The National Emergencies Trust (NET) coronavirus appeal has now raised £25m, the organisation announced on Sunday.
The government has pledged a further £20m in the form of match funding, bringing the total to £45m.
The appeal was launched on 18 March in partnership with the British Red Cross to support community response to the crisis. Some £12.5m has already been distributed to local organisations via UK Community Foundations, which represents a network of community foundations across the country.
According to NET, distribution criteria for funding are based “on local factors such as levels of deprivation and demographics in each region”, and providing food, medicines and other essential items is the most sought-after form of support so far.
Charities should apply for funding via their local foundation rather than directly through NET.
Donations to the appeal have come from the public, from charitable foundations and from corporates including BT, Tesco, HSBC and M&S.
NET has also announced that the Duke of Cambridge has become a patron.
Demand from charities ‘higher than it has ever been’
John Herriman, chief executive of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “We have been heartened over the past week to see such a continued show of support for those struggling the most at this difficult time. Our team is working hard to distribute the much-needed funds raised to beneficiaries all over the UK, as quickly as we can.
“It is thanks to hugely generous pledges from the public, charitable trusts and our corporate donors that we are able to send this support to communities – but the battle is not yet won.
“We’re asking the public to make a contribution, if possible, and help us spread the word. Everyone who donates can be sure that their money is reaching those in need quickly and making a real difference to those who need it most. By donating to The National Emergencies Trust, you can help ease the load for our most vulnerable communities.”
Rosemary Macdonald, interim chief executive of UK Community Foundations, said: “Over the past few weeks we have been working continuously with our network of 50 community foundations spread across the country, to get the funds raised to those in need as fast as possible. The demand from frontline charities delivering a broad range of vital support is higher than it has ever been before, so it is important that we can respond to particular needs at speed.”
People can donate online on NET’s website or by texting APPEAL to 70141 to give £10.