More than three quarters of UK workers want their employers to play an active role during UK disasters

76% of employees want the company they work for to play an active role during UK disasters such as major floods, terror attacks or another pandemic, according to new research released today by disaster response charity, the National Emergencies Trust and Business in the Community (BITC).

In the aftermath of national crises, UK workers want their employer to provide wellbeing support to any colleagues who may be affected (32%). They also want them to step up for other people affected by donating items (32%), raising funds or making a donation (31%).

The Opinium survey revealed that workers also want to play their part during national emergencies. Almost a third want support from their employer so that they and their colleagues can volunteer their time (29%) while a quarter (26%) would like their employer to help them and colleagues to fundraise for those affected.

The findings are released today as the National Emergencies Trust launches its Appeal Partners Programme, which has been developed in collaboration with Business in the Community (BITC). The Programme invites networked organisations and UK companies to raise vital awareness and funds during future emergencies to provide as much support as possible to survivors and their loved ones.

Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said:

“This research reinforces the incredible appetite to help, that we saw during the pandemic when our Coronavirus Appeal benefitted from the expertise of hundreds of volunteers, while company fundraising contributed more than 40 per cent of the £100 million raised.”

“We’ve developed the Appeal Partners Programme to build on this appetite. It invites companies and networks across the UK to stand alongside our incredible Corporate Patrons during future national emergencies. By pooling our collective resources, channels and expertise at speed, we can make a meaningful difference to people’s lives when it really matters.”

Mary Macleod, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said:

“Whether it’s another pandemic or a nationwide cyber-attack, many of the risks the UK faces would have nationwide implications, meaning a whole-society response will be vital. Businesses have the expertise and networks to be central to this, so it’s essential to continue to create clear pathways for them to play their part. Many people want to volunteer and help when national disasters occur but don’t know how. The UK has nearly 33 million employees, meaning there is a clear societal benefit if employers encourage their teams to help others during a national disaster. National Emergencies Trust’s new programme will enable more employers to do this, and that’s why Business in the Community is proud to be a founding partner.”

The National Emergencies Trust’s Patrons, which include Arnold Clark, Co-op, Christopher Laing Foundation, Clarion Housing Group, M&G plc, NatWest Group, Sky and Tesco, support the charity year-round to ensure that it can activate at speed when domestic disasters arise. They also play an active part during its emergency fundraising appeals.

The Appeal Partners Programme will now welcome wider companies and networks to offer short-term support during national emergencies. This could include offering use of their channels; and harnessing their colleagues and networks to raise vital awareness and funds. Arup, Business in the Community (BITC), Crowdfunder UK and Royal Mail are the first Appeal Partners to join the Programme.

The Opinium research reveals how organisations could benefit from playing an active role during national emergencies. More than a third (39%) of the 4,000 UK adults polled said it was a way for companies to show they care about the communities they serve, 37% said companies could show that they live their values, while 30% felt it was a way for companies to strengthen their culture.

To find out more about the Appeal Partners Programme visit:

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