NET announces more distributing partners as it stops fundraising for its coronavirus appeal

22 Sep 2020 News

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) will award funding to Age UK, Shelter and Heads Together to support at-risk groups, as it stops actively raising funds for its coronavirus appeal.

The appeal has raised £93m since its launch in mid-March. Most funding has been distributed by local foundations via the membership body UK Community Foundations.

Age UK, Shelter and the mental health network Heads Together Coalition, which includes Mind, will now also receive about £1.5m each from the appeal.

This is part of a £12m commitment from NET to support at-risk groups that were previously underserved by emergency funding, according to the charity’s gap analysis. These funds mostly focus on supporting helplines, which have seen an increase in demand since the start of the pandemic.

Last month, NET announced that the first five charities to be granted money from the fund would be women’s charity Refuge, Refugee Council, Cruse Bereavement Care, disability support network DPO COVID-19 Coalition and the LGBT+ Consortium.

NET also said that with £93m raised and £87m allocated so far, the appeal is now entering “a new chapter”. While it will not be actively fundraising for the appeal anymore, NET will still accept donations on its website.

John Herriman, the first chief executive of the National Emergencies Trust, left the organisation earlier this month

Need for a further appeal kept under review

Gerald Oppenheim, deputy chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said that while “the board continues to keep the need for a further appeal under close review”, at the moment the focus of the organisation is on ensuring funds “continue to reach those who need them”.

Mhairi Sharp, COO and interim CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said in an update on the charity’s website: “Communities are still facing immense challenges and charities will continue to play a vital role. From assistance with accommodation due to changed financial circumstances, through to support with mental health and well-being, it is clear that needs will be vast, and varied.

“While we are no longer actively seeking funds for the coronavirus appeal, given the sheer scale of the challenge in communities we continue to accept donations through our website.”

Oppenheim added: “Our partners are supporting at-risk groups at the frontline. Many have already seen unprecedented demand for their remote services due to the pandemic and this looks set to continue. 

“For these people, being able to turn to a well-known name, seek support close to home and use an anonymous service, such as a helpline or webchat, are priority factors in deciding where to turn to.

“By helping Age UK, Shelter and Heads Together to increase or expand their vital helpline and infoline services, we hope that more people in urgent need will be able to access essential advice and support.”

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