Masks and hand sanitiser for key workers

Marco Corrado is a Senior Colleague Experience Manager for our colleagues in London and South West England. He recently worked as part of a team to get supplies to key workers in the UK. Here’s his story.

I think we all feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Like our hands are tied and we’re watching this huge disaster play out, unable to do anything about it. But, at times like this we’re judged by our actions, not our words.

That’s why I’m so proud to be part of a UK-wide team that have donated all our surplus masks and hand sanitisers to those on the frontline, from the emergency services to care homes. 

In a matter of days, we’ve donated thousands of facemasks and hundreds of hand sanitiser units, to help people stay safe.

How did it happen?

In late 2019, when we first heard reports of COVID-19, we bought masks and extra hand sanitiser to protect people working in our offices.  As COVID-19 worsened we started sending masks to Aviva’s most affected offices – like Italy and Singapore.

I’m Italian and worked at our Milan office in 2019 as part of an Aviva Pride initiative. My friends there said they were relieved and grateful. They said they felt part of a close-knit Aviva family. I felt so proud of our Italian colleagues.

Fast track to March 2020

The pandemic has affected us all and almost all of our UK workforce is working from home. As our buildings emptied, the need for the stocks of masks and sanitisers diminished. 

The idea to donate all our surplus stock came from someone in one of our Risk teams.  We soon got the go ahead. I was asked to work with my colleagues across the UK to identify stock we could donate and where they were needed.

By the end of the day...

We’d found 12 recipients from Bishopbriggs in Glasgow to Southampton who would receive much-needed face masks and sanitizing products. At the same time, we have made sure we have enough of these essential items at all our UK sites where Aviva’s own key workers are continuing to work and that all our buildings have enough stock for when they re-open. 

On day one, we delivered 800 face masks to the Metropolitan Police in London’s Upton Park. I was particularly moved by a call I made to a PC there at the station, he was so thankful for the donations.

We’ve had lots of amazing feedback since our first delivery.

I am humbled, proud and happy at the same time to see how this has benefitted so many essential, wonderful key workers. It’s been a real team effort from teams across the UK, our legendary security colleagues, and our leadership teams who provided unwavering support to make this happen.

“Adversity introduces a man to himself,” Albert Einstein

We’re all just trying to get through and it’s the times we’re helping each other that really stand out. I hope when this is over and we look back, the moments of kindness stay with us and the fear and worry fade. That we emerge aware of just what we can achieve when we’re up against it.