Almost £55m will go to UK charities after the BBC's Big Night In

Almost £27.4m was donated on the night with the government having promised to double the funds raised

Lenny Henry presents the Big Night In (Photograph: Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need via Getty Images)
Lenny Henry presents the Big Night In (Photograph: Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need via Getty Images)

Almost £55m has been raised for UK charities during the Big Night In charity fundraising event broadcast on the BBC last night.

A total of almost £27.4m was donated during the three-hour-long show, with the government having already promised to double the funds raised.

The National Emergencies Trust will receive £20m of the government’s match funding, taking the amount raised by its emergency fundraising appeal to support charities affected by the coronavirus outbreak to £60m.

The remaining funds will be split between Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need, which collaborated for the first time to stage the event last night.

The show featured sketches including Prince William and Stephen Fry, and stars from shows including The Vicar of Dibley, Miranda and Doctor Who.

The NET said it had so far distributed £22.5m of the funds its appeal had raised to front-line charities supporting those affected by the outbreak in the UK.

Comic Relief and Children in Need said the funds they were handling would go to support UK charities in areas including providing food and essential supplies, tackling isolation and connecting people with services, and addressing hidden risks such as domestic abuse or mental health issues.

Some of the funds will also go to NHS Charities Together in order to provide mental health support to NHS workers plus bereavement counselling and support to families of front-line NHS staff who die as a result of the virus.

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