National Business Response Network secures further £3m in donations from the Covid-19 Support Fund, National Lottery Community Fund and The UPS Foundation

  • The Covid-19 Support Fund joins London Stock Exchange Group and others as a founding partner, providing financial support to the rapidly growing Business in the Community initiative, making a £2.5m donation
  • The National Lottery Community Fund and The UPS Foundation donate £418k and £42k respectively and become supporting partners
  • More than 1,700 matches between business offers of support and schools, charities and local community groups across the UK have been made since lockdown began.


On the day that we are proud to announce a further £3m of donations to the National Business Response Network (NBRN), HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Asda, a Business in the Community member which has supported communities through the NBRN, to see the impact of responsible businesses during the pandemic. The NBRN is a Business in the Community initiative linking business resources to community needs arising from the pandemic in the right place, at the right time.

The Covid-19 Support Fund, an initiative by the insurance and long-term savings industry, has invested £2.5m into the NBRN; joining London Stock Exchange Group and others as founding partners. The Covid-19 Support Fund is supported by members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), Lloyd’s, The London Market Group (LMG) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA).

To date, more than 1,700 requests for help have been matched with business support by the NBRN, benefiting millions of people.

Asda has been a member of The Prince’s Responsible Business Network since 1985. Its commitment to tackling poverty through its Fight Hunger campaign has long been an inspiration to Business in the Community members and through the NBRN, it is helping alleviate town and city food hunger through local shops.
The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, and The UPS Foundation have also joined as NBRN supporting partners, donating £418k and £42k respectively. They join a growing network of partners including Nominet, the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the CBI.

Donations from founding and supporting partners support the acceleration of the efforts in this time of need and also provide help in the form of professional skills. The partnerships allow employees from across the country to contribute by using their skills and time to support local communities.

The NBRN focuses its activity on four key areas and is thus helping communities navigate their way through the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Food: Ensuring people have continued access to food
  • Technology: Support to enable children to continue learning, and older people to stay connected to families
  • Community support: Support to vulnerable groups and older people to enable continued access to food, healthcare, social interaction and other essentials
  • Small businesses: Creating resources with advice and practical tools specifically for small businesses; providing business continuity and wellbeing support through mentoring for small businesses

Recent examples of community needs matched with business offers of support:

  • Children in low-income families are struggling to learn from home, and risk being left behind. With libraries closed across the country, access to computers and the internet is difficult. BP responded to our request, recycling 100 laptops to help children keep learning.
  • People facing homelessness have been hit especially hard from this outbreak. With libraries closed and internet access being essential for accessing vital services, being able to connect to the internet has never been so important. Tesco responded to our request by donating nearly 800 mobile phones, preloaded with SIMs to 12 charities across the UK.
  • Throughout the pandemic, pressure on food banks has mounted as more and more people face food insecurity and have become reliant on their services. We connected LNER, which donated 10,000 sandwiches each week for the past 10 weeks, with organisations like FareShare which are helping keep people across the UK fed.
  • With schools and libraries closed, children that cannot access the internet at home are at risk of missing out on vital lessons, the ability to complete homework and to see their friends. We secured the support of the John Laing Charitable Trust which donated £6,000. The money was used by schools across the West Midlands for MiFi devices and stationery packs to ensure children could continue receiving their education.

Community organisations in need of help and businesses wanting to offer their support can visit the National Business Response Network online board of needs and offers: www.businessresponsecovid.org.uk

The four areas we most urgently need support from business are: food, technology, clothing and skills support.
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said:
“The National Business Response Network brings the immense power of responsible businesses to the doorsteps of those in need in our communities. We are extremely excited to have the support of the Covid-19 Support Fund as a founding partner as we scale the Network.
“Our successes over the last few months mean that we know what communities need as they battle the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent economic fall out on their towns and cities. We also know how vital business support is – and how important it is to get it to the right place at the right time. If your business can offer support, get in touch.
Yvonne Braun, Director of Policy, Long-Term Savings and Protection at the Association of British Insurers, said:
“Our sector set up the Covid-19 Support Fund to help those hardest hit by the crisis and BITC’s National Business Response Network is connecting businesses who can help on the ground with vulnerable communities where help is most needed.
“We’re delighted to become a founding partner of the Network and look forward to working with them on this fantastic initiative.”

Elly De Decker, Director for England funding at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“The NBRN is a great example of what happens when people and communities come together to support each other, particularly through the COVID crisis. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, this network will be able to build upon its invaluable work, listening and responding to the needs of communities most affected by the pandemic.”

Mark Vale, President, UK, Ireland and the Nordics at UPS:
“We’re proud to support BITC’s National Business Response Network in the UK; collaborative efforts are upholding our mission to build stronger, more resilient, and inclusive communities around the world.”


Media Contact:
Katherine Howbrook, head of media and external affairs, Business in the Community
Email: katherine.howbrook@bitc.org.uk, Tel: 07515 119 096

About the National Business Response Network
Business in the Community’s National Business Response Network links business resources to community needs in the right place, at the right time. Through an online platform, the NBRN shares what communities need and through Business in the Community’s vast regional and local connections with businesses and leaders on the ground, these are matched with donations and support. www.businessresponsecovid.org.uk

About Business in the Community
Business in the community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.

We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • Develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow;
  • Build thriving communities where people want to live and work;
  • Innovate to sustain and repair our planet.

www.bitc.org.uk