More than £11m raised in first week of coronavirus emergency appeal

The National Emergencies Trust is distributing the first tranche of funds through the umbrella body UK Community Foundations

The Queen's Crescent Community Association in Kentish Town, north London (Photograph: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
The Queen's Crescent Community Association in Kentish Town, north London (Photograph: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

The emergency appeal to raise funds for charities affected by the coronavirus pandemic has raised more than £11m in its first week.

The National Emergencies Trust, which launched the appeal last Wednesday evening, said it had begun distributing the first tranche of funds to local charities through community foundations across the UK.

The funds include £4.2m pledged by companies and £4.3m from trusts, plus Gift Aid on those donations of about £1.5m.

A further £1m has been raised from the public.

The NET said the funds would be distributed through the umbrella body UK Community Foundations by means of its network of 46 local community foundations.

Further funds are expected to be released in the coming days.

Funds raised will be spent in areas including getting food to isolated people, supporting people with their mental wellbeing and assisting those struggling with debt.

The sums raised include a total of £3m donated by three charitable foundations overseen by the Sainsbury family: the Indigo Trust, the Three Guineas Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.

Other foundations to have made donations include the Garfield Weston Foundation, the SC Catto Charitable Trust and the Reed Foundation.

More than 30 companies and other organisations have supported the campaign, including Marks & Spencer, Iceland, NatWest and the Football Association.

A group of Premier League footballers is also backing the campaign, including Callum Wilson, Hector Bellerin, Andros Townsend and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

They hope to raise £100,000 for the appeal using the hashtag #FootballUnited.

The appeal is the first to be run by the NET, which was launched last year to coordinate the response to major emergencies in the UK as a domestic version of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Lord Dannatt, chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said he was pleased with support for the campaign so far but more was needed.

“That’s why we are calling on everyone, even at this unsettling time, to dig deep and make a contribution,” he said.

“That generosity will ensure we get through this unprecedented time with our most vulnerable communities cared for and supported.”

To donate to the appeal, click here.

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