IKEA Belgium helps the most vulnerable groups in Luxembourg during the coronavirus crisis
Wednesday 3 June 2020
IKEA's mission is to improve the lives of as many people as possible. That's why IKEA Belgium offers support to local communities to meet their urgent needs in this time of coronavirus crisis. For IKEA Belgium, which welcomes Luxembourgers to the IKEA Arlon store, it seemed obvious to help in Luxembourg as well. The first priority in this action: not only the carers and the sick, but also the most vulnerable people such as the elderly, the homeless and refugees, who are strongly affected by this health crisis. The progressive deconfinement heralds the end of this first phase of the process, which was intended to respond to urgent requests, and leads to the second phase, which focuses on vulnerable families hit hard by the economic and social consequences of the crisis.
Our vision as a common thread
As part of the coronavirus crisis, IKEA Belgium is providing in-kind resources to help meet the most urgent needs. Globally, Ingka Group has provided €26 million in crisis support in the 30 countries where the group is present. IKEA wants to help the most vulnerable groups and institutions most affected, such as hospitals and nursing homes, as well as shelters for homeless people and refugees.
"We are guided by a simple but strong vision to create a better life for as many people as possible. This vision is part of our DNA and will always be the basis of our actions, in good times and bad," says Anne-Clotilde Picot, Business Development Manager at IKEA Belgium.
IKEA Belgium works closely with local organisations Caritas Luxembourg and La Croix Rouge Luxembourg to adapt its approach to local needs. This was made possible thanks to the commitment of employees at the IKEA Arlon store and the Winterslag distribution centre who volunteered to prepare product orders for shipment.
"Luxembourgers have always been part of the IKEA Arlon community. That's why we were so keen to help vulnerable people without a home to call their own, and the nursing staff who fight bravely every day. We're also committed to helping the caregivers who fight bravely every day," says Christopher Burman, IKEA Arlon Market Manager. "In a second phase, we will expand our work to support the most vulnerable families in Luxembourg. IKEA is for everyone, regardless of their budget, so we want to help those who need it most.
Shelters for those with nowhere to go
IKEA Belgium has joined forces with Caritas Luxembourg, an association that aims to take care of people in need in Luxembourg. In total,IKEA Belgium donated more than 500 products to Caritas Luxembourg for the furnishing of their reception centres. These are the Ulysses and Michelau centres for the homeless and a reception centre in the north of the country for 12 minor refugees from refugee camps in Greece.
"Thanks to the donations from IKEA Belgium, we can improve the living conditions of the poorest people in our centres. These donations help make their rooms more liveable and the dressing gowns more comfortable. We're very happy to be able to offer these services," says Caroline Theves, Donor and Partner Relations Manager at Caritas Luxembourg.
Taking care of the carers
Like everyone else, IKEA Belgium wants to help the heroes of this crisis, the healthcare workers. That's why we have teamed up with the Luxembourg Red Cross. IKEA Belgium donated more than 2,000 products, mainly mattress protectors and storage boxes, to 1,050 home healthcare workers who will use them to protect their car seats when they visit patients affected by the coronavirus.
"We are very grateful to IKEA Belgium for helping us. Thanks to a little inventiveness and creativity, we were able to turn one of their bedding products, the mattress protectors, into a true hygienic safety product. A gesture that seems trivial, but could really save lives," says Brice Goedert, Project Coordinator Aid and Care Service - Research and Development, Luxembourg Red Cross.
IKEA Belgium looks back on the first phase of emergency aid that is coming to an end. Thanks to close cooperation with various organisations, more than 7,047 people in Belgium and Luxembourg have been helped during this first period. The actual figure is probably higher since the places in the shelters are counted only once. The balance sheet shows 25,224 products offered and 61 rest or reception areas fitted out with donations. 25 NGOs, NPOs, NPOs and hospitals had recourse to emergency aid in Belgium and Luxembourg.
A new phase in deconfinement
Now that deconfinement is under way in Belgium and Luxembourg, a new phase of assistance will begin. IKEA Belgium wants to make its support sustainable and reach out to the most vulnerable families, underprivileged children and shelters for people in need. We will provide a selection of organisations with a number of basic items such as household linen, tables and lamps. This new phase of aid will last at least until the end of the summer.