AN EMERGENCY coronavirus appeal has raised almost £100million for UK charities since it launched a year ago - with more than £694,000 of this reaching grassroots charities and groups in Dorset.

The National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal, backed by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, launched in March 2020, has raised more than £97million for people affected by the pandemic.

In Dorset, 219 grassroots charities and groups have received grants from the Coronavirus Appeal through the Dorset Community Foundation to enable them to respond to urgent needs created by the pandemic.

Sherborne based charity, Countrymen UK, received a grant through the Dorset Community Foundation to help them to provide online emotional support, chair-based exercises and meal deliveries to older men in North Dorset throughout the Coronavirus period.

Countrymen UK uses the environment of the farm and countryside to help meet the challenges of men feeling isolated due to deteriorating physical and mental health or changes to social circumstances.

General The Lord Richard Dannatt, Chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “In an incredibly challenging year, the public, UK businesses, and charitable trusts and foundations have come together to raise incredible sums of money for those in need. They have already helped to fund numerous projects in Dorset that have, quite simply, changed lives.”

“And of course, their work is not over yet. Though the vaccine roll-out rumbles on at pace, the sector will need to continue to respond to the economic and wellbeing impacts of this pandemic for a long time to come.”

The National Emergencies Trust was launched in November 2019, just four months before it activated its Coronavirus Appeal, to provide the UK with one trusted place to give during domestic disasters. It collaborates with charities and other bodies across the UK to ensure that emergency funding reaches those in need as fast, and as fairly, as possible.

To-date, around a third (32 per cent) of Coronavirus Appeal funding distributed through community foundations has ensured that food and vital essentials reach those who need them. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) has helped to support people’s mental health and wellbeing through lockdowns. While 10 per cent has enabled local charities to offer services to reduce social isolation.

Grant Robson, Director of Dorset Community Foundation, said: “Our sincere thanks go to the National Emergencies Trust for its support. We are proud to have been involved in this amazing effort and we are so thankful for all of our donors and supporters in Dorset who have rallied to this cause and enabled us to support so many of the wonderful groups who have stepped up to help their communities through this crisis.”


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