BEST COMMUNITY SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 2021
Alexandra Park & Palace is one of the largest independent venues in the country. We typically deliver over 250 events a year, including live concerts from some of the biggest names in music, world championship sport, theatre, comedy and major exhibitions. Visitors from all over the world come to our events and we’re proud Alexandra Palace has become synonymous with high profile and genre-defining cultural experiences.
We know how hard the pandemic has hit our community. The role of the Park and Palace, and our team of staff and volunteers, has been to do whatever we can to support local people, despite at times being on our knees ourselves. We got resourceful, creative and collaborative to provide what help we could, through some of the darkest hours of the last 18 months. We’re proud when people tell us how important the venue has been to them in this time. And we’ve been humbled by the support they have shown us in return. The Palace was built as the ‘People’s Palace’ and, in these most challenging times, we’re pleased to have lived up to our name.
Rather than battening down the hatches and waiting for the Covid-19 storm to pass, we were determined to stay open, both for the sake of our loyal, hardworking staff and also to help out with the fight against the pandemic as much as we could.
We had to invest a lot of time and money in order to ensure our venues were Covid-Secure before reopening, but this demonstration of competency put us in a good position to help out as much as we could. Due to this and the creativity and strong leadership of our management team, we managed to contribute to a range of projects that were instrumental in the fight against Covid-19 and thus, enabled us to retain the majority of our workforce.
These projects included assisting with the vital Covid-19 vaccination roll out, facilitating the training of urgently needed paramedics, working with HMCTS to ensure justice was served despite the global chaos and also supporting the astounding work of our partner charity First Love Foundation, despite our own struggles.
Since 1987 The Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has transformed the docklands into a thriving district, reclaiming a former industrial site and turning it into a place that supports economic growth, fosters creativity and promotes wellbeing. By creating a better place for the whole community. A place that benefits everyone, not only by providing enriching spaces but by supporting the local economy, schools and talent. It believes that everyone should benefit from its developments, which is why it has committed to working closely with the community since day one. Today, CWG provides financial support, space and their employees’ skills and time to schools, businesses and charities in the local community. Over the last 10 years the Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has donated £23 million in financial, in-kind and volunteering support to the local community but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last 15 months has been like no other. CWG has supported 33 projects. Several took place at East Wintergarden. From celebrating World Book Day virtually with hundreds of local primary school children to hosting NHS blood donations and a pop-up vaccination centre.
InterContinental London – The O2
When the first wave of Covid-19 hit the country and all hotels closed, our team at InterContinental London – The O2 decided to support the frontline workers at The Nightingale Hospital ExCeL and provided 100 rooms, food and drinks for the NHS staff for free. A small team of volunteers served the NHS key workers in April and May 2020, the most difficult months of the pandemic.
Surinder Arora, Founder and Executive Chairman of Arora Group, and owner of InterContinental London – The O2 said: “These very brave and dedicated NHS staff are putting their lives on the line, and if we provide a level of comfort to them for when they must rest, that’s the least we can do.”
Their commitment and dedication to supporting our community was just a small token of our gratitude to all our key workers during the pandemic.
The Royal Horticultural Halls
Since opening in 1904 the Royal Horticultural Halls have been central to many communities in a cornucopia of ways.
In January this year, the Lindley Hall opened as a vaccination hub, giving both staff and the venue on a non-commercial basis to tackle the Covid-19 inoculation drive.
The hub finished in early July having recruited 1,414 volunteers and succeeding in delivering over 30K vaccines to four Healthcare Trusts in Westminster.
With the donation of such a large venue, it facilitated a quicker rollout and roving teams were able to vaccinate the homeless, refugees and the housebound.
It’s worth knowing that the Royal Horticultural Society and the Halls have a long history of assisting the community, notably in 1916 during World War 1 to house Australian Forces and again for the Suffragettes and through many diverse campaigns and occasions.