As measures begin to be eased across the UK, we have taken the opportunity to look back at what has happened in the 100 days since the country went into lockdown.
Since the announcement on 23 March 2020 our primary focus has been the health, safety and wellbeing of our NorthEdge and portfolio company teams.
From the beginning we concentrated on supporting our portfolio by disseminating key information through a co-ordinated approach, which allowed management teams to connect and share insight, best practice and other helpful information.
Whilst the majority of us had to rapidly shift to working from home, some of our businesses continued to work on the front line whilst a couple had to shut completely in the national fight against Covid-19. Irrespective of the challenges our businesses have faced we’re proud of how our management teams have tackled the challenge head-on, stepped up to minimise risk and ensure that their businesses emerge stronger on the other side. We also recognise that our investment and portfolio teams have forged even stronger relationships with the businesses and teams that we work with. And, through all of this, team culture across our own business and the portfolio has strengthened during the most unprecedented of circumstances.
In the community
At NorthEdge we are committed to supporting our local communities, who have needed more help than ever in recent months. Our portfolio of businesses have also undertaken significant acts of kindness in these incredibly challenging times to support their teams, charities and communities.
We all recognise the incredible contribution that independent foodbanks and those serving the homeless have made, day in day out, on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic. In March the NorthEdge team donated to three chosen charities, Helping Hands of Birmingham; Greater Together Manchester & The Leeds Fund, to help support our regional communities through an unprecedented period.
More recently we have worked with Business in the Community to donate our old phones to Disability Stockport, helping staff members and volunteers to continue to support people during lockdown, as well as donating a number of COVID testing kits to the Nightingale Hospitals.
From our portfolio, Abbey Logistics has been providing their front line workers with healthy food packages for when they are on the road, as well as committing to a recognition payment at the end of the year for their front line employees to acknowledge their hard work and commitment during the pandemic. The team has also kept the wider Abbey family involved, with pictures drawn by the teams’ children printed on the back of their tankers to remind everyone to stay positive and to give thanks for all the key workers across the UK.
Clearly Drinks has been supporting local food banks, hospitals and the Salvation Army by regularly donating bottles of Perfectly Clear, they have also teamed up with Blueline taxis ‘grab app’ to ensure people who have been unable to leave the house during lockdown were still able to access local produce in the North East.
Orbis Protect has been working with Changing Lives, an award-winning charity that offers accommodation for those experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse – they have been offering their infection control fogging service free of charge at 12 of the charity’s premises across the North. Meanwhile, Belfield has been working hard to support the NHS by aiming to supply up to 75,000 gowns per week.
Throughout lockdown, whilst not losing sight of the impact that Covid-19 has had, and may continue to have, we have encouraged our teams to remain focussed on growth and opportunities. While the pandemic is not over yet, we are confident we have the best teams in place across NorthEdge and our portfolio to lead us through the crisis.