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Friday, 3 April

Coronavirus Goodwill Stories From FM

Coronavirus Goodwill Stories From FM

With COVID-19 causing unprecedented disruption to planned events, facilities management companies are donating potentially wasted items to those in need at this difficult time.

In the mainstream media this week, we’ve seen many tales of goodwill and generosity. From communities rallying around to help protect the most vulnerable, to former football players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs opening up their two hotels for NHS staff free of charge, the gestures of kindness have been abundant.

Let’s take a look at some of the reactions of businesses in the facilities management sector


Willmott Dixon team diverts stationery kits to children in Midlands


“This is a time when we all need to work together to support each other.”

–Marie Wilkes

Senior Community Engagement Manager, Willmott Dixon


Over 800 stationery kits bound for a trade fair have been re-assigned to help pupils in the Midlands whose schools have closed as of today (Monday 23 March.)

Willmott Dixon, a contracting and interior fit-out group, moved quickly when they heard the government announcement by diverting the kits full of pens, notepads and other useful stationery items from their original destination at the Big Bang Careers Fair in Birmingham. Instead, the teams at the company’s Coleshill and Nottingham offices worked overnight to send the kits to a network of local schools.

Marie Wilkes, Willmott Dixon’s senior community engagement manager in the Midlands explained that when they heard the government’s school closure announcement, they wanted to see what they could do to help in a short space of time.




“One obvious way was redirecting the unused stationery kits destined for the Big Bang Careers Fair to local schools to help with home learning during this difficult time."

Despite the tight deadline, the Willmott Dixon team worked together to pack and distribute over eight hundred stationery kits on Thursday to schools in Birmingham, Warwickshire, Derby and Nottingham so they could be passed on to pupils before their schools closed.

 Marie continued: “This is a time when we all need to work together to support each other.”

 CHSA chocolates bring cheer to staff and parents at children’s hospital


“We had bought the chocolates for our Gala Ball, which has been postponed in light of the Coronavirus. Instead of letting them go to waste our secretary, Linda Belcher came up with the idea of giving them to Rocking Horse, the charity raising funds for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.”

–David Garcia

Vice President, Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA)


The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) were similarly left with spare merchandise when their Gala Ball was postponed.

“We had bought the chocolates for our Gala Ball, which has been postponed in light of the Coronavirus,” explained David Garcia, Vice President of the CHSA.  “Instead of letting them go to waste our secretary, Linda Belcher came up with the idea of giving them to Rocking Horse, the charity raising funds for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

“Our Gala Ball always raises thousands of pounds for charity, the nominated charity this year being Grief Encounter.  It supports young people coping with bereavement, so it seemed appropriate to donate the chocolates to the children’s hospitals.”

The chocolates were given to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton and the Chalkhill Hospital in Haywards Heath, Sussex.  

The state-of-the-art Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton offers pioneering paediatric care and provides inpatient facilities, including intensive care, and outpatient care, and a dedicated Children’s Emergency Department, for children across the whole of the South East. Over 45,000 young patients are treated at the Alex every year.

Chalkhill Hospital, in Haywards Heath, Sussex, treats children and young people (aged 12-18) experiencing emotional difficulties, mental health problems and eating disorders. 




Good news stories


Whilst keeping our readers up to date of any relevant COVID-19 news, we’ll also be looking to share more positive stories from the FM industry, and help facilitate support and guidance wherever we can during these uncertain times.

Picture: Repurposed stationery kits from Willmott Dixon and donated chocolates from CHSA

Article written by Ella Tansley


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