The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has made a donation to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity that will enable it to purchase a specialist machine to test for COVID-19, and is working with the National Health Service across the country on cancer care and support for staff.
Ralph Lauren, which already has a longstanding collaboration with The Royal Marsden hospital in London, having donated millions of pounds to build a breast cancer research center there, said COVID-19 “presents an especially challenging risk for people with cancer, who are often immunocompromised as a result of their treatment.”
The company said on-site testing will enable The Royal Marsden to find out sooner whether patients have the virus — or not — and to ensure they are cared for in the appropriate environment to avoid further transmission. “These measures will also help to alleviate pressure on staffing, avoiding unnecessary isolation and allowing staff to return to work who have not tested positive,” the company said.
The testing will also be rolled out to benefit other cancer patients and National Health Service front-line staff across London, as part of a newly announced hub in the capital. The specialized hub, set up to coordinate cancer care across London, is being led by The Royal Marsden, University College London Hospitals and Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals, and is supported by local and independent hospitals.
Professor Mitch Dowsett, head of the Ralph Lauren Center for Breast Cancer Research at The Royal Marsden, said the latest donation means that the hospital can bring COVID-19 testing in-house, “increasing the volume of NHS staff and cancer patients across London that can be tested, and significantly speeding up the turnaround of results.”
Ralph Lauren said it will also help to raise funds to support the COVID-19 emergency appeal launched by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Funds from this appeal will provide support to front-line NHS staff at The Royal Marsden to ensure that people with cancer can continue to receive treatment and care.
The company also plans to donate 50,000 Ralph Lauren products, including pajamas, T-shirts and other lounge wear for NHS staff across British hospitals, in collaboration with the Helpforce charity which aids NHS volunteers.
As reported, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has already committed $10 million to help its teams, the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, and international cancer institutions caring for people with cancer.
The Body Shop, meanwhile, is targeting a different group of people impacted by the lockdown: On Thursday, it announced a global partnership with No More, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault globally.
Its “Isolated, Not Alone” campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the issue, sharing information to support survivors and calling on governments to provide additional funding for the cause.
This week, Sky News reported that suspected domestic abuse killings in the U.K. have more than doubled during the lockdown, while phone calls to abuse hotlines have risen by 25 percent.
The Body Shop said Thursday it plans to join forces with select local organizations in each market for a deeper understanding of local needs worldwide. In the U.K., it will partner with Women’s Aid, a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.
The Body Shop’s initiative is part of a wider initiative by Natura & Co., the group that owns Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop, to help survivors of domestic violence.
“The whole world is going through an incredibly difficult time. Tragically, an outcome of this has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence. Though governmental policies are designed to protect people, those at risk of domestic violence are in potentially terrifying situations, isolated with their abusers,” said David Boynton, The Body Shop’s chief executive officer. “Through our campaign, we will mobilize more than 20,000 employees and encourage more than 30 million customers to support this vital cause.”
He added that, collectively, Natura & Co.’s reach extends to more than 200 million customers in more than 70 countries, “so we have the scale to make a real difference.”