// The Hut Group pledges £10m of Covid-19 aid to Manchester and other markets
// The package will support vulnerable communities, key workers and emergency services
// Of the total package, £5m will be donated to Manchester, & £5m will be donated elsewhere
The Hut Group has announced a £10 million aid package to support vulnerable communities, key workers and emergency services during the Covid-19 crisis.
Of that total, £5 million is directly for the Manchester area, where the online retail company is headquartered, while the other £5 million is pledged for areas outside of the North West.
After discussion with both Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Mayor’s office, The Hut Group agreed that the aid to Manchester will be split between a £1 million immediate cash donation split between two charities and £4 million worth of critical products and services.
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For the charitable donations, The Hut Group said £500,000 will be given to We Love MCR – the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s charity – which is supporting groups responding to the coronavirus issue through Manchester’s Covid-19 community response fund, while the other £500,000 will be given to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity that helps homeless people across the city.
The remaining £4 million will be spent on critical products and services that will be distributed across key sites in the Greater Manchester region, including NHS staff on the frontline and vulnerable people.
The Hut Group said that in recent weeks, it has been “racing to meet rapidly increased global online demand for essential vitamins, foods, supplements, personal care and hygiene products”.
This prompted the ecommerce firm in announcing 500 new manufacturing and distribution jobs across its UK, European, US and Asia operations.
Accordingly, a further £5 million of aid is being pledged to areas outside of the North West, including international markets, and will leverage its in-house manufacturing of nutritional supplements, vitamins, personal care and hygiene products to offer essential production support to Covid-19 efforts.
The Hut Group has transitioned part of its manufacturing capability to produce hand sanitisers and will be giving £1 million worth of free hand sanitisers to people who otherwise can’t access them.
The company has also pledged all 70 rooms in both of its prestigious Manchester hotels – Great John Street Hotel and King Street Townhouse – that will be available at no charge to support both NHS staff and Greater Manchester Police who are working away from their families over the next three months.
Meanwhile, The Hut Group said that in addition to temperature checks and social distancing measures across all of its sites, it will install thermal imaging technology to ensure the wellbeing of all staff can be monitored in a contactless and scalable manner.
Over recent weeks, the company’s in-house catering team has also been redeployed to deliver one million meal packages and food parcels for vulnerable people in the North West, and providing all Warrington Omega facility employees a ready-to-cook meal for two at the end of each shift, thus reducing the need to visit supermarkets.
“These are unprecedented times and The Hut Group has an obligation to support those in need, not only as a major regional employer, but because we have the ability to do so,” chief executive Matthew Moulding said.
“Everyone at The Hut Group wants to help in any way they can. Manchester and the surrounding areas are our home and we have a huge sense of loyalty to the local community.
“Many of the products we produce are currently beyond the reach of many due to recent spikes in global demand.
“This is why we are working together with both the Mayor’s office and Manchester City Council to reach those who need help the most.
“This partnership means we can better support our incredible emergency services, key workers and local authorities, who are doing the whole of the UK proud throughout this crisis.”