With stresses and strains faced by many during 2020 many charities are dealing with urgent problems, often made more acute by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Income from Christmas campaigns will be a welcome boost for many, and securing support from a national media outlet or large retailer can be a big help. We take a look at which charities have won the backing of key players.
This year the UK's media have focused on several issues, with one main cause seeming to be supporting young people in the wake of the pandemic.
The Guardian and Observer
This year, The Guardian and The Observer’s charity appeal is partnering with organisations that support young people whose lives have been devastated by the impact of Covid-19. They are UK Youth, Young Minds, and Child Poverty Action Group.
Just one week into its 2020 campaign, the Guardian and Observer charity appeal had raised more than £250,000 for charities supporting disadvantaged young people in the UK. More than 3,000 readers had so far given to the appeal.
Introducing the appeal earlier this month, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, wrote: “By putting young people at the heart of this year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal, we signal our support for the generation we hope will flourish after Covid. Today’s young people must not become a lost generation.”
The Times and Sunday Times
This year The Sunday Times has joined forces with The Times to invite readers to donate to support three Christmas charities. Two operate in Britain and one overseas.
The first is FareShare, which tackles hunger and food waste in Britain and has helped Marcus Rashford with his school meals campaign. The second charity, Sported, uses the power of sport to help young people overcome challenges ranging from mental health struggles and disability to exclusion from school, crime, racism and physical inactivity.
Finally, they are supporting Tusk, which protects endangered species across Africa by finding ingenious ways to reduce conflict between animals and humans.
Telegraph readers helped to raise more than £124,000 for good causes during the paper’s annual charity phone-in on Sunday.
Editors, columnists, cartoonists and journalists spent four hours taking 881 calls, beating last year’s figure of £101,000.
This was to support four charities helping those suffering from the knock-on effects of Covid-19. These are Refuge, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Cruse Bereavement Care.
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is focusing on homelessness and has run an appeal to raise money for The Connection at St Martin’s and the Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF) to help people who are either homeless or in danger of becoming so.
Evening Standard, The Independent and London Live
This year funds raised by the Evening Standard, The Independent and London Live Christmas Appeal will go to the Felix Project to aid a new programme in primary schools to help channel food directly to those young children and their families who are in the greatest need.
The Financial Times has moved from running an annual seasonal charity campaign in the run-up to Christmas to a new format of charitable initiative that focuses on financial literacy and inclusion.
The FT Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign will “deliver clear and compelling content on basic financial subjects, and work with partners to make sure the information reaches people who need it most in the UK and around the world”.
The campaign will be run by a new charitable foundation which the FT will establish in the first half of 2021.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, supermarkets will be supporting those charities tackling food poverty.
Tesco works with two charities which are helping to feed people in need in local communities around the UK.
Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days of emergency food to individuals and families in crisis. Frontline professional agencies, like the Citizen's Advice Bureau and children centres, refer people in need to their local foodbank.
FareShare is a UK-wide charity that redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste to charities and community groups, including homeless shelters, children's breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations turn the food into nutritious meals and provide life-changing support.
Tesco adds up how much food customers have donated, then top this up by 20%.
Waitrose and John Lewis
John Lewis and Waitrose have launched a Christmas appeal to raise £5m to support at least 100,000 families, in partnership with FareShare and Home-Start.
John Lewis and Waitrose will match donations up to £2m, and a further fund of over £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local disadvantaged family charities in the communities they serve.
Sainsbury’s is bringing back its Help Brighten A Million Christmases initiative, with every single donation being matched by the supermarket penny for penny up to the value of £4m.
With the aim of raising a total of over £8m, the initiative invites customers to donate food, money and Nectar points in store and online.
All proceeds raised are going to charity partners, including hundreds of community groups and charities, Comic Relief and FareShare.
Morrisons has forecast a 61% increase in food parcels needed this winter, compared to last year.
Throughout December, customers will also be able to buy a festive version of Morrisons’ popular Pick Up Packs - pre-packed bags of specific groceries that food banks have advised will be most needed in their locality.
They will include some Christmas items and cost up to £4. Customers can pick up a pack on their way into the store, pay for the items at the till, and then place the bag in a dedicated donation station, which will then be collected by local food banks.