Together we will beat leprosy

By Jimmy Innes, Lepra
As UK-based health charity ‘Lepra’ approaches its centenary, it feels appropriate for us to reflect on its long-standing relationship with UK businesses. And to celebrate the collaborative approach which has helped to develop pioneering new treatments and support programmes, for people affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.
Published in Essex Director Magazine Summer | Autumn 2023

Giving Back: Lepra

Working to support some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, Lepra’s evidence-based, person-centred approach, has helped to detect and successfully treat cases of leprosy for over 99 years. Unfortunately, deeply ingrained myths and misunderstandings surrounding the ancient disease, formed over thousands of years, continue to contribute to the spread of leprosy.

Every day over 600 people are diagnosed with the disease and over 50 of these will be children. Yet, unfounded fear, healthcare inequality, and prejudicial attitudes towards people affected, all prevent the millions of undiagnosed people from accessing free early treatment, which can cure the infection and prevent disability from developing. 1-in-2 people diagnosed also go on to develop mental health issues as a result of the social and economic isolation many experience following a diagnosis.

Our history of collaboration with cooperate partnerships, has emerged as a sustainable model for social good. Working closely with businesses and organisations who share our values and beliefs, has helped drive a meaningful change for people affected by neglected tropical diseases across India and Bangladesh.

Corporate partners enable R&D

Corporate partnerships have enabled new research and pioneering projects that have improved the lives of millions of vulnerable people living in remote areas. Baillie Gifford supported a range of new mental health support projects in Bangladesh, such as the community-based ‘Mental Motivators’. Candida Investments supported physiotherapy work in our referral centres, providing pre-and post-operative support for people undergoing reconstructive surgery. And Pavers helped to provide innovative mobile footwear units, which can access remote and disadvantaged communities throughout India.

Partnering with Lepra enhances brand image and reputation, leading to increased customer loyalty, positive public perception, and differentiation from competitors. Employees often feel proud and motivated to work for an organisation that contributes to the good of the community, and engaging employees in charitable activities gives them a sense of purpose and fulfilment; often leading to better retention and increased social awareness, and better customer service.

There are many ways organisations can partner with Lepra during our centenary year. Our extensive reach into a socially conscious UK and global audience, can help to enhance your brand and you can have a transformative impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Whether you choose us as your Charity of the Year or want to support an entire project, or are just looking for fundraising or volunteering projects for your team, we would love to hear from you.

Together we will beat leprosy 1

Jimmy Innes is Chief Executive of Lepra

T: 01206 216700
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