, funded by Direct Line Group, we have identified the key opportunities which we are using to challenge businesses to ‘Build Back Responsibly’ and make sure no one is left behind.”

Russell Warner, Quality Assurance Reviewer, Direct Line Group: commented: “When you have a child with additional needs, it’s reassuring to know that charities like the Brandon Trust exist. They help young people with disabilities learn vocational skills through working at the local Elm Tree Farm. They earn money through selling items at a local farmer’s market, but in 2019, money was stolen from the premises and their minibus was taken. The money from the Direct Line Group Community Fund was vital in keeping places like this open.”

Joanne Stock, Customer Relations, Direct Line Group, explained: “I’ve worked here for 10 years and the day our team went to Children's Hospice South West to help decorate the hospice for Christmas changed my life. I have two healthy children and I was so emotional, overwhelmed by the support the hospice provides, not just in critical care for sick children, but respite for their parents and even days out for the siblings so they feel involved too. I’m so pleased I nominated them and they were chosen to benefit from the Direct Line Group Community Fund.”

Debbie Holness, Group Audit, Direct Line Group, said: “When my mum died in 2017, St Christopher’s Hospice looked after her for the last month of her life. The nurses and volunteers can only be described as angels. They cared for my mum but also took care of us. I saw on the news that hospices were struggling for funding so I organised a sponsored run on VE Day raising £1,500 for St Christopher’s. When we had the opportunity to nominate a charity for the Direct Line Group Community Fund I had to nominate them to help other families going through what I went through.”

Yvette Speed, Social Responsibility Consultant, Direct Line Group, describes: “Co-ordinating all our charity giving, across all of our sites in UK has been such a humbling experience. When we launched our purpose and vision last year, we knew it had to be more than words, and we certainly put it into action. Charities have suffered huge deficits as people have been unable to fundraise, at a time when their communities needed support the most.” 

Find out more about how we contribute to our society here

Find out more about Leeds Community Foundation here

Find out more about Mind here

Find out more about Envision here                                                                                         

Find out more about Business in the Community here

Find out more about UK Sepsis Trust here                                                                             

Find ut more about KidsOut here