What was once the bustling heart of the capital is now little more than a ghost town. With office workers no longer in the City, much of the service industry has been decimated. According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment hit 6.9% in London in 3 months to November 2020 – the highest rate in the UK and the largest increase nationwide (1.7%) on the previous quarter.
At NTT DATA, we are committed to contributing to a more affluent and harmonious society. Now, more than ever, businesses must recognise their role in rebuilding a world torn apart by COVID. As governments across the globe raise their ambitions, so too must businesses.
The service industry holds a special place in the heart of the city. From coffee shops to newspaper stands, retailers to restaurants, service workers were an integral part of our lives commuting and working in London. One of these people was Pete. A City A.M. worker, Pete got to know NTT DATA staff as he gave out papers outside the Royal Exchange. He was a positive fixture in our lives, chatting and laughing, no matter the weather. Sadly, when the pandemic hit, he lost his job like so many others, as organisations were unable to renew contracts for City service staff.
The City Gives Back
Fearing the worst, my colleague Kim Gray, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, reached out to Pete at the start of the pandemic. This led to a discussion between the pair over lunch about what could be done to support those in need in the city – and so The City Gives Back was born.
The project will help bolster and expand The Food Pantry at CCSPITS, a food bank run by Christ Church Spitalfields. The City Gives Back will help CCSPITS’s important work supporting local families during the pandemic. Lots of families have been hit hard by the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the City service sector, as the decline in activity led to job losses in roles such as food and hospitality.
I would like to thank Bankuet for working with us to maximise the impact of The City Gives Back. Its innovative digital platform, relied upon by foodbanks around the UK, makes the process of donating as smooth as possible. All donations from The City Gives Back fundraising page will go directly to CCSPITS to be deployed for food supplies for those in need.
The Food Pantry at CCSPITS is already feeding 50 families per week, but the economic impact of the pandemic means the needs for its services is higher than ever. The City Gives Back will fundraise to help CCSPITS’s continual efforts to distribute food boxes to those in need, including service industry people left without a job as a result of the pandemic.
Both Pete and NTT DATA employees will give their time to help safely run the food bank and give food to those in need. Participating in activities like this is not only beneficial to those receiving the food, but also to those giving it. Giving back has always had a positive impact on mental health, and during lockdown as we are consumed by isolation, the beneficial effects are magnified.
At NTT DATA, we encourage our employees to regularly get involved with charitable initiatives, recognising the influence it has in both their personal and professional lives.
People are at the centre of all that we do here at NTT DATA. Whether that be our employees, our clients, or the wider public, our work is always people-centric, guided by our desire to make a positive impact on the world.
Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted people across the globe, it has also brought them closer, as communities unite on a common goal.
At NTT DATA, we were fortunate enough to adapt to the obstacles that the pandemic threw at us, going home to a roof over our heads and food on our tables.
Businesses have a responsibility to help right the wrongs inflicted by the pandemic, doing their bit to help build a better world when COVID-19 is hopefully just a distant memory.
Finally, special thanks to the amazing Mandy Clark, at ENP Media and the team at Resonance; you were all brilliant partners who donated their time in bringing The City Gives Back to life.
Anyone who wants to donate to help fund food supplies for The City Gives Back can give here: https://uk.nttdata.com/The-City-Gives-Back