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Age UK, Crisis and Mind among charities to receive Big Night In funds

23 Apr 2020 News

Age UK, Crisis and Mind are among those that will receive funds from tonight's Big Night In appeal, Comic Relief has announced.

Comic Relief said this will be part of a “networked emergency response” to distribute funds to charities across the country.

The Big Night In is a live entertainment night that will be broadcast tonight on BBC One. The telethon will raise funds for both BBC’s partner charities Comic Relief and Children In Need. The two funders will then be distribute money to charities on the frontline.

The government has announced it will match all the money raised from the appeal. While it is not unusual for it to support Comic Relief’s telethons through a match funding programme, it is the first time this is not capped.

Partner charities

BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief will be splitting the appeal’s funds equally. Funding will focus on three areas: “food and other basic essentials”, “connecting people with vital services and tackling isolation” and “supporting local charities and projects to adapt and innovate to address hidden risks”.

In addition, Comic Relief has published a statement on its approach to grantmaking on this occasion: “We are committed to making sure money reaches the communities and projects at the heart of the Covid-19 response as quickly and effectively as possible. 

“We also know in this situation it is important to provide support in the medium and long term. We will achieve this through a phased funding approach; working with partners to provide a networked emergency response across the country, as well as offering support to new charities responding to the medium and longer-term impact of the crisis through an open funding call this summer.

“As well as working with existing funded partners as they develop their Covid-19 response, we are working with some larger national partners who have thematic expertise and national reach and are working collaboratively to distribute funding to local community and grassroots groups across the UK at the forefront of this crisis.”

Comic Relief’s partners for the Big Night In as listed on its website are: NHS Charities Together, Rosa Women’s Fund, Buttle UK, Refugee Action and Migration Exchange, Women’s Aid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Crisis, Mind, FareShare, Homeless Link.

Comic Relief said it will also be working with cross-thematic organisations Groundwork UK, Corra Foundation, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to distribute the funds.

‘We need everybody’s support’

Laurie Boult, fundraising director at Age UK, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this huge event and have no doubt the country will come together and show their generous support on the night. 
 
“To be part of Comic Relief is a real honour, we are all facing a devastating threat right now and it is older people who are among the most at risk. Too many older vulnerable people are now completely alone and we desperately need everybody’s support so we can be there for those who urgently need us. 
 
“We are so grateful for the donations and support we have received so far – our appeal is helping us to continue to run our essential services. But there’s a lot more for us to do and The Big Night In will really help us to keep on providing comfort, hope and practical support.”

Crisis wrote on Twitter: “We're thrilled to be one of the charities chosen to benefit from tonight's event, which supports charities across the UK working to provide vital emergency support during the coronavirus crisis.”

Big Night In celebrities and initiatives

Tonight’s Big Night in will see a range of celebrities and artists taking part, including ten different actors that have starred as Doctor Who in the past 50 years appearing together and Matt Lucas and David Walliams doing Little Britain on TV for the first time in a decade.

Twenty-three artists including Chris Martin of Coldplay, Ellie Goulding, Rag’n’Bone Man and Sean Paul have released a cover of Foo Fighters’ Times Like These hit to raise money for the appeal. The video of the artists performing the song from home will be shown tonight during the telethon.

Part of the appeal will also be a fundraising quiz night tomorrow. The Big Quiz will be broadcast at 6.30pm and hosted by Judge Rinder.

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