The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched a coronavirus fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities.
The British Red Cross will be managing donations.
NET will award grants and distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations, for example local community foundations.
Partners will work within parameters agreed with NET “to help identify the greatest need and distribute funds with both care and speed wherever possible”.
NET was set up last year in response to recommendations by the Charity Commission, following a series of UK emergencies in 2017.
Individuals and charities should not apply directly to the NET for funds. Local charities should contact their local community foundation to apply for funding.
The chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, Lord Dannatt, said: “The outbreak of coronavirus is clearly both a global and national emergency. Many people are suffering, not just from ill health but also from the economic impact as well as the effects of social distancing and isolation.
“While there is much that government can and is doing, there is also a strong desire of the public to help others, and there are local grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people who need it. We will channel the money raised to those organisations so people who need it can get support as quickly as possible but also who will need these vital funds to continue to be there for the long haul.
“These are tough and uncertain times and we’re only asking those who can really afford to give to our appeal to do so. We will do our very best to channel the money raised to organisations where people who need it can get support as quickly as possible.”
Donations can be made online or through giving platforms including Just Giving, Go Fund Me, Virgin Money Gives, Good Launch and Muslim Giving.
The Duke of Cambridge, who attended the launch of NET in November 2019, has recorded a message in support of the appeal.
Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said: “We are living in deeply uncertain times, and I know that people across the nation are keen to help in any way that they can.
“As a government, we are working closely with the charity sector, which is already playing a crucial role in the nation's response.
"The National Emergencies Trust will help to channel the amazing outpouring of generosity we are seeing from the British public and businesses, and ensure help reaches those most in need."
The Trust will report back on how the money raised was spent. It states that it will work collaboratively with others in the sector to build on the insights and lessons learned and increase the UK’s capacity to prepare for, respond and recover from disasters in the UK.
Civil Society News has collated advice for charities dealing with Covid-19