The Salvation Army will distribute protective clothing to care homes in partnership with Mail Force, the charity set up by the Daily Mail.
Seven hundred thousand items of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be sent to care homes, homeless shelters and refuges for victims of modern slavery. These masks and aprons, which help protect against the spread of the coronavirus, will be used by charity staff and beneficiaries.
Age UK and Leonard Cheshire will also receive some of the items, along with the health and social care charity Turning Point.
Saving lives and money
Malcolm Page, the assistant director of homelessness services at the Salvation Army, said: “This generous donation will save lives and money, and we are very grateful to Mail Force.
“We are currently spending around £24,000 per week on PPE to keep our staff and vulnerable service users safe. Having such a big donation means we can rechannel some of that money to stocking up food banks, running our debt advice line and helping victims of modern slavery.
“The Salvation Army has been at the frontline of the coronavirus response from the beginning, whether delivering food parcels to those who couldn't leave the house or helping homeless people to self-isolate. We are committed to being there for the most vulnerable, and that means doing all we can to keep our service users and staff safe, and using our community networks to get PPE out to other organisations too.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said that the coronavirus pandemic has created a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones.
“Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis.”
Hugh Fenn, executive director UK Care Services at Leonard Cheshire, said: “The last three months have seen numerous acts of generosity and goodwill from a diverse mix of benefactors, providing vital PPE for us at a critical time.
“This donation from Mail Force through the Salvation Army is particularly generous and indicative of the tremendous cooperation apparent in our sector and beyond during the pandemic.
“We are extremely grateful to Daily Mail readers for their generosity and our friends at the Salvation Army for their logistical expertise in getting PPE where it is urgently needed.”
Mail Force was established at the beginning of May. It has raised just over £850,000 so far via its Virgin Media Giving page, and takes donations directly from the Daily Mail website.
The Salvation Army says that the PPE supplies will be distributed in six regions: Dundee, Nottingham, south Wales, Bristol, London and Wellingborough.