May 2020: What ELBA & our member companies have been up to during lockdown
As lockdown continues, it seems to be busier than ever here at ELBA! Throughout May our member companies and supporters have stepped up their commitment and creativity even further to ensure the East London community is receiving the support and advice it needs at this difficult and stressful time. Here are just a few examples of the ways in which our member companies have been making a difference this month!
Last week, two HSBC volunteers delivered their first virtual employability session to a group of unemployed Hackney jobseekers. The workshop entitled ‘Adapting your speech or writing for different audiences,’ features as part of ELBA’s Enable: Communication Skills project. Despite concerns about delivering what would usually be a face to face session remotely, the group was fully engaged throughout and the session an all-round success. Some comments from beneficiaries were:“Formal vs Informal speech was really helpful”; “This will definitely help me with my presenting”; “Recognising your audience is really good advice”. With unemployment rapidly on the rise, these workshops for jobseekers will be greatly needed by our local communities. Both volunteers thoroughly enjoyed running the workshop and will be volunteering to do more. Thanks HSBC!
Working with the BIG Alliance in Islington, Macquarie Group and Slaughter and May have done an incredible job mobilising employees to help organisations to not just survive but thrive after the pandemic. Recruitment has now risen to over 50 volunteers supporting nine organisations through the CoRe (Community Resourcing) Programme, an increase from CoRe 2019. Moreover, the programme has been converted to deliver all volunteer support remotely, with Macquarie Group providing access to their Webex software to enable the community partners to stay connected and share what they need most with their designated CoRe volunteer team.
A team of 20 Employment Lawyers from Clyde & Co kindly offered their services to community partners who require employment advice during this period. Without advice and guidance from experts, trying to get your head round, for example, the furlough process can be completely overwhelming, particularly at a time when charities are under immense pressure. We have been able to match the majority of the volunteers to organisations who have found this pro-bono support invaluable. Matt Harrop, a Senior Associate within the team has been particularly generous with his time and has now offered advice on three separate occasions!
A variety of our members have engaged in enabling a huge variety of support for our Team Challenge causes, including our Virtual Food Drive and Online Befriending Services. Natwest have raised over £4000 for the virtual food drive, and donated 800 PC screens for local community organisations, and Mazars are running 1637km in a relay that would take them across all their offices in the UK – all to raise money for Team Challenges causes!
And finally, some good news from our member company J.P. Morgan, who is helping to address immediate humanitarian needs and long-term economic challenges posed by this global pandemic. The firm has made a $250 million global business and philanthropic commitment to help the vulnerable small businesses and people who have been hard-hit by the crisis in underserved communities across the world.
Thank you to all our member companies, volunteers and supporters for keeping the East London community going at this time!