One of the few silver-linings of the current Covid 19 crisis has, without doubt, been the willingness of people to help. We should perhaps expect nothing less from our entrepreneurial client base but it has been particularly motivating and inspiring to see so many clients respond to the challenges of this unprecedented crisis and to witness the levels of generosity and ingenuity involved.
Examples of what our clients and contacts have been doing include converting distilleries to enable production of hand sanitiser and setting up a website to enable volunteers to provide essential shopping services to those self-isolating in their local communities.
In addition, we have numerous clients within the life science and healthcare industry who are contributing to the collaborative effort against Covid 19 in various ways, including: importing and developing ventilators; gene therapy research; providing urgent supplies of medical devices in relation to patient monitoring and diagnostic analysis; providing free access to drug trial management systems; and fast-tracking development of digital service platform to enable remote consultation and patient care services.
We has also seen new enterprises being created, such as Edinburgh Shield Force which, within a matter of a few weeks, had managed to raise over £30,000 in crowdfunding, brought-on over 100 volunteers, liaised successfully with key NHS stakeholders to obtain appropriate supply chain approval and – still within this timescale – set up a factory producing thousands of face shields a day!
We were also delighted to assist in an exciting initiative which aims to harness the potential of an ‘army’ of a volunteers capable of developing technical solutions to some of the key challenges being created by the crisis.
Given the pressures placed on our mental wellbeing by the crisis it was good to hear about the work of Five Areas Limited. It specialises in life skills training and materials and its Living Life to the Full website gets an astonishing 30 million + hits a year. It has published new material at www.llttf.com/corona to help people look after their wellbeing during the current lockdown as well as offering free access for secondary school age children and their parents to all course resources on its young persons site at llttfyp.com/corona.
In addition, it has recently agreed with a consortium of professional membership bodies representing various front line health care staff in the UK to provide free access to its llttf.com resources for all NHS staff and their families.
For our own part, we at MBM have sought to help as much as we can, whether through increasing our pro-bono work or by following one of our MBM core values: connecting people. A good example of the latter led to a local emergency services unit, which was running low on hand sanitiser, being supplied by clients, Muckle Brig Ltd, who we knew were making it from their Leith distillery and providing it for free to the emergency services.
We have always placed a strong focus on the importance of connecting people. Historically, that has been to ensure we are helping our clients as much as we can to grow their businesses. For the time being that purpose may have changed, however the importance of collaboration and connection is greater than ever.