AJ Bell employees are giving their wages to FairShare and CVS Salford who are helping to provide food to vulnerable people in society during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff working for AJ Bell haven’t been furloughed like staff from many other local businesses but they have used their position of strength to help local charities like CVS Salford and FairShare provide food for those in much less privileged positions.
AJ Bell’s head of PR Charlie Musson described what they are doing, as he said: “We were looking at how we could give something back and one of the things we came up with was to set up a fund, the wage war on COVID fund.
“A number of our staff including Andy our chief executive, some of our directors and lots of other staff have given up all or part of their wages for April, May and June.”
Musson continued to say: “There is also a donation going to the AJ Bell trust which is a charitable trust that we run and we’ve been fundraising with our customers and just the general public.
“We have £150,000 in the funds so far from the first month which is great and we’d expect that to increase because May and June salaries wouldn’t have gone in yet.”
Having made the decision to voluntary give their wages up, the next challenge was to decide who they wanted the money to go to.
“We were looking around for initiatives in the local area and foodbanks came through as providing vital services at the best of times but right now their under pressure as is everyone else.
“Their services are more vital than ever at a time where people can’t go out and get food for themselves, so that became a natural first initiative and then we selected FairShare and Salford CVS as our two partners to do that.”
Musson believes that giving something back to those in vulnerable situations during this pandemic is vital: “We think it’s really important, I think we’re seeing acts of kindness, generosity and community spirit all around us.
“Which is really encouraging and gives some indication that we’re going to come through this crisis stronger as a country and we wanted to play our part in that.”
This is fantastic news, thank you @AJBellGroup for initiating the Wage War on COVID Fund & supporting @FareShareUK & @SalfordCVS Both organisations do great work across the City of Salford supporting residents & vulnerable members of our communities at this time. #SpiritOfSalford https://t.co/8qdyutANFL
— SalfordMayor (@salford_mayor) May 4, 2020
He went on to say that it wasn’t difficult getting staff to help out for the good cause: “We’ve got lot’s of members of staff that wanted to do something to help and they’ve been prepared to give up all or part of their salary for those three months.”
In a press release from AJ Bell, the companies chief executive Andy Bell spoke highly of his employers and customers for their help in this initiative.
“The support we’ve had for our Wage War on COVID fund from staff, customers, advisers and the public has been fantastic and quite humbling.
“It really highlights the community spirit we are seeing everyday right across the country and gives huge encouragement that we will come through this crisis stronger and more resilient than ever.”
Both charities who AJ Bell are donating their funds to responded with much appreciation for their act of goodwill.
FairShare who are the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, thanked AJ Bell for their generosity in the press release.
“We welcome the generous donation by AJ Bell, which is needed now more than ever as we work to get intercept more surplus food from the food industry and get it onto the plates of those who need it most.”
They also explained in more detail where the money from AJ Bell would be going.
“FareShare is committed to ramping up its support throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing vital food supplies each week to charities and schools across Greater Manchester.”
— FareShare Greater Manchester (@FareShareGtrM) May 4, 2020
Whilst CVS Salford are a voluntary organisation who provide support for VCSE organisations including training their staff, volunteers and trustees.
However, they have partnered with: “Salford Foodshare Network, NHS Salford CCG and Salford City Council, alongside Salford’s many voluntary organisations and community groups, to support our communities during this pandemic.”
They likewise showed their gratitude for AJ Bell’s support in these testing times for society.
“Partnership working across sectors has never been more important, so we are hugely appreciative of the donation AJ Bell is making to support our efforts to ensure local people can access nutritional food during and beyond lockdown.
“Truly the Spirit of Salford.”