As the UK’s lockdown continues and the impact of coronavirus is gradually felt more and more, PA has compiled some of the good news from the week in an attempt to keep spirits high.
AJ Bell Covid-19 support
AJ Bell has set up a new fund aimed at raising money to help charities that support people in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wage War on Covid-19 fund, revealed on Wednesday (8 April), will operate through the AJ Bell Trust, which has kickstarted the fundraising by allocating £50,000 of its charitable reserves to the fund.
A number of AJ Bell's workers have chosen to donate part of their wages to the fund and the public is encouraged to contribute also.
AJ Bell chief executive and co-founder Andy Bell said his company would not take advantage of the coronavirus government support scheme, as it "should be preserved for companies that need it most.
"Businesses with a social conscience will assess the various support schemes through the lend of need and not entitlement. Every pound claimed under one of the government's financial support schemes is a pound that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back," he said.
"I acknowledge that many businesses have been hit very hard and these support schemes are an essential lifeline for them."
To donate to the fund, click here.
Sesame Bankhall offers free counselling to its advisers
Adviser network Sesame Bankhall has partnered with employee support group Care First to offer advisers free access to health and wellbeing support during the coronavirus pandemic.
The service, available around the clock, will include confidential online support and access to Care First's team of counsellors and is designed to help people deal with a range of emotional and workplace issues.
Sesame managing director Richard Howells said: "With more advisers now working remotely, possibly for the first time, it's posing challenges for how business owners look after their staff and ensure they maintain a healthy work/life balance.
"This is of paramount importance to ensure that advisers are well placed to look after themselves, their clients and continue to trade safely through this time of uncertainty."
ESG fund group launches Covid-19 campaign
Bath-based specialist ESG asset manager Alquity has announced a new campaign designed to financially support those who are likely to suffer the most during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alquity's 40-40 campaign will see the group donate 40% of net management fees from new investments into their funds to support disadvantaged people in the emerging markets they invest in.
Alquity chairman Paul Robinson said: "Our 40-40 Campaign is our response to the severe economic and social hardship the coronavirus pandemic will cause many people around the world. Alquity has always believed that wherever you are born, you should have an equal opportunity in life and this is even more relevant today.
"As some of the freedoms and comforts we are used to in developed countries are dramatically reduced, we are getting a glimpse of what daily life is like for a some of the poorest people on the planet. This is our chance to transform investment and create a fairer, more sustainable society."
The campaign's commitment quadruples Alquity's usual donation of 10% to these social support groups as part of its business model, and will occur for the rest of 2020.
The money raised will be delivered to charity partners working on projects specifically designed to alleviate the impacts of Covid-19, through the asset manager's Transforming Lives foundation.
The foundation has committed an initial US$40,000 (£32,158) as part of the campaign's launch and is working to identify further specific programmes to help those in need during the crisis.
Altus redecorates charity town hall
In seemingly non-coronavirus related news, financial services and software group Altus Consulting have donated its time to redecorating counselling rooms used by charity counselling group Off The Record.
A group of five employees Altus workers visited the Town Hall in Midsomer Norton, Somerset recently to redecorating the counselling rooms used by local charity Off The Record.
Midsomer Norton Community Trust manager Alex Davis said the counselling rooms were important spaces for a lot of people and the work Altus did would "benefit so many of the town's residents for years to come".
"As well as the young people who benefit from the fantastic work by Off The Record, they are regularly used throughout the week by groups helping everyone from new families to those struggling with bereavements," he said.
Altus Consulting operations manager Alison Collier said: "I'm really pleased we are able to continue supporting OTR, when they mentioned the space at Midsomer Norton needed some TLC we were more than happy to gather a team and materials."
Conned £4.5m from clients
'People feel thankful'
Avoiding ‘big mistakes’
Leaves wife and children behind
Part of Covid-19 hub
'Larger than life figure'
Conned £4.5m from clients
'People feel thankful'
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