Drax supports businesses and NHS during Covid-19 crisis

Drax Group has joined other businesses to help the country’s most vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus crisis.

It has teamed up with former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, as a founding member of the C-19 Business Pledge, a  national scheme which encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities to get through the crisis.

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said: “Our dedicated teams across England, Scotland and Wales are working around the clock to continue generating and supplying the electricity the UK needs at this critical time. Through the C-19 Business Pledge we can work with others to go further in supporting those in our communities who need our help more than ever right now.

“We want to do as much as we can to help and support our own employees, as well as our customers and the communities in which we operate during this crisis.”

Justine Greening said: “With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding in sectors across the UK, businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions. But those organisations who are able to, like Drax Group, can have a huge role in battling the impact of coronavirus and make a real difference in these uniquely challenging times.

“In spite of everything, lots of employers have already shown amazing initiative and commitment to helping people affected by coronavirus. The C-19 Business Pledge is all about encouraging as many businesses and universities as possible to get involved and then helping them do that faster and better by sharing all the great work that’s already been done. The early response has been incredible and I’ll do everything I can to help to connect up British business to play its role.”

Drax has also delivered 250 facemasks to York Hospital to help keep NHS staff on the frontlines safe.

The masks were donated to Drax Power Station by employees at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao No.3 Power Generation Company in China, part of Shenergy Power Technology. The Chinese energy company’s engineers visited Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire last year, to learn more about how it has transformed itself to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe by using sustainable biomass instead of coal.

Drax Power Station is the UK’s largest, generating 5% of the country’s electricity.

Prof. Feng Weizhong, Shenergy General Manager, said: “We have suffered from the virus in the past two months and know how terrible it is. Thankfully now we are in a much better situation, and we want to help our international friends so that all of us can overcome the virus as soon as possible. We shouldn’t and can’t manage this alone. Although we are from different countries and different cultures, we think we share the belief that life and health are priceless.”

Simon Morritt, Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to express my personal thanks to Drax and their partners in China for their support in donating facemasks to the Trust, to help us ensure we are well equipped to support our staff and care for our patients in the coming days and weeks.”

Will Gardiner added: “We’re very grateful for the donation of the face masks from our friends in China – it is a great example of businesses working together to help people during this crisis. Through the C-19 Business pledge we aim to support more of those who are most in need.” 

The C-19 Business Pledge is targeting not just the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery – and was born out of the huge response from businesses and universities involved in the existing Social Mobility Pledge, wanting to be part of a national effort.

The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 900,000 people, staff and students, throughout businesses and universities.

As well as Drax Group, they include BP, Barratt Developments, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper, Persimmon Homes and Severn Trent Water.

Employers who sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities. They will not only help Britain through the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also through its recovery.

For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit the website: www.c19businesspledge.org

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