COVID-19: London Met signs pledge to help national crisis

The University has signed the C-19 Business Pledge to signal its commitment to its students, staff and community through the immediate impact of COVID-19 and in the years to come.

Date: 06 April 2020

London Metropolitan University has joined other universities and businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus crisis, by signing the C-19 Business Pledge.

Former Cabinet minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, launched the Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison. The national scheme encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, students, customers and communities across Britain get through the crisis. 

It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery, and has received a significant response from businesses and universities who want to be part of a national effort.

The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 1.2 million staff and students.

Sophie Cloutterbuck, Director of London Engagement at London Met said: “The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything most of us have ever seen in our lifetimes, and it’s going to take significant effort from everyone to respond to the challenges it presents. Signing this pledge signals our commitment to supporting our students, staff and communities throughout the immediate impact of the pandemic, as well as in the years to come.”

As well as London Met, universities including Bolton Group, Bradford, Bishop Grosseteste, Brunel, Northampton, York St John, Staffordshire and Leeds Beckett universities have signed the pledge, along with businesses including BP, BT, EDF, Everton Football Club, RBS Group, Asda Group, Co-operative Group, National Grid, DLA Piper, Severn Trent Water, national investment firm True Potential, global publishing firm Emerald Group, and software provider Advanced.

Organisations which sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities.

  • To support their own employees and students throughout and beyond this challenging time. This could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.
  • To publish clear and simple advice for customers and students. Where possible they could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting customers and students if they are having problems, such as those facing repayment difficulties and vulnerable customers, as RBS has done. 
  • Doing what they can to help communities in Britain through the epidemic. Over the coming months we are likely to see a sharp increase in isolation, loneliness, mental health and household financial issues in our communities across the country. There will be an increased need for communities to come together with practical support, such as food deliveries, collections and financial assistance for organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable people. 

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, 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.”


The C-19 Business Pledge brings together employers, customers, students and the community