Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, has played a key role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  With a core purpose of keeping people safe, the company responded as soon as the pandemic was declared. Within 48 hours, Arco increased its National Distribution Centre shifts to a 24/7 operation to help make sure frontline responders and those working in critical businesses, were properly protected. Arco’s product and supply chain specialists worked quickly to source, procure and distribute over 140 million face masks, 18 million gloves, over 50,000 coveralls and 5,000,000 hygiene products to the NHS, ambulance services, other public health bodies, local authorities and critical industries.

However, the company’s commitment to supporting the communities it serves goes further.  Through its dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative and the Arco Community Panel, Arco delivered a programme of charitable support during 2020, with a number of initiatives focused on those needing support as a result of the pandemic.  To achieve this, the company created the Arco Coronavirus Grant scheme and invited employees to apply for 40 one off grants of up to £1,000 on behalf of organisations and charities in their local communities.   After receiving 44 high quality applications, the Arco Community Panel awarded grants to all 44 and a total of £42,000 was donated to causes including Hull Women’s Aid, Dove House Hospice, Kaleb’s Wish and Hull Vineyard Trust.  In 2021, the Arco Community Panel is preparing to launch its second tranche of Coronavirus Grants, totalling £50,000.

Arco also became a core funder to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) with a £250,000 donation, helping the charity respond to citizens’ needs when domestic disasters strike. During its recent Coronavirus Appeal, the NET allocated £89million to Community Foundations and other national funding partners across the UK as fairly as possible.  As a member of the NET’s ‘Patron’s Circle’, Arco’s support will enable the charity to distribute funds and activate appeals at speed, helping those in urgent need, and allowing it to continue providing support over the next three years should another UK disaster occur.

Arco’s commitment to corporate social responsibility activities is firmly embedded in its culture and purpose, encouraging employees to donate their time and skills to local charities and community projects on two paid volunteering days each year. This year, the business has extended its volunteer days programme for colleagues who have volunteered to support the NHS Covid-19 vaccine team alongside St John’s ambulance.

Each year, the company publishes the Arco in the Community Report, sharing and celebrating CSR initiatives and achievements.  A significant example of a long-term partnership is Arco’s 11-year association with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, working closely with the paramedics and YAA team to design bespoke hazard wear, custom fitted flight suits and protective wear.  It’s one of many partnerships which Arco is committed to supporting, both with financial support, as well as sharing colleague expertise and time.

David Evison, Managing Director, Arco, said: “Whilst our core purpose is to keep people safe at work and ensure they go home safely at the end of the day, we have always recognised our responsibilities to the communities within which we operate.  World CSR Day gave us the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the efforts of our colleagues and the great initiatives they have achieved.  Arco is committed to making a meaningful difference by providing support through donating colleagues’ time, volunteering and contributing substantial funds through charitable donations, fund matching and sponsorship of partnership agreements.

“The aim of our work is to do three things: to inspire local young people to achieve their full potential, to enhance local life, making the communities we serve better places to live and finally to align to our purpose, we aim to help keep communities safer. This year I am prouder than ever to share our achievements with other global businesses who have the same commitment to helping others”.

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.