Cruse joins partnership with the National Emergencies Trust | Cruse Bereavement Care

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Refuge, The Refugee Council and Cruse Bereavement Care to offer targeted support as research shows seven million people expect to seek charity help this year due to pandemic

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has announced partnerships with Cruse Bereavement Care, Refuge, the domestic abuse charity, and the refugee and asylum seekers support consortium led by Refugee Council to offer targeted support to some of the UK’s most at risk groups, as research shows high sector demand created by pandemic is set to continue.

Last week, NET announced plans to distribute £12million of funds from its Coronavirus Appeal to a range of new charity partners, including LGBT+ Consortium Helpline Alliance and disability support network, DPO COVID-19 Coalition.

Each of the five new partners provides support to a disproportionately impacted group that NET believes may have been underserved through the pandemic so far, according to its own detailed gap analysis.

Since March, the NET’s Coronavirus Appeal has raised £90 million and allocated £85 million so far. In addition to the £12 million allocated to these new national charity partners, £68.25 million has been distributed through Community Foundations UK-wide – with £250,000 reserved for BAME charities and infrastructure. A further £2.75 million has been allocated to BAME-led charities and communities through Comic Relief, and £2 million more is ringfenced for BAME charities.

More than 4,400 individual grassroots charities and groups have received a total of 9,400 grants.

The first wave of funding for NET’s five new partners amounts to just over £6 million –with additional partnerships to be announced next month. 

Alongside other targeted support, helplines will play a prominent part in the new partnerships because of the vital support they provide for those who find it harder to access help outside of home, and those unsure where to turn for support, including first-time charity users. Refuge has reported more than 40,000  calls and contacts since the start of lockdown, while the Scottish Refugee Council, part of the refugee and asylum seekers support consortium, has seen a 140% increase in calls to its helpline. 

This surge in demand aligns with new research by Opinium for NET, which reveals that one in six (16%) UK adults have sought charitable help in recent months as a direct result of the pandemic. For 70% of them it was the first time they had ever sought support from the sector. The research also suggests that one in eight – equivalent to seven million – expect to seek help from a charity or voluntary body in the next 12 months due to Covid-19.

Gerald Oppenheim, Deputy-Chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said:

“This pandemic has created new needs on an unprecedented scale, and exacerbated existing challenges. Local, grassroots groups have been incredibly quick to respond, as we have seen through our partnership with UK Community Foundations. Our new partners complement these efforts by targeting support to at-risk groups who have been harder to reach so far.

“Helplines play a key part in the new partnerships because they offer accessible help to those unsure where to turn, or unable to access other services. Our partners’ helplines have already been oversubscribed because of the pandemic and our research suggests that this demand will continue, as more people seek support from the sector for the first time.”

Each of NET’s new partners will establish UK-wide consortia to ensure that vital frontline support is made available across the devolved nations. As well as vital helpline services, some partners will also deliver grants to organisations providing specialist advice and hands-on support to vulnerable groups. Decisions on delivery of these grants will be made by people with lived experience of the issues faced.

Ugo Ikokwu, Independent Grants Assessor for NET, said:

“During the allocations process I was very impressed by the rigorous approach to grant assessment. By implementing layers of checks and balances, the Equity Scrutiny Group and the Allocations Committee ensured a constant focus on getting funding to underserved communities.”

Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care, said:

“We are delighted to have received this funding from the National Emergencies Trust. Many more people have been bereaved over the last few months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that bereavement support is more important now than ever. 
“The death of someone close can be one of the most distressing things any of us will face, and we want to be there for anyone who needs us. The funding from the National Emergencies Trust will enable us to continue increasing capacity on our National Helpline, reach a wider audience, as well as be more accessible those most in need. This also includes specific funding to increase the diversity of our volunteers and clients.”