Back of a US ambulance parked outside sliding doors - used for the National Grid story 'Lending a helping hand during the COVID-19 crisis'

Lending a helping hand during the COVID-19 crisis

With the Northeastern USA among the regions worst hit by the global coronavirus crisis, we’re especially conscious of our responsibility to help our customers and communities there. So, alongside our core work of keeping the power flowing, we’re leading and supporting a raft of charitable and volunteer initiatives. Read on to find out more about just some of them.

As we operate in the Northeastern states of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island, some of the regions hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, we wanted to move fast to support our customers and local communities at this difficult time. We’re as focused as ever on our central job of keeping the lights on and the gas flowing, but we’re also supporting a whole range of initiatives that are lending a helping hand during these tough times.

Supporting those in need

We’ve donated a total of US$500,000 to support 35 branches of United Way and other community organisations in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These funds will be put to good use; for example, supporting first responders and their families, and helping stock and run food pantries for those in need.

Assistance for customers in financial difficulties

We know things are tough for many of our customers right now, with finances coming under severe pressure, so we’ve suspended debt collecting activities and customer shut-offs, and deferred bill increases in New York State for a defined period.

We know things are tough for many of our customers right now...

Building field hospital at SUNY Old Westbury on Long Island, US - used for the National Grid story 'Powering healthcare in New York'

Getting more beds ready for patients

Our teams have been busy helping to set up overflow facilities to support New York’s hospital system during the crisis.

On Long Island, we worked with the US Army Corp of Engineers to upgrade the gas supply to an athletic centre, which was to become mission control for the healthcare workers at a 1,000-bed temporary hospital. In Brooklyn, we helped to get a rehab centre up and running early, to provide overflow space to treat COVID-19 patients.

Every little helps

There are lots of smaller ways we’re working to make a difference too, including:

  • helping to promote the urgent need for blood donations, alongside the Red Cross

  • supporting City Year’s supplemental learning kits for public schools and shared resources for home educators

  • sponsoring Bay Shore Hospital New York’s 14 April ‘Day of Hope’, which sought to recognise and celebrate the huge efforts of frontline healthcare workers in one of the nation’s hardest hit areas

  • providing 700 holiday meals on Easter Sunday for staff and residents of HeartShare homes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island

  • helping to fund a high-tech manufacturer in Cohoes, NY, which is retooling its facility to produce critical equipment for healthcare workers and patients.

An eye on the future

We know that this crisis won’t disappear overnight, even if we all wish it could; so, we’re already planning our next steps on how to continue to support our local communities, whatever challenges the coming months might bring.