DS Smith donates to local charities and hospitals amid Covid-19 pandemic
DS Smith’s Paper division sites from across the globe have been donating funds and equipment to a host of local charities and hospitals to help some of the most vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a critical part of the supply chain, we have been working hard at DS Smith to ensure that we operate efficiently and safely during the pandemic, while supporting our local community.
Our paper mill in Lucca, Italy has made two significant donations in the past weeks to its local San Luca Hospital.
The first donation came from the paper mill employees in Lucca, who personally donated €6,000 worth of safety equipment through the newly created employee ‘Solidarity Fund’. The fund, which was set up by DS Smith employees in 2014, receives donations of €3 a month from their salaries to support colleagues in need and local charities.
Inspired by the employees, DS Smith Paper Italia has donated an additional €15,000 to the San Luca Hospital in Lucca.
Italy took a hard hit from the Coronavirus. We are all directly or indirectly affected by this crisis. True to the Italian culture, we try to help each other as much as we can in difficult times. For us it’s about solidarity.
— Silvio Valrivi, Plant Manager Lucca Paper Mill
In addition, the mill recently donated computers to the local municipality of Porcari, which will distribute them directly to families in the area. These computers are an important tool for children to follow school lessons online and will be sent to families who do not have one available at home.
Similarly, our paper mill in Kemsley, UK has worked alongside Unite Union to donate £1,000 each to the Swale Foodbank, which provide food supplies to local people in poverty. The mill has been working with Swale Foodbank since 2018, but with more people staying at home and items available to purchase at supermarkets limited per customer, Swale Foodbank has reported a drop in the number of donations it has received.
Thank you so much for your donation. With your money we are able to restock our shelves as donations have dropped significantly over the last five days. This financial donation will enable us to start buying food in to cope with demand.
— Swale Foodbank Team
Meanwhile, the fleet logistics team in the UK has also donated £1,000 to Porchlight Homeless Charity.
We are expecting an increase in the number of calls to our helpline, in particular regarding mental health and domestic violence. We have recently launched our ‘Safe Place’ appeal for women who often end up on the streets after experiencing domestic violence at home. Your donation will go towards this vital work – which is particularly vital right now – thank you so much!
— Jo Skelton, Corporate Partnership Manager from Porchlight
Our Kayserberg paper mill in France made a significant donation of €10,000 to the Pasteur Hospital in Colmar. This donation will be used to support the hospital and its medical staff as well as patients affected by Covid-19 and will allow the purchase of essential equipment for the fight against the virus.
Eastern France is, along with the Paris region, one of the regions of France most affected by the pandemic. Hospitals in Colmar and Mulhouse, near Kaysersberg, were quickly overcrowded and addressed a lack of medical equipment. Some patients had to be moved to other hospitals outside of the region and even outside of the country (in Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg). With this donation we want to help the medical staff who everyday exposed their health to fight this pandemic.
— Pierre Jegu, General Manager of France, DS Smith Paper
Due to social distancing, the elderly in retirement homes in France have not been able to receive visits from their families during the Covid-19 pandemic. To help with social interaction, retirement homes have been looking for different ways to keep residents connected with their families. To help them stay in contact, Coullons Paper Mill donated € 2,000 to a local retirement home. The money will be used to buy digital tablets for the residents.
At DS Smith, we are working hard to support our employees, communities, and customers around the world during this difficult time.