Business Charity Awards: Best Covid-19 Support Project – Royal National Institute of Blind People

Awarded to a specific project or programme that supported a UK charity through the coronavirus pandemic

Why was the project needed? 

Calls to RNIB's Helpline reached more than 1,000 a day at the height of the initial national lockdown. Changes made to streets, shop layouts and processes made it very difficult for people with sight loss to shop for food.

How was it delivered? 

RNIB worked with other charities to campaign for priority online grocery delivery slots to be given to people with sight loss who needed them. 

As a result, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs secured priority delivery slots for a new group of "non-shielding vulnerable" people.

RNIB also created a specialist team to engage with the UK's mainstream supermarkets and retailers to make their stores and websites accessible. It produced clear guidance on how to implement changes that would have a profound impact on the ability of someone with sight loss to shop in a supermarket.  

In addition, the charity partnered food wholesaler Brakes to offer home deliveries of groceries direct to blind and partially sighted people, ordered through an accessible online platform. Drivers were also educated on how to make deliveries more accessible.

What did it achieve? 

To date, RNIB has referred nearly 350 customers for priority online delivery slots and assisted thousands of other customers calling its helpline. The charity’s guidance has reached more than four million retail employees.

What did the judges say? 

“A really strong piece of advocacy on behalf of a marginalised group of people,” said one. “A fantastic initiative.”

Finalists

Accenture and Nominet and FutureDotNow

Amazon and Magic Breakfast

Santander UK and Santander UK Foundation and Alzheimer's Society/Age UK

Barclays and FareShare

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