Coronavirus updates: Third Sector live blog

Keep up to date with all the latest coronavirus-related news affecting the charity sector. Please refresh for the latest updates

(Photograph: Getty Images)
(Photograph: Getty Images)

14 May

17:35: The live blog is closing down for today and will return on Monday

16:30: Sport England offering grants and match funding to help clubs survive pandemic

Sport England is offering grants of up to £10,000 in match funding to sports clubs and groups using Crowdfunder to raise money to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Local sports clubs and charities, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations delivering sport or physical activity in their communities can apply for match funding of 50 per cent of what they raise on Crowdfunder, up to £10,000.

Read the full story here

16:05: Motor Neurone Disease Association directors join forces to raise money

Three weeks into the 26-day challenge, part of The 2.6 Challenge that started in April, the team of seven have raised more than £5,000 to help the charity continue its work supporting people with MND.

They have each formulated their own challenges. Director of external affairs Chris James is re-enacting 26 famous movie scenes, kicking off with Four Weddings and a Funeral. Chris Wade, director of engagement, is collecting signed sports shirts numbered from one to 26 for an auction. And chief executive Sally Light is revisiting a former passion for yoga by completing a 26-minute daily practice.

To see updates on their progress and to donate, click here.

16:00: Staff from Bournemouth telecoms business complete 24 marathons in 24 hours

Two hundred and forty members of staff from the telecommunications business provider 4Com, plus family and friends, took part in The 2.6 Challenge in April and have now raised £12,350, split between their nominated charities.

Split into 24 teams of 10 people, each person ran or walked 2.6 miles. Each team nominated a charity to be the beneficiary of at least £500, with additional bonus donations of £500, £250 and £100 for the top three fastest teams.

The total distance completed by each team was equal to a full 26-mile marathon, so they ran 24 marathons between them. Nominated charities included the Bournemouth Hospital Charity and Bournemouth Foodbank, both of which have been severely affected by Covid-19.

To find out more, click here.

15:25: Big Issue launches Sell a Sub initative after sellers are forced off the streets

The Big Issue has launched a creative campaign in partnership with the social impact creative consultancy Fox & Hare, calling on the public to "sell" the magazine on behalf of street sellers during the Covid-19 crisis.

To take on the challenge, people have to download the magazine’s app or take out a print subscription and sell three subscriptions to three friends and family members within seven days. The Big Issue is aiming to recruit an army of supporters to get more copies of the magazine out there to people and help sellers while they are unable to work on their pitches.

Find out how to sign up at bigissue.com/latest/sellasub.

14:30: Lockdown leading to increase in exposure to second-hand smoke for children

The warning comes today from Action on Smoking and Health, the British Lung Foundation, Fresh and Breathe 2025 as evidence from the YouGov Covid tracker shows that people who live in households that include children are 50 per cent more likely to report being exposed to second-hand smoke since lockdown than those without children (10 per cent compared with 6 per cent). A further 12 per cent of smokers who live with children report they are smoking indoors more than they did before lockdown.

Second-hand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, raising the risks of more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and even meningitis and sudden infant death.

Smokers can find out how to get help with their quit attempts by visiting www.todayistheday.co.uk and ask questions of leading experts by tweeting @QuitforCOVID.

13:10: London Stock Exchange Group donates £1m to National Business Response Network

The network was launched in April by the charity Business in the Community and The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, with more than 750 member companies. Just a week after launch, it received a seven-figure investment from the insurance firm AXA to accelerate the initiative.

After ony five weeks, the NBRN has already made more than 400 matches between local community groups, schools, charities and UK businesses that have been able to meet their urgent needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new investment will help it to rapidly scale up the response network and match more community organisations and charities that need urgent support with the businesses that can provide it.

Community organisations in need of help and businesses wanting to offer their support can click here.

13:00: 11-year-old boy completes 124-mile challenge to raise money for hospice charity

According to the Kenilworth Weekly News, Jacob Scandrett started his challenge on 27 April and completed it on 8 May – also his 11th birthday – by running 1,000 laps around his garden in Weston under Wetherley, which worked out at 124 miles. He has so far managed to raise more than £600 for the Myton Hospices, says the newspaper.

His mother, Laurie, said: "Jacob chose the Myton Hospices in particular because he felt that even though the NHS and other big charities during the lockdown were really important he was very aware that there were also lots of other smaller charities that rely on donations to be able to run and during lockdown they may not be able to do as much fundraising as normal."

To donate, click here.

12:30: Former PM warns of 'second or third wave' of coronavirus

Gordon Brown has warned that the Covid-19 crisis is a “global emergency” that cannot truly be ended “unless it is eradicated in every continent”.

The former Prime Minister said: “It is in all our interests to prevent a second or third wave starting in the poorest, least protected countries with the most underdeveloped health systems. So a threat to others is a threat to us, and we help ourselves by helping others. Protecting ourselves locally means we need to act globally.”

Writing in the foreword of a new report – Tipping Point: How the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to push the world’s poorest to the brink of survival – published by the international development charity Christian Aid to mark Christian Aid Week, Brown said: “Seventy-five years after VE Day, it is more critical than ever that in another global crisis we rediscover how we can work together to make this world a safer, more connected and a far fairer place. Today we face a global medical emergency, and we cannot end the coronavirus pandemic unless it is eradicated in every continent.”

12:05: Celebrities join in with Dementia UK's virtual tea party

A number of famous faces with personal experience of dementia in their families, including Prue Leith (pictured), Trinny Woodall, Georgia Kousoulo and the hairdresser Sam McKnight have  given their social media support to Dementia UK’s first-ever Time For a Cuppa Together UK-wide virtual tea party.

They have been raising awareness of the work of Admiral Nurses, who provide specialist dementia support to families when things get challenging or difficult, giving them compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions to problems.

Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline has experienced a surge in calls during the pandemic, with carers and people with dementia reporting that they feel overwhelmed and do not know who to turn to. The helpline is there for anyone living and supporting someone with dementia.

The charity also has an online coronavirus hub here.

10:45: Coronavirus crisis has exposed the weaknesses of charities, says former Acevo chief

Writing in The Times, Sir Stephen Bubb, who led the charity sector leaders body for 16 years, claimed the pandemic had shown that the sector needed a "shake-up" and called for an inquiry.

Bubb, now director of the think tank Charity Futures, wrote: “This pandemic has exposed weakness in our economy and society and thus the need for a national inquiry into what went wrong."

He added: "It is clear that charities need a wide-ranging inquiry too."

The article can be read here (paywall).

10:25: NHS and front-line staff 'showing signs of traumatic stress similar to war-zone symptoms'

To support their colleagues on the coronavirus front line, NHS psychological   trauma therapists Shiraz Farrand and Kinga Komarzynska have launched the 1stcontact.net website, developed by the tech-for-good digital social enterprise Reason Digital, which provides exercises to protect staff from developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Farrand and Komarzynska say NHS and front-line workers treating coronavirus patients are suffering traumatic stress and are facing the same challenges usually seen in war zones or refugee camps.

The website provides traumatic stress relief by teaching users the Butterfly Hug and 4 Elements techniques, developed by the trauma therapists Dr Ignacio Jarero and Elan Shapiro, and based on the principles of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing.

09:10: BAME-led food bank sees demand for its services quadruple during pandemic

Nottinghamshire Live reports that the Himmah Food Bank has seen demands for food rocket since March, from about 30 to 50 meals a week to more than 150 a week in the space of two months.

It says that the charity has been working with local businesses including shops and taxi companies to make food available to those who need it. Because of a lack of cooking space, Himmah has also partnered with restaurants in the city to ensure hot meals are made by professionals with provided ingredients.

The director of Himmah, Sajid Mohammed, told Nottingham Live that the charity's BAME-focus allowed "culturally appropriate" food to be made. The charity initially focused on supporting asylum seekers and refugees, but has shifted its focus to food and the wider community.

09:05: New infrastructure is needed to capitalise on the pandemic volunteering boom, MPs say

A report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, published today, warns that first-time volunteers might be discouraged if they do not have a satisfactory experience.

The report says the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in “more and new types of volunteering”, with more than 750,000 people signing up to help the NHS.

Read the full story here

13 May

17:30: The live blog is closing for the evening and will return tomorrow

17:15: Emergency funding for the sector is 'taking too long', says NCVO chief executive

In a blog post, Karl Wilding says the process of allocating some of the £750m of government support is 'bedevilled by delay and a lack of transparency'.

He said: “Reassurances that funding will be made available soon are starting to wear thin,” he said. “I have told the government and the NLCF that this pace isn’t good enough."

Read the full story here

15:05: Chums Charity launches appeal to raise £50,000

The young person and children's mental health charity's Change A Life In Under 90 Seconds appeal is designed to help it continue its life-changing support for those who are traumatically bereaved, abused, self-harming, struggling with anxiety or low mood and those who have ASD.

To donate, click here.

14:25: Greens of Colour talk Covid-19 online next Tuesday

The BAME caucus of the Green Party is running a discussion on 19 May at 7pm on the societal inequalities that are affecting people of colour, resulting in this group being disproportionately hit by coronavirus.

Three Green councillors will talk about the impact of coronavirus on their communities and how they've responded: Cllr Cleo Lake (Bristol), Cllr Kaltum Osman Rivers (Sheffield) and Cllr Naveen Tangri (Leamington).

For more information and to get involved, click here.

11:20: Shape History begins series of 'fireside discussions' on issues facing sector

The social impact communications agency begins its series, called The Great Adaptation, today at 4pm with a discussion entitled "Fixing furlough & the route to universal basic income".

Another discussion, on 21 May, will cover "International organisations and NGOs beyond the pandemic". To find out more and to take part, click here.

11:05: WCVA begins series of free events to share learning from the pandemic

The first event in the Wales Council for Voluntary Action's online events is called "Preparing for different futures: financial resilience" and covers the financial impact of the coronavirus now and in the future. It will take place tomorrow at 4pm.

To find out more and to register, click here.

10:55: Lockdown measures 'protecting landlords, banks and lenders more than families'

The IPPR think tank says the huge state intervention in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – in particular, to underwrite wages for workers and loans for small and medium-sized businesses – might seem to be progressive at first sight. But it says its analysis suggests that the crisis will acctually exacerbate inequalities between the working poor and the asset-owning wealthy.

In a new publication called Who Wins and Who Pays? Rentier Power and the Covid Crisis, it calls for short-term measures to ensure the well-off bear their share of the burden, including:

  • Capping interest rates on the state-backed portion of new business loans at 0 per cent or 0.5 per cent;
  • Considering bans on dividends and share buybacks so that government support for large businesses does not indirectly subsidise shareholders and highly paid executives;
  • Ending "no-fault" evictions urgently as the first step in a wider package of reforms to boost renters' rights;
  • Exploring the possibility of a freeze on rent, debts and bills for some struggling households, without new debts accruing, within current legal frameworks.

To download the paper, click here.

10:30: Cancer Research UK sets up cycling challenge to raise funds

The charity's Cycle 50 fundraiser asks supporters to sign up, donate £20 and cycle 50 miles in one week, either indoors or out – or both.

It asks supporters to then let everyone know by sharing photos on social media using #Cycle50 and nominate others to take part.

To find out more and to get involved, click here.

10:25: Maternity Action updates its online Q&A about health and safety at work during pandemic

The charity that describes itself as "committed to ending inequality and improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, partners and young children" has added advice on how to take action if your employer is not implementing health and safety measures and a template letter for agency workers.

The Q&As cover the health and safety protection employees have at work, working from home, what happens if you refuse to go to work because of the pandemic and a number of other issues.

To access the web page, click here.

10:00: Big Society Capital cuts losses but warns of trouble ahead thanks to pandemic

Big Society Capital has significantly reduced its annual losses since last year, but its latest accounts warn that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to a significant drop in the value of its social impact investments next year.

The social investment wholesaler’s accounts for the year to 31 December 2019, published on Companies House this week, also reveal that the organisation made a record £2bn available to organisations with social missions last year, up from £1.7bn in 2018.

Read the full story here

09:35: Unicef begins 'biggest-ever' appeal, focusing on impact of virus on children

The charity says six thousand children could die every day in the next six months as coronavirus weakens national health systems and disrupts vital services.

It says: "The impact of a large-scale outbreak on children, especially poor and vulnerable children, has been immense. Coronavirus threatens children already weakened by war, disease, hunger and poverty, whose very survival depends on health care, life-saving food, clean water and medical supplies."

It adds that £30 could provide a full kit to protect a health worker on the front line, including gloves, masks and coveralls, and £43 could provide 1,680 pairs of disposable gloves for health workers.

For more information and to donate, click here.

09:30: Warwick first-aid charity appeals for funds after losing main source of income

According to the Kenilworth Weekly News, the Warwick Ambulance Association, founded in 1988, has had to cancel all its fundraising events.

The newspaper says the charity provides first-aid cover for many events including the Warwick Pancake Races, the Thai Festival and bonfire night.

Mike Cornes, chair and coordinator for the charity, told the News: "Our 30 volunteers attend some 150 events per year and provide first-aid facilities for up to 10,000 people at each event. Like other charities, we are unable to raise any funds from our normal sources, while still having to pay all of our usual outgoings of £1,500 a month."

To donate, click here.

09:20: Ten-year-old running 250km to raise money for children's hospital

The Western Telegraph reports that Jake Day is attempting to complete the distance in 30 days to raise cash for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.

The newspaper says he had hoped to raise £500, but increased the target to £1,000 as donations came in. He started his challenge on 10 May and raised nearly £1,400 in the first couple of days, clocking up an average of nine kilometres a day.

09:15: Shropshire musicians donate songs for NHS charity album

According to the Shropshire Star, Mark Fielden, of Shrewsbury, has raised more than £10,000 for the Lingen Davies Cancer Charity at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital through a series of musical fundraisers. He organised the album to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

The newspaper says hard copies are available to buy for £7, including postage and packing, or the album can be downloaded for £5 here.

09:10: Scottish government announces extra help for charities

Properties occupied by charities can now apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme to help with pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The extension of the scheme is expected to result in an additional £31m being made available to more than 3,000 small properties occupied by charities, including day centres, workshops and halls. It will apply to properties in receipt of any charitable rates relief or sports relief, but are otherwise eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

The Small Business Grant Scheme is administered by local authorities. Organisations can apply for the scheme through their local councils.

12 May

17:35: The live blog is closing down for today and will return tomorrow

16:55: Impact investment body holding webinar on policy responses to the pandemic

GSG's first-ever open webinar will take place on Thursday, 14 May, at 1pm, to discuss action-oriented impact policy responses to the Covid-19 crisis. It will be hosted by Sir Ronald Cohen, GSG chair, and Sebastian Welisiejko, chief policy officer.

It says: "This discussion will present the evolution in the thinking and design of adequate impact-driven responses to the crisis, including a retrospective of other global crises, an overview of various impact instruments best suited to different phases of the crisis and the need for a reinterpretation of impact in the current context."

For more information and to register, click here.

16:20: Peers tell Chancellor he must allow furloughed charity staff to volunteer for their own organisations

A letter to Rishi Sunak, written by the Liberal Democrat Baroness Tyler of Enfield and signed by 13 others, says failure to do so could create 'an irreparable void' in charity services.

The letter, sent today, acknowledges that the job-rentention scheme needs to be protected from abuse, but the nature of charities means the chances of that happening are “inherently remote”.

It adds: “We strongly believe charities must not be discouraged from delivering critical front-line services at a time where demand has soared, income has disappeared and they face a very uncertain future."

Read the full story here

12:20: Essex fellowship for the sick donates more than £30,000 to charities

According to the Harwich & Maningtree Standard, the Harwich Fellowship for the Sick has donated a total of £31,500 to four organisations, including £10,000 apiece to EACH, a children's hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and the St Helena Hospice.

The newspaper writes that a spokesman for the fellowship said the money was donated because the charities had suffered adrop in funding as a result of the pandemic. All three charities provide care for patients within Harwich and the surrounding area of Essex.

The group has also donated £1,500 to Harwich Helps, a coronavirus helpline ran by local volunteers during the outbreak, writes the Standard.

12:00: Sector in Northern Ireland needs to be saved from collapse, says CO3 chief

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Nora Smith, chief executive of the organisation for charity sector leaders, says the local sector requires more assistance than the £15m fund announced by the Stormont Executive last week.

Smith writes that, although the leadership body is grateful for the funds, "it equates to just £2,459 when split equally between our over 6,100 local registered charities. This is clearly not enough to sustain the sector when some charities have already reported losing over £100,000 in income."

She adds that a survey of more than 200 charity chief executives, carried out with the Institute of Fundraising, revealed a sector on a financial cliff edge, with nearly 40 per cent of charities having been forced to cease some of their key services to protect their cash flows, and a further 33 per cent considering similar steps in the near future.

To read the full article, click here.

11:15: Battersea Power Station Foundation pledges £125k to help local community

The foundation says local charities and organisations that focus on important areas such as digital poverty, access to food, mental health, domestic violence and supporting the elderly during isolation will be able to apply for funding. A partnership has been formed with the London Community Response Fund, which supports groups affected by Covid-19 across the capital.

It says it has already contributed £25,000 to a number of charities throughout this lockdown period, including Age UK Wandsworth, the St George’s Hospital Charity, the Wandsworth Foodbank and the Power to Connect campaign, which was launched in April to deal with digital exclusion issues.

10:35: Charity Tax Group runs survey on charities' use of Covid-19 support measures

The survey covers the use of the VAT deferral, the job-retention scheme, coronavirus business loans, the expanded retail discount and a number of other measures.

To take part in the survey, click here.

10:30: An extra 1,500 free places now available for Third Sector's Fundraising Conference

Tickets for the conference went live at the end of April and sold out within 48 hours. The virtual conference will take place on 20 and 21 May. It has the theme of “Fundraising in the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond”.

More than 20 sessions will take place across the two days, with confirmed speakers including Rhodri Davies, head of policy at the Charities Aid Foundation, Gabby Edlin, founder and chief executive of the period poverty charity Bloody Good Period, and Shabby Amini, executive director of fundraising and creative at Comic Relief.

Read the full story here

10:10: Join in with the Mass Observation annual 12 May day diary call

It's the 10th anniversary of this annual call by Mass Observation, the organisation that has documented and archived details of everyday life since 1937. The written diaries will be stored in the MO archive, to be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning.

MO says that, ideally, diaries should be in electronic form as email attachments (Word documents preferably) and sent to moa@sussex.ac.uk. It will accept physical and hard-copy diaries, but recommends that these are posted after the lockdown ends.

Submissions should not include your real name, contact details or the personal details of the people mentioned in your diary. In fact, nothing that identifies anyone should be included, MO says.

For more information, click here.

09:55: Bookshop partners with Little Sprout charity to donate books with food packages

The Northern Echo reports that the Stockton-based bookshop Drake has partnered with the health and wellbeing charity from Yarm to help the community in Thornaby and surrounding areas.

The newspaper writes that Little Sprouts has been running food drop-ins at a range of locations across Teesside since 23 March and has had support from several local businesses.

09:40: Fishermen's Mission asks supporters to create art to raise money

According to The Packet, the Cornish newspaper, the charity wants people to create art using anything they have lying around during lockdown, which will then be sold to raise money.

Julian Waring, community fundraiser for the charity, which operates around the UK but has its only fundraising shop in Helston, came up with the idea by using the 2017 Porthleven Baulk Auction as inspiration, the newspaper says.

This saw everyone from artists to schoolchildren and retired engineers taking a piece of Porthleven's harbour defence, which was destroyed by a major storm in 2014, it says. Their work ranged from pens to sculptures and even paintings, raising more than £40,000 for the charity when items were auctioned.

09:35: Charity partner gives Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance a £50,000 donation

The charity, which has suffered from reduced donations because of the health crisis, received the money from the insurance provider the Phoenix Group, according to theCourier.co.uk.

The news outlet says the SCAA, based in Scone, announced a one-year partnership with the insurer in February 2019 and this was due to end in spring, but the insurance company has agreed to extend this to the end of 2020.

The charity has attended more than 2400 emergency call outs nationwide and attended 352 life-threatening emergencies in 2019, an 8 per cent increase on the previous year, the website reports.

09:25: Financial health of sector 'worse than all-time low in manufacturing'

Seven out of 10 charities say donations and new business have fallen in the past month, and nearly six out 10 say cash flow has worsened, a survey by the charity leaders body Acevo has found.

Seventy per cent of respondents said new business and donation income had fallen, while 59 per cent said they felt cash flow had deteriorated and 61 per cent said their reserve levels had fallen.

Read the full story here

11 May

17:55: The live blog is packing up for the evening and will return in the morning

15:20: Media Trust puts together guide on accessible technology and communications

The organisation writes: "With more of us working remotely than ever before, it is so important that our disabled colleagues are not left out and locked out by inaccessible communications.

"Fortunately, the digital platforms and technology we use for work is at its most accessible ever, and this is only being developed further as the weeks under lockdown go by."

The guide covers the available tools and resources. To download the guide, click here.

13:15: Royal Marsden Cancer Charity funding five-year study on impact of Covid-19

Researchers at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Francis Crick Institute, funded by the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, are launching a five-year study with more than 1,200 cancer patients to analyse the impact of the coronavirus and how cancer treatment interacts with it.

The study will also be supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

Approximately 1,200 cancer patients across all tumour types will be followed up for five years. In addition to using online questionnaires, clinical teams will collect data relating to cancer and anti-cancer interventions, and fluid samples such as blood. Researchers will compare cancer outcomes and safety of treatment in those with and without the virus. More than 1,000 healthcare staff will also be monitored for 12 months.

For more information, click here.

12:45: British Safety Council says 'reckless' government putting workers at risk

After the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday about returning to work, the training and certification organisation has demanded that no worker be forced back to their workplace until it has been made safe.

Speaking today from his home Mike Robinson, chief executive of the BSC, said: “Yesterday’s announcement compounded a week of mixed messages that will put workers at risk. It is reckless to urge people back to work before clear guidance has been published and before employers have put in place plans to make workplaces safe.

"Instead of a phased plan, allowing managers to understand and interpret guidance, anxious workers are going to be piling back onto public transport without any clear rules and guidance. We are working to help our members and customers to carry out proper risk assessments, but the confusing messages from government are not helping anyone."

12:40: Forty abandoned animals reported to RSPCA each day during lockdown

The animal charity says it has received more than 1,600 reports of abandoned animals across England & Wales since lockdown began, equalling 40 a day.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the government, but vital funding is needed to help the RSPCA’s front-line staff continue this crucial work across England and Wales. It has been running an emergency appeal to keep its rescue teams out on the road during the health crisis.

Since the government introduced the lockdown measures, the RSPCA has responded to more than 27,000 incidents, with 1,600 incidents of abandoned animals reported. The number of animals being cared for by the RSPCA at centres, hospitals and vet surgeries has also grown by hundreds.

12:30: Pandemic is causing poor mental health in a third of children, says healthcare provider

More than three million children in the UK could be struggling with poor mental health due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

Nearly a third of parents (29 per cent) revealed they had seen a negative impact on their children’s mental wellbeing since the outbreak of the virus, and an additional four in ten (40 per cent) said they never talked about mental health with their children, suggesting there could be even more suffering in silence during the pandemic.

As a result of the findings, Benenden Health has developed a dedicated Covid-19 hub, providing online materials and advice for people including children and parents to help them manage their health and wellbeing.

For more information, click here.

11:45: Royal Opera House costumes department staff make scrubs for NHS

Between 20 and 30 people from the ROH costume teams, including dressers for the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera, technicians from the production workshops and both the running teams, have created a range of essential personal protective equipment, including scrubs and hats as well as bespoke items such as bags, ear protectors and masks, for local NHS trusts and charitable groups across the country.

Working from home using official NHS trust-coloured and sourced materials from online crowdfunding projects, as well as from local businesses and charitable organisations, they have supplied hundreds of items to those who need them on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus.

All of those involved are full-time and casual staff members who have been put on the government’s furlough scheme and have dedicated their own time and resources to helping out.

09:50: Oxfam to continue with restructure despite pandemic

A planned restructure by the international charity is going ahead, even though two-thirds of its staff are currently on furlough.

In January, the charity said it would be cutting jobs and reducing core costs in an effort to address a £16m black hole in its accounts, although it did not say how many jobs would be at risk.

Read the full story here

09:45: Runners adapt Everest challenge for lockdown fundraising

This is Lancashire reports that staff at the Ramsbottom-based training company FuseFit will run the equivalent of Everest in just 24 hours for the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour SuperJosh Charity and Bury Hospice.

It writes that the event will begin on 23 May and will follow strict social distancing rules to ensure the safety of all involved. The group had set itself the challenge of completing 12 challenges in 12 months, but has had to adapt because of the pandemic.

Runners will go through the night in order to complete the 51 laps needed of the local Hare & Hounds to Peel Tower Route, with one lap will needing be completed every 28 minutes. 

For more information, click here.

09:30: App offers solution for food banks suffering from lack of donations

According to The Guardian, an app called Bankuet, launched last year to reduce inefficiency and limit food waste, is helping food banks make up for the lack of donations during the pandemic and associated lockdown.

The newspaper reports that donors using the app buy food bundles for their chosen food bank. Bankuet then buys products the bank has requested, at a bulk discount, in a zero-waste, just-in-time operation.

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