At Sure we are committed to being part of island life and supporting the local communities that we operate in which is why we established and continue to support the Sure Community Foundation, which is especially important during these difficult times.
I am proud to say that the Sure Community Foundation recently celebrated a milestone having donated more than £200,000 to local causes and charities across the Sure Group since its inception in 2012. What started as a company donation has continued to grow through the years and the Sure Community Foundation is now a recognised charity staffed by Sure employees across the group and has recently launched in the Falkland Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Diego Garcia
I have been humbled by my team as the Foundation is purely funded by a combination of staff and business donations, and all of the management and fundraising activities are carried out by Sure employees. We’d never have hit this milestone without their commitment so I’d like to thank and congratulate them for their efforts, dedication and ingenuity.
We understand that during these unprecedented times it’s more important than ever to come together and support the local community, which is why Sure has added an investment injection of £20,000 to the Foundation since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. We are also committed to matching any additional contributions made by staff or other fundraising to further the positive support the Foundation is providing in Sure’s local communities - which currently stands at £12,000.
I wanted to highlight some of the Foundation’s specific initiatives so far in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man:
Providing mobile phones and access to WiFi for the vulnerable
As a telecoms provider, we became increasingly aware of the need to provide mobile phones and access to those who were most vulnerable during the lockdown. Over the past few weeks in Guernsey, the Foundation has provided support for children in secondary education who have no access to WiFi to help them continue their studies at home while schools are shut. Furthermore, we have provided WiFi devices and data plans for three months to vulnerable families in Sark to help them stay in contact with support services.
Phones and PAYG SIMS have also been supplied to victims, and one staff member, from the Safer Domestic Abuse charity in Guernsey. While lockdown confines families to their homes, some vulnerable members of society face greater risks. Supplying phones to these people enables them to call for help and the charity to keep in touch with them.
Helping loved ones stay connected during this difficult time
Sure is committed to supporting all our customers and the broader community despite the difficult circumstances. Across the islands we have provided conference call technology to help combat the loneliness that the Covid-19 situation is creating. For example, the Foundation has provided the Isle of Man charity Live at Home the use of our on-demand voice conference service to help them equip the island’s older population with conference calling so they can stay connected with others while they are unable to leave their homes.
Over this difficult period, 15 SIMs with credit on have been delivered to the Isle of Man Hospice for the 15 tablets they have on site. These tablets are important for those patients that are nearing the end of their lives to allow them to keep in contact with their families while they can’t see them in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Finally, the Foundation provided a free conference call facility to St Martins Church in Guernsey to allow up to 120 of the congregation to listen to daily and weekend services.
Supporting initiatives providing food
During the coronavirus pandemic, Jersey charity Les Ormes partnered with Caring Cooks to help deliver hundreds of nutritious meals six days a week to islanders who are sick, isolated, in financial crisis or facing other challenges. The Foundation provided the initiative with five mobile phones and SIM cards to enable the volunteers to keep in touch with their key drivers delivering food.
We continue to support Brightly, a small, independent Jersey charity that provides support to children and young people living in care during the pandemic, by providing food vouchers for 10 children being supported by the charity.
The Foundation has donated £500 to support the Guernsey Welfare Service. This charity delivers bags of food to people who have been unable to visit the food bank site and offers help with bills. The bags vary according to the size of the household and contain a range of cupboard food, fresh items and household essentials. They have been extremely busy and seen service demand triple during lockdown.
Supporting local charities
Since the lockdown we ensured that the Jersey charity Community Savings could still operate while working from home and continue to support those in the community who are financially or socially disadvantaged.
We understand that the homeless are some of the most vulnerable in our society at the moment and a lot of them have no access to a telephone to stay in contact with vital services and family. Therefore, the Foundation has also provided 50 SIMs for the 50 phones Barclays purchased from Sure for the Manx homeless charity, Graih, ready with £5 credit on each.
With many Guernsey residents now at home without access to friends and family, the Foundation has supported mobile WiFi via the charity We All Matter, Eh?
This is an incredibly difficult time for our local communities, and we want to try to help as much as we can. We hope that these donations go towards making life easier for some of those groups who are most affected during the lockdown. We are committed to supporting the Sure Community Foundation and want to go further, so please get in touch if you are interested in applying for support.
To get in touch visit the Sure website:
Isle of Man: www.sure.com/Isleofman/about-us/in-the-community/
Or email CommunityFoundation@sure.com.
CEO Sure Group