Arriva UK Bus has been able to make a donation of over £260,000 to NHS Charities Together, following a Covid-related exact fare policy on board buses which was introduced in April 2020. The scheme was part of the safety measures introduced last year, which encouraged customers to use contactless card or app payments, or when paying in cash to use the exact fare, which meant any hand to hand contact between drivers and customers was minimised.
Following an extensive communications campaign to highlight that no change could be given to those who did not have the exact fare, Arriva said that any overpayment would be donated to an NHS charity. The NHS Charities Together scheme is made up of 240 local NHS charity members which aims to fund projects that improve services for patients and help NHS staff and volunteers both practically and emotionally so that they can continue their essential work.
The donation was given by Managing Director of Arriva UK Bus Paul O’Neil, who commented: “Giving something back to the NHS in the wake of the pandemic seems absolutely the right thing to do and we are proud to make this significant donation in recognition of the extraordinary dedication and commitment of those who looked after us throughout the pandemic.
He continued: “We are happy to see that what started as a Covid-safe policy has seen our customers raising such a tremendous amount for the NHS, and I’m sure they will be heartened to hear that this money will go to such a fantastic cause. It goes without saying that everyone at the NHS, our drivers and all key workers, have done an incredible job in unbelievably tough circumstances.”
Justine Davy, Head of Corporate Partnerships at NHS Charities Together said: “We are incredibly humbled by this show of support from Arriva, and their customers. The figure raised for NHS Charities Together with the no change policy will help us to continue our support for NHS staff, patients and volunteers as we move toward a brighter future. Without contributions like this one, we would be unable to continue the vital work that we do, offering support to those that have been and continue to be there for us through such a challenging time.”
As a gesture of praise for all key workers who’ve kept the UK going through the pandemic, Arriva has given a special makeover to one of its Derby buses, which carries a dedicated keyworker livery.