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Helping to protect lives and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic


Average read time: 6 minutes

Unilever UK & Ireland is working with the NHS and a range of partners to support the hospitals and communities local to their sites.

Lifebuoy handwashing

Across the UK

  • Unilever has committed £3.5 million worth of donations of food and essential products to existing charity partners, working especially closely with FareShare, InKind Direct and Community Shop, to support vulnerable people and those most in need across the UK, as well as supporting the hospitals and local charities in the communities in which it operates.
  • To support the opening of the new Nightingale Hospital in East London, Unilever donated an initial 3,000 care packages for nurses which included products such as Simple face wipes, Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner and Vaseline hand lotions and lip balms and is donating an additional 5,000 Dove care packages. Additionally, Unilever donated PG tips, healthy Graze snacks and easy to eat food pots including Pot Noodle and Prep Co for use by staff at the hospital.
  • We adapted manufacturing lines at our deodorants’ factory in Leeds to produce much needed supplies of hand sanitiser which we donated to local NHS hospitals and to our charity partner QEF, who work with and support disabled people and their families.
  • Unilever is proud to be one of the companies who are part of the Ventilator Consortium UK. They have shared their technical expertise and helped to engage their own partner network with the consortium, as well as providing PPE, essential food, surface cleaner and hygiene products to support those who are manufacturing the ventilators and parts.
  • To support those facing homelessness during Covid-19, Unilever is supporting a UK-wide initiative led by the NHS and Crisis to distribute personal care items to homeless people across the UK donating over 60,000 products including deodorant, toothpaste and combs and hairbrushes, as well as donating 20,000 Pot Noodles to Social Bite, a charity supporting homeless people across Scotland.
  • We’re proud to have partnered with Salute The NHS and their campaign to support our amazing NHS. We’ve donated over 500,000 products to create ‘Sooth & Care’ packs, which are being delivered to designated Covid-19 hospitals, as well as directly to the homes of health care workers who are having to self-isolate. The Dove, Vaseline, Simple and Radox products included have been specifically selected to help NHS doctors, nurses and staff care for their skin after long days wearing PPE.
  • Our Unilever Food Solutions ‘Elderly Care’ team are helping care homes across the country by creating free resources to support the physical and mental wellbeing of their residents during Covid-19. These include ‘Hydration Kits’ with posters and activity sheets to encourage residents to stay better hydrated, a guide to video calling so residents stay digitally connected, as well as recipe books for the care home kitchens to provide nutritional and uplifting meals.

Across Ireland

  • Unilever Ireland are proud to support the HSE (Health Service Executive) and their charity partners in their efforts to assist those most in need during this public health emergency. Working closely with HSE, they are providing donations for front line medical staff, and working with charity agencies such as Alone, Simon Community, Focus Ireland, St Vincent de Paul and Peter McVerry Trust, Unilever Ireland has ensured 170 pallets of essential food and cleaning products are available to support the vital services offered by the charities throughout Ireland.
  • To further support crucial community health service, Unilever Ireland have partnered with Total health Pharmacy Team and Calco Ireland Ltd, shipping 2,000 care packs for acute and ICU staff in 10 hospitals. Each pack contains shower gel, shampoo, deodorant and energy snacks, which the Unilever team hope will provide some comfort and respite to the heroic staff during their long shifts.
  • In addition, employees in Unilever Ireland employees donated 100 Easter Eggs to a local Nursing Care Centre, TLC, which specialises in the care of the elderly and persons with Dementia.

In their communities

  • In addition to support at national level, Unilever has been looking to support the communities and hospitals local to their sites. This has included product donations such as hand cream and hand wash, shower gels, teabags and Pot Noodles, as well as donating PPE and masks where there is available stock.
  • Unilever has committed to providing freezers to their local hospitals, working with Eden Farm to deliver freezers to 17 hospitals across the UK which they will keep topped up with free ice cream for NHS staff.
  • Amongst other community examples, Unilever and their catering supplier Sodexo have offered free accommodation at their training centre near to Kingston Hospital for NHS staff who are not able to live with their families whilst they are working on the frontline tackling the virus.

Unilever UK & Ireland Brands

  • Unilever brands are using their connection with the people that use their products, to both support those who are most vulnerable and to teach and encourage safer hand washing and cleaning practices.
    • Dove is redirecting media investment behind some of their advertising to reinforce the WHO guidance on the importance of hand washing properly and frequently.
    • As part of their purpose to reduce loneliness in the UK, PG tips has partnered with Re-Engage, a charity that combats social isolation. PG Tips is funding the training of 2,000 volunteers who will phone the elderly and the isolated during the Covid-19 outbreak.
    • Domestos has swiftly developed an education campaign to enable consumers to effectively and hygienically clean within their homes.
    • Persil, famous for its ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign which encourages outdoor play for children, has responded by creating a campaign that encourages families to stay in and play in the home.
    • As part of their ‘Cook Less, Live More’ campaign, Pot Noodle is committed to inspiring future careers with their ‘alternative internship’ programme. This year, their usual tour of career fairs is being provided virtually to young people across the country to keep them engaged with stirring up their future whilst they stay indoors.

Around the world

  • The company’s actions in the UK & Ireland are part of Unilever’s global effort to help protect the lives and livelihoods of the communities it supports, including its consumers, its customers and suppliers, and workforce, with worldwide contributions of more than €100 million to continue helping those affected.
  • Working with the UK Government, Unilever is launching a global programme to tackle the spread of Covid-19 through increasing access to hygiene products, a public awareness campaign and a hygiene behaviour-change programme.

Sebastian Munden, General Manager for Unilever UK & Ireland, said “I am incredibly proud of the speedy response shown by everyone at Unilever UK & Ireland amidst what has been, and continues to be, a time of unprecedented change. It has allowed us to work quickly and closely with our existing charity partners, parts of the NHS, and many others to support wherever we can and get products to those that need them the most.

“Our people really want to be involved at this difficult time, and many have come forward offering to help, both individually and via our brands. Whether it’s donating products, sharing expertise, using our supply chain capability or working with other businesses, there is a real desire to make a difference and show our appreciation for the incredible NHS, other key workers and charities across the country fighting to keep people safe.”

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