Kindness, both toward ourselves and others, is more vital than ever. That’s why it’s the perfect theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. An international study by Health Europa found that 41 percent of Britain’s population is at risk of mental health issues as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, despite this concerning figure, we have also seen an incredible number of individuals and businesses step up to support people in need, proving that the light of human kindness can be found in even the darkest situations.
While the pandemic has forced many practices and businesses to rethink their models, a positive trend has emerged as companies look to become even kinder, more conscientious enterprises. To celebrate this, we’re looking at some Xero businesses and partners that work to bring a little more kindness into the world, offering hope in uncertain times.
Spreading kindness through food
Toast Ale is a brewery which uses surplus bread that would otherwise go to waste as the foundation for their beer. The company has rapidly adapted to continue serving beer via its revamped website and online shop, and supporting its altruistic causes, despite the UK lockdown. The company is continuing its commitment to kindness by launching a Meal Deal as a part of their online shop: for every beer purchased, Toast Ale will fund a meal for someone in need using surplus food, mostly from shuttered restaurants. “We’ve already raised enough funds to feed over 15,000 people,” says Louisa Ziane, Toast COO.
Britain’s largest vegan restaurant, Erpingham House, is also working on bringing people together. The carbon-free vegan kitchen uses social media to issue weekly challenges that encourage people to try new things and stay healthy during the lockdown. They release a list of ingredients to their Instagram followers and encourage them to come up with a dish. The winner receives vouchers to the restaurant, and everyone gets to come together to support the restaurant’s cause: sustainable, responsible, healthy, and tasty food for everyone.
After working all day in a stressful environment, worrying about affording a healthy, nutritious meal should be the last thing on an NHS worker’s mind. That’s why Food4Heroes – launched in March – has attracted hundreds of volunteers. The charity currently serves 22 hospitals across the UK and works with more than 50 catering organisations to supply frontline healthcare workers with food, for free.
Sharing business skills and resources
Pam Phillips, a founder of accounting firm de Jong & Phillips, is working around the clock to provide her clients with up-to-date information about government relief measures. She is encouraging them to think creatively and positively about how they can pivot to adapt to this situation. The firm has also made much of their support available for free, including telephone support, templates and webinars.
Ashton McGill, another accounting firm, is equally committed to their customers and the community. The firm recently launched a 10-week online Business Model Training course over Zoom, which will provide businesses with the tools they need to adapt their organisation. Users pay what they can for the course, with a recommended donation of £25. Ashton McGill then donates all of the money to the NHS.
We hope these examples have inspired you to spread kindness – among your business, practice and beyond. We are all human, and in challenging times like this, we must show compassion towards one another. Collective actions, no matter how big or small, from individuals and their businesses, really do add up. Together we can truly make a difference.
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