Driving Positivity

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During these challenging times for businesses across the country, many of Gray & Adams customers have undertaken some admirable and impactful initiatives to support local communities and the NHS throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

SPAR wholesaler for the north of England, James Hall & Co., has decorated ten of its double decker SPAR trucks with rainbows of hope, in support of partner Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS staff up and down the country.

As well as spreading hope and positivity, the rainbows celebrate a partnership between Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and James Hall & Co., who donated £250,000 to Royal Preston Hospital, for a state-of-the-art relaxation and recuperation centre to be developed for NHS staff working at the hospital.

Andrew Hall, Managing Director at James Hall & Co. said,

“Many of our staff and their families live in and around Preston and have a special connection with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. We therefore wanted to provide a legacy for NHS staff that would reach far beyond coronavirus and provide some respite from the challenging work they face on a daily basis.”

“Rainbows of hope have become synonymous with the coronavirus crisis. Together with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, we loved the idea that this symbol could travel thousands of miles across the north of England, journeying from our Preston depot to over 600 SPAR stores across the north of the England. We hope that these rainbows will spread positivity and bring a smile to anyone who sees them.”

Another long-term customer, Co-op, has undertaken multiple projects to add value to its customers and make a difference in a difficult time for the industry.

Earlier this year, Co-op shared a major multi-million-pound boost to feed the nation during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, pulling its Easter TV advertising campaign and donating the airtime – worth £2.5 million – to fight hunger by promoting the work of charity FareShare. Throughout this period, Co-op also developed a school meal scheme, revealing it would provide support for schools across the UK to provide free meals to eligible pupils through a gift card system.

The national launch of Co-operate, an online community centre, connecting vulnerable customers to local and national support initiatives, was also a big achievement for the business. Allowing people to connect with volunteers who are running virtual events such as exercise classes, music groups, or arts & crafts classes for others, across the country.

Aware of the impact this lockdown could have on people’s mental wellbeing, CEO of Co-Op, Steve Murrells, said

“In the past, many people have been reluctant to volunteer because they hadn’t got the time and they feared committing to something they would be unable to maintain. I’m confident that this experience will serve to remind us of the power and importance of communities working together. The acts of co-operation and self-sacrifice being made now by so many are really heartening, and we hope, through initiatives like Co-operate, they will last way beyond the pandemic and into the long term.”

Similarly, Welsh business Castell Howell has found a way to support UK Government communication of key messages to communities across the UK. Through new impactful livery on their rigid vehicles, built by Gray & Adams, Castell Howell have been championing the ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives campaign’, driving the message home to communities, as they work to support their customers in the care sector and NHS.

Martin Jones, Director of Transport Operations at Castell Howell explained,

“At Castell Howell, we feel that we still have a responsibility and a role to play as a business in what’s happening across the UK at the moment. Though we’re facing many challenges in our own business, we are doing what we can to make a difference, no matter how small, in spreading these vitally important messages to communities.”

Having worked together with James Hall SPAR, Co-op and Castell Howell for many years, Gray & Adams is delighted to support these customers throughout this historic moment in time and beyond. Their commitment to taking positive action throughout this challenging period for many across the UK, is inspiring and we are proud to support their efforts through sharing their stories.

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