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Gloucestershire Business News

Big businesses give food, tech and care essentials in South West

A charity set up by The Prince of Wales has got businesses to step up and help more than 86,7000 people in the South West, as they struggled to get the food, digital technology and care essentials they needed to survive the impact of Covid-19 on their jobs, lives and communities.

Since the start of the pandemic,  the  National Business Response Network  (created  by Business in the Community)  has been  tracking down business support for  local community groups, schools and charities in need, matching them with big businesses which can donate goods or services. So far, the charity has helped half a million people across the UK to get what they need - from food parcels to laptops.

But  businesses need to do more. Further restrictions and a harsh winter ahead mean that communities  across the South West are still in desperate need of food, clothing, care essentials and digital skills.

In a video recorded for BITC's Responsible Business Live Event this month, HRH The Prince of Wales and royal founding patron of BITC, said:  "For very nearly four decades I have been adamant about the vital role that business has to play in communities; after all, that ambition was one of the foundation stones of BITC itself back in 1982. At the time, we may not have had a global pandemic in mind, but in many ways the National Business Response Network is the ultimate realisation of the dream that we shared almost 40 years ago. I need hardly say how immensely grateful I am to every business leader who has had the courage to support it. I have no doubt that those who have done so have changed countless lives."

Rick Sturge, CFO, Bloodhound Land Speed Record Project and chair of BITC's South West Regional Leadership Board,  said: "Anyone with their ear to the ground in the South West knows that there are many people who are in desperate need of support. BITC's National Business Response Network is the best way for businesses to lend a hand - and to change lives."

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: "People  across the South West  are locked into a battle against Covid-19 this winter. BITC's National Business Response Network has already changed  thousands of  lives - bringing the might of businesses to our doorsteps. But  companies  can do more. Together we can make sure the right support at the right time gets to the right place."

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