2020 challenged yet connected us like never before. Alongside INEOS’ "Hands On!" Covid-19 response making vital supplies of hand sanitizer, we were determined to do our bit to support the local communities around our sites to deal with and recover from the unique challenges caused by the pandemic.
We know that local charities and community organisations have a special role to play in reaching some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, developing trusted relationships and implementing practical support programmes that work well. We also knew that the pandemic would threaten the very existence of some of these vital organisations through practical constraints and missed fundraising.
INEOS therefore created a £1m Community Fund. We asked our employees to help us identify and support local organisations most in need near their site or office, awarding grants of up to £10,000 (or local currency equivalent) to see them through the toughest months.
We asked for applications to the fund to address urgent social need created by the pandemic. This included providing protection and care for the elderly, homeless, disabled and otherwise vulnerable, supporting food banks with increased demand, providing domestic abuse and mental health support, and funding existing services such as hospices and care homes who were struggling with funding as a result of the pandemic.
We were overwhelmed by the positive response and proactivity of our sites. In the end 67 of our sites across 15 countries engaged with the fund, developing thorough and thoughtful applications, and ultimately sharing the £1m through 159 high impact grants.