The power of 3

Zurich International and Z Zurich Foundation support initiatives to help IOM through COVID crisis

With the cheque for funds raised from Zurich International’s #Yessir campaign are (left to right) David Gawne MBE, Chairman, Isle of Man Foodbank; Madina Sharpe, Foodbank Volunteer; Melanie Kermeen, Director, Manx Solidarity Fund; and Martin Malone, International Distribution Manager, Zurich International, who came up with idea for the fundraising campaign.

The Isle of Man is renowned for its resilience, a strength that’s reflected by the triskelion and the ‘whichever way you throw it, it will stand’ motto.

 In recent months those qualities have also been shown by the reaction of businesses, employees, and the whole community to help the most vulnerable members of society during the COVID-19 crisis.

 Zurich International’s response stands out – as does the support provided by the Z Zurich Foundation (Zurich Insurance Group’s charitable foundation). Together they have supported three key initiatives which are already helping the individuals and community organisations that are most in need.

Zurich International donated £30,000 to the Manx Solidarity Fund and became one of the first businesses to support the fund which was set-up in March. The Manx Solidarity Fund is a Manx-registered charitable trust with a mission to serve the community. Its Patron is His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney. The Fund is already providing grants to the individuals, businesses and charities on the Island who need it most. Click here to find out more, or find the ‘Success Stories’ tab at

  • Isle of Man Foodbank received a donation of £30,000 from the Z Zurich Foundation in April. The Foodbank, which is a registered Manx charity run solely by volunteers, would have sufficient donations of food in normal circumstances, but since the pandemic started the number of people needing help has greatly increased. The Z Zurich Foundation donation is helping the charity to meet that demand. Worldwide, Z Zurich Foundation donations in response to the COVID-19 emergency have supported about 60 charities so far, helping them assist a vast number of our communities in need by providing food, medical service deliveries, laptops for online schooling, and access to mental health support for the most vulnerable and isolated people.
  • In May, Zurich International launched its ‘Give A Coffee #Yessir’ campaign. Martin Malone, International Distribution Manager at Zurich International, came up with idea. Due to the lockdown, Martin realised that he wasn’t spending money at his local coffee bar, so he decided to give the money he saved to charity. He knew that many of his colleagues and friends would think it was a good idea too, and so the #Yessir campaign was born. Thanks to a quirky social media and PR campaign, and match-funding from the Z Zurich Foundation, a total of £11,773.80 was shared equally between the Manx Solidarity Fund and Isle of Man Foodbank (so that means each charity receives £5,886.90).
With the cheque for £30,000 donated to Isle of Man Foodbank by the Z Zurich Foundation are (left to right) David Gawne MBE, Chairman, Isle of Man Foodbank; Madina Sharpe, Foodbank Volunteer; and Serena Wood, Zurich International’s Community Champion.

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities that have led to a sudden surge in demand for the services provided by charities. Zurich International and the Z Zurich Foundation’s rapid response to help charities here on the Island has been mirrored around the world by the Zurich Insurance Group, and the Foundation which has refocused its efforts on helping those who provide urgent medical attention, food supplies, mental health counselling, and other support to the most vulnerable members of society.

Peter Huber, CEO, Zurich International, said: “Everyone at Zurich International, and our Zurich Insurance Group colleagues around the world, always recognise the importance of giving back to the communities in which we live and work. That’s always a priority for us, and even more so in times of crisis. It has been inspiring to see how the whole community here on the Island has responded. We are already seeing the positive impact that charities such as the Manx Solidarity Fund and Isle of Man Foodbank are having. On behalf of everyone at Zurich International, thank you to everyone involved with the charities for the great work they are doing, and to everyone that has supported our fundraising efforts so far. I also want to thank my colleagues for the fantastic contribution they have made during the crisis, including raising funds for many good causes. Charities and organisations will continue to need support to overcome the challenges that lie ahead, so we are already working on more fundraising ideas to maintain the momentum we have already established.”

 Check out Zurich International’s social media channels for the latest news about fundraising events, and to see stories of how the money that has already been raised and donated is helping those in need here on the Island. Zurich International also has a free online ‘Wellbeing Toolkit’ which offers a wealth of information specifically designed to help Isle of Man residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit – available at – contains lots of information to help everyone on the Island look after their own mental health and wellbeing, and to assist in supporting their families, friends, and work colleagues.