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Inspiring acts of kindness from UK businesses during lockdown

Read how some businesses have gone above and beyond to change their offerings to help people cope with the impact of coronavirus.
Inspiring acts of kindness from UK businesses during lockdown

In difficult times, where businesses’ staff, stability and customers are facing an unprecedented challenge, it could be easy for businesses to slow down and struggle. Because of this, it’s incredibly impressive and inspiring when certain businesses do exactly the opposite; rising up to global challenges and going above and beyond to support not only their stakeholders, but the wider society.

So, we would like to showcase some fantastic acts of kindness shown by UK businesses during the coronavirus pandemic - paying particular attention to companies who have not only intelligently pivoted their business to survive and thrive (which is respectable in itself), but may also have gone beyond this to commit to selfless actions.

1. The Crosstown Collective


London-based doughnut company ‘Crosstown Doughnuts’ were busy paying attention to the detail before coronavirus kicked in; creating fresh doughnuts, jams, compotes and glazes in-house every day.

Despite having no obligation to do so, they responded to the coronavirus threat by collaborating with other independent retailers; ‘The Estate Dairy’ and ‘Millers’ bakery, to combine their product offerings into a package that could genuinely help those who are self-isolating.

The Crosstown Collective The Crosstown Collective includes Crosstown, Millers and The Estate Dairy

The food boxes they’re creating aren’t just packed with doughnuts. They include fresh fruit and veg, freshly baked bread, milk and cheese- a real variety of artisan food essentials that could really lend a hand to those who are unable to visit the shops, or trying to cut down on how frequently they do so.

The Crosstown Collective’s partnership, innovation on each contributor’s product offering, and willingness to change and adapt their services to help make essential foods accessible is pretty inspirational. If you’re a business owner and in a position to help others, perhaps you could consider lending a hand as one of your key coronavirus actions.

2. The Mercedes F1 team


While the Mercedes F1 team is usually famed for winning drivers championships, they’ve recently drawn attention by winning hearts instead. The team has worked with mechanical engineers and medics to develop a breathing aid to help sufferers of COVID-19.

Mercedes use robots to fight coronavirus Mercedes have also been using robots in the fight against coronavirus

The devices produced by the team are capable of delivering more oxygen than a standard facemask, and have been approved under NHS regulations. Already, several UK hospitals have started using them to support patients struggling with serious breathing difficulties.

It’s fantastic to see Mercedes voluntarily halting the production of Formula 1 equipment, (which would generate revenue for their business), to instead prioritise people’s safety and health over their own profits. What’s more, this selfless act will have a truly huge impact, as Mercedes’ 3D printer technology and advanced production techniques are enabling them to manufacture this life-saving equipment at scale.

The breathing devices created will hopefully mean that less people need to use mechanical ventilators, making more of these ventilators available to those in serious need.

3. Dettol


Owned by Reckett Benckiser, Dettol may be the best-known brand of bleach in the UK. The bleach giant recently pledged 150,000 care packages to support NHS workers. The care packages will be distributed to workers via hospitals, and contain:

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Antiseptic liquid
  • Cleaning wipes

It’s comforting to see the market-leader in the disinfectant space making a charitable donation to our essential NHS workers, and this donation will add a lot of practical value to healthcare operations around the UK.

In terms of why Dettol have gone out of their way to make this donation, they have wanted to show their support ‘for those selflessly keeping the UK safe and healthy with aid including care packages for NHS staff who have been so dedicated to protecting others in the face of the coronavirus.’ A truly heart-warming gesture.

An inspiring message for the UK


Today we have showcased three examples of businesses who have come together to provide essential services, diversified their operations to create helpful equipment, or made generous donations to support the NHS.

Many businesses will have asked themselves ‘what do we want to be remembered for when people think back to the coronavirus outbreak?’ – and it looks like some have made that decision already. Seeing businesses taking proactive steps to help protect our key workers at their own expense is truly inspirational.

How could Esme help?

These are difficult times for many businesses, so it’s important now more than ever, to take good care of yourself and your team. If you’re concerned about your business being impacted financially due to coronavirus and want to understand the support available to you, please visit our FAQs page for information.