The National Emergencies Trust will provide £12m in funding to a number of charity partners aimed at enhancing support for some of the UK’s most at-risk groups.
Each partner will provide assistance to a disproportionately impacted group that NET believes might have been underserved through the pandemic so far, according to its own gap analysis.
Its research looked at coronavirus appeal grants data to-date, as well as other funding made available to groups from external sources, to identify key areas of unmet need.
Since March, the NET’s coronavirus appeal has raised £87.3m and distributed £64m of this through community foundations UK-wide.
The funding has enabled more than 8,000 grassroots groups to meet urgent needs on the ground, from food access to bereavement counselling, NET said
This new tranche of funding will see just over £2m distributed to two onward grant partners: the disability support network the DPO Covid-19 Coalition, led by Disability Action NI, and the LGBT+ Consortium.
Andrea Brown, chief executive of Disability Action NI, said there was a feeling among disabled people that their voices were being lost or ignored in the confusion unfolding from Covid-19.
“The opportunity of this consortium to come together to provide direct support to grassroots disabled people's organisations across the UK, to ensure they are strengthened and sustained to provide vital advice and support, will enable local action for local needs,” she said.
The data provided by these new partners is highlighting a sharp uplift in need since the start of the pandemic.
The Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, one of the members of LGBT+ Consortium https://www.consortium.lgbt/, has reported a 35 per cent increase in calls compared with the previous year, with a 42 per cent increase in requests for help from trans and non-binary people specifically.
Paul Roberts, chief executive of the LGBT+ Consortium, said: “Issues of negative mental health, domestic abuse and loneliness being reported to helplines across the country, already high before the pandemic, have only increased during lockdown.
“Many in our communities have struggled with living in difficult lockdown situations where they cannot be ‘out’ or have had issues with accessing vital medications.”
Further funds will be distributed to additional partners and consortia, to be announced in the coming weeks.
Gerald Oppenheim, deputy-chair of the NET, said: “By providing specialist support for certain needs and at-risk groups, our new partners will help the thousands of at risk people who find it harder to access help and who have been more difficult for us to reach so far.”