‘Volunteers against COVID’ is part of our global action plan to combat the coronavirus
Iberdrola encourages 1,000 volunteers to work on social initiatives to address the COVID crisis in Spain
- Within our volunteering activities, the company has launched 20 initiatives welcoming homebound employees to take part in charitable efforts to combat the coronavirus
- Their work involves tasks such as making protective gear (including 5,000 special masks for people with hearing loss), keeping virtually in touch with elderly people in nursing homes, storytelling for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and making financial donations to support those at risk of exclusion
Since the State of Alarm was declared in Spain in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Iberdrola has managed to engage 1,000 employees in volunteer work across the country. Under the name ‘Volunteers against COVID’, the campaign has volunteers collaborating selflessly from home in over 20 different projects to help deal with the health crisis.
For weeks now, a significant number of employees have been collaborating to make protective gear, provide company and support for those most severely affected by this crisis such as the aged and people with disabilities, and make financial donations to help vulnerable people at risk of exclusion.
The initiatives promoted by Iberdrola involved making face masks, some of which were designed specially for people with hearing loss, producing face shields with 3D printers, setting up correspondence between volunteers and elderly citizens in nursing homes, donating electronic devices, providing support over the phone for people with disabilities or mental conditions, and telling stories for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Making face masks for the health crisis
Working in collaboration with the Foundation to Foster Development and Integration (FDI), Iberdrola has put into action an inclusive project to produce accessible masks for people with hearing loss. The key to these masks is that they enable lip reading, helping the wearer to communicate. The company sent out production kits to 150 volunteers containing the materials and instructions needed to make them. Different federations then send the masks to people with hearing loss. By doing this, Iberdrola expects to provide 5,000 face masks.
Another health-related initiative involves the company putting together and supporting an internal network of volunteers to make regular face masks and face shields using 3D printers, which are being distributed among hospitals, retirement homes and nursing homes for people with intellectual disabilities.
Link to compressed images: Iberdrola volunteer video tutorial on making face masks and Iberdrola volunteer video tutorial on making face shields using 3D printers.
Supporting the elderly and people with disabilities - the most vulnerable
Other initiatives have been set up to support the aged and people with intellectual disabilities, these being two of the most severely affected segments of society during the lockdown.
The programme named Smiles against coronavirus, launched by the FDI and the Voluntariado y Estrategia consultancy firm, aims to ease the sense of loneliness among elderly people in retirement homes whose relatives cannot currently visit them. The essence of the project, which is now backed by nearly 450 Iberdrola volunteers, lies in allowing people in homes to communicate virtually with volunteers.
Iberdrola’s volunteers are also donating electronic devices so that elderly people who are isolated in hospitals and nursing homes can keep in touch with their families.
One of the measures taken to support people with intellectual disabilities and/or mental illnesses is to keep them company over the phone. This initiative now involves over 25 employees collaborating with a variety of organisations such as the Adecco Foundation and the Juan XXIII Foundation, the idea being to hold daily conversations with people suffering from intellectual disabilities and/or mental illnesses, who are in special need of company to deal with the health crisis at a personal level.
From storytelling to donations for children’s organisations
Another of Iberdrola’s innovative volunteer projects consists of telling stories to children and adults with intellectual disabilities by following easy reading guidelines. This means using simple writing techniques to help people with reading comprehension difficulties to understand the story. Volunteers are recording themselves reading these adapted stories to make life easier for people with disabilities and their carers.
As well as all these initiatives, Iberdrola employees and their families are busy sending out messages, drawings and letters to show their support and appreciation for the healthcare staff who are on the front line dealing with this crisis at hospitals and clinics all across Spain.
Iberdrola has also launched a donation campaign amongst staff to raise money for the Aldeas Infantiles children’s charity in an effort to help the most unprivileged families with children. The money donated already amounts to almost €20,000, which will be turned into food vouchers for families in need.
Global action plan against the COVID-19 coronavirus
These volunteer initiatives are part of the Global action plan launched by Iberdrola against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The aim of the company is not only to ensure there are no shortages in the energy supply at this difficult time, but also to help address the needs of our stakeholders.
This includes measures such as donating nearly €25 million worth of healthcare products, reinforcing the power supply in essential infrastructures like hospitals and medical facilities, and taking steps to help the most vulnerable customers through this crisis.