National equivalent to Disasters Emergency Committee is planned

Dame Hilary Blume and Dame Elisabeth Hoodless say the UK Disasters Emergency Appeal 'could be operating by spring'

An initiative similar to the Disasters Emergency Committee but focused on UK disasters could be up and running by the spring, according to Dame Hilary Blume, director of the Charities Advisory Trust.

Blume suggested setting up a national emergency response fund in November after the widespread flooding in Cumbria.

The UK Disasters Emergency Appeal has been registered as a company and has two trustees: Blume and Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, executive director of volunteering charity CSV.

Blume and Hoodless have approached the Charity Commission to register the organisation and have also been in talks with the Office of the Third Sector and other government departments to try to establish a model for how it will operate.

"There is no central collection point for disasters," said Blume. "We want to set up a system where people would know where to give and they could give with confidence."

Blume said the organisation would appoint more trustees in the new year and that they would be responsible for deciding when to launch an appeal. Like the DEC, the organisation would aim to secure free television and newspaper advertising, she said.

The fund will be coordinated by the Charities Advisory Trust and run with the help of volunteers and the Community Foundation Network.



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