UK-based ICMIF member OneFamily has recently made a new grant available to its members if they are experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus.
The organisation says it recognises that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been huge, leaving many families concerned not only with their health, but also financially. In such unprecedented and uncertain times, the new grant has been made available to help customers who need extra support to survive financially.
OneFamily customers affected by coronavirus can apply for a Temporary Hardship Grant of up to GBP 250 to help with essential costs such as rent, bills, food or home-schooling equipment.
Applications must meet certain eligibility criteria for this specific grant but OneFamily has other grants, including Personal Grants or Young Person’s Education Grants, which it says members could apply for instead.
Grant recipients are selected via a weekly draw.
Speaking about the new hardship grant in an article published on LinkedIn in May, Chief Executive Teddy Nyahasha (pictured) says: “…when we wanted to set up a Hardship Grant, to help those who are suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the team got it up and running in just a few days. This means that families are now getting help with rent, bills, food shopping and home-schooling equipment that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. Similarly, they managed to swiftly put a new Community Grant round in place, ensuring that we provide funding to organisations that are really making a difference during the current crisis.”
Nyahasha also describes other initiatives from OneFamily which are aimed at helping members in these challenging times and which have been developed by his team in response to the issues they were seeing due to the crisis.
One example of this was the OneFamily Over 50s insurance team knowing that the extra pressure on the NHS could cause delays to the claims process, at a time when worried and seriously ill customers would be most in need of support. So, they found a way for claims to be made based on existing evidence, reducing the processing time which meant that the NHS was not burdened with paperwork and could instead concentrate on caring for patients.
In an earlier article published on LinkedIn in April, Nyahasha says: “Our OneFamily Foundation offers help to our customers and their families in times of hardship, so we have pledged £1 million to provide support to our customers in 2020 and beyond. As well as individual grants, we’re also focusing on those organisations that are helping others with isolation, providing essential supplies and even supporting children with the equipment they need to do their online schoolwork.”
In his article Nyahasha commends the “gritty resolve to put customers first” he witnessed from his team at the start of the UK lockdown and how his organisation moved operations, and in particular customer services, to a working remotely operation within a week.
“As a friendly society, we’re proud that we’re owned by and run for our customers. So, it’s entirely right that our focus is firmly on them – whether that’s in treating them respectfully or supporting them through hard times,” Nyahasha said.