The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has raised almost £11m in a week for its coronavirus emergency appeal, the organisation has announced.
The first £2.5m will be allocated to 46 community foundations across the country via the UK Community Foundations network.
Local charities should apply for funding through their community foundations rather than directly through NET.
Some £3m has been donated to the appeal by the Sainsbury family through three of its charitable foundations (the Indigo Trust, The Three Guineas Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation).
A number of Premier League players have also pledged their support and fundraised with the hashtag #FootballUnited.
The appeal was launched on 18 March in partnership with the British Red Cross, which manages the donations. Donations can be made online on the organisation's website.
NET was set up last year in response to recommendations by the Charity Commission, following a series of UK emergencies in 2017.
The organisation said that ways in which the funding will be used include distributing food to people self-isolating, supporting vulnerable children and people struggling with debt, helping people who are recovering after leaving the hospital and supporting mental health programmes.
‘We need much more’
Lord Dannatt, chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “We are delighted that there is growing support for the Trust and that we have been able to start getting money out to organisations who can help people within a week of launching.
“But we need much more. That’s why we are calling on everyone, even at this unsettling time to dig deep and make a contribution. That generosity will ensure that we get through this unprecedented time with our most vulnerable communities cared for and supported.”
Rosemary Macdonald, interim CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: “Never before have we had to pull together so quickly to support the most vulnerable in our society. Through our network of 46 community foundations, we have an in-depth understanding of local need and will ensure the generous donations support local groups to tackle this crisis.”