THE countdown is officially on until the Greenock Telegraph’s inaugural Health & Care Awards. Arnold Clark, official sponsor of the Care Hero Award, explain here why they decided to get involved.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Arnold Clark was forced to close its doors for the first time in its near 70-year history. Some areas of the business shut down completely, while others adapted at lightning pace, finding new, safer ways for customers to find and buy cars. In this sense, Arnold Clark was lucky.

For public sector workers, such as those in the NHS, there was no option to close the doors and stay at home. As hospitals filled up with the sickest COVID patients, and the care sector became overwhelmed with cases, doctors, nurses, cleaners, carers, porters and the likes were, and still are, making huge sacrifices every single day for the benefit of others.

Employing over 11,000 people across the UK, it’s no surprise that eventually the crisis touched some Arnold Clark employees and their families. But what happened next reinforces what Arnold Clark is all about – community and family.

When Arnold Clark’s doors did close, the company took a backseat. It wasn’t the time for just selling cars, it was the time for being there for their communities, their families and for the people doing the most important work – saving lives. Arnold Clark made the commitment to help as many frontline NHS workers as they possibly could.

From making sure workers could get to and from work safely, by loaning over 1,400 cars and donating 120 nine-seater minibuses to hospitals; to smaller ways of helping such as donating 20,000 car seat covers to care workers, giving away their spare PPE to hospitals and even supplying 12 delivery vans to the Scottish Ambulance Service for transporting valuable equipment to hospital staff. 
Greenock Telegraph:
One year into the pandemic, and Arnold Clark remains as committed to its communities as ever. At the beginning of March 2021, the company launched yet another way to support people during the pandemic, designed to help struggling charities and community groups whose funding was affected by the upheaval of the past twelve months.

Through the Arnold Clark Community Fund, the company aims to donate money to 500 local charities or community groups each month, furthering their ethos of helping as many people as they possibly can. But, as Arnold Clark showrooms get one step closer to reopening, it’s pertinent to reflect on the last twelve months and remember what’s really important – aside from socially distanced car sales. It’s the people who gave up time with their families, working to the point of exhaustion, witnessing the unimaginable on a daily basis. 

The people who couldn’t close the door on the COVID-19 pandemic. People in our local community. Heroes. And there’s another Arnold Clark value that we’ve yet to touch on that feels very fitting – recognition – not just in terms of recognising the efforts of their own employees, but the efforts of those in their local communities too.

The Greenock Telegraph Health and Care Awards serves to recognise the courage and hard work of those heroes. After seeing, sometimes firsthand, the incredible sacrifices healthcare workers in Inverclyde and beyond have made in the last year, Arnold Clark is especially proud to sponsor the Care Hero Award category.

 General Manager of Arnold Clark Greenock, Paul McCafferty, had this to say about the awards: “The Greenock Telegraph Health & Care Awards is a great opportunity to honour and pay tribute to the people in Inverclyde who’ve given so much to the community over the last year.

“We want to recognise their hard work and commitment to their local communities.”

The Greenock Telegraph Health & Care Awards 2021 will take place on Thursday, April 15 and will be viewable via the Greenock Telegraph Facebook Page.