THE charitable arm of the major Hampshire employer Zurich has announced a £2million support package for good causes working to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

The money from Zurich Community Trust will support local and national charities chosen by the insurer’s 4,500 UK staff, who include 600 at Whiteley.

Grants are already being made, with more to be released throughout the year as the magnitude of he coronavirus crisis becomes clear.

A “substantial” portion of the fund has been allocated to existing partnerships with smaller community and voluntary groups. There is also money for previous partners with whom the trust still has an active relationship.

Local charities to benefit include Solent Mind and KIDS, the charity for young carers in Fareham and Gosport.

Daily Echo:

Steve Grimmett, head of Zurich Community Trust, said: “We are aware of the huge impact Covid-19 is already having on charities. We’ve all seen how fundraising is being hit hard already at a time when demand for charities’ services is increasing along with the costs incurred to deliver these.

“In response, will are focusing our funding towards charities we have existing relationships with who are working to support individuals and communities hit hardest. We are working in partnership and will be here to support organisations over the coming weeks and months. At the same time, we’re looking at ways to deploy the support of our employees who are keen to share valuable skills and expertise with those working on the front line.”

The trust has increased its funding to national charity Dementia UK to £150,000 this year and is offering another £75,000 to the Alzheimer’s Society as part of the Insurance United Against Dementia campaign.

Partner charities are being contacted to see how Zurich employees can use their skills to help them.

A drop-in digital marketing surgery will be one of the first events to be hosted by Zurich’s marketing team, in response to requests from charities.

An external public relations workshop will look at how organisations can share stories about the services they are providing.

Zurich staff are being encouraged to use their three allocated volunteering days to support people affected by the crisis.

The insurer has launched a fundraising appeal among staff in aid of the National Emergencies Trust.

Zurich is also giving a three-month payment holiday to 14,000 small charities who are insured with the company.