Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Tuesday 28 July


News from arcross the sector in response to the pandemic #NeverMoreNeeded

28th July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Good will hunting

The UK government's decision to allow wills to be witnessed via video link could help to modernise will-making and increase legacy giving, a legacy consortium has said. By law, wills currently must be signed “in presence of” two people who are not among the beneficiaries. However, people self-isolating during the pandemic have in some cases turned to video instead. The government announced on Saturday that wills witnessed this way will be made legal. The change in law will be introduced in September but backdated to 31 January 2020, when the first coronavirus case was recorded in the UK. It will remain in place at least until 31 January 2022, the government has said. Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said that while temporary, the change is welcome, and could result in a significant increase in legacy giving to charities. He said: “Modernisation of UK will-making is long overdue and, although the changes announced today are temporary measures, this could be a major step forward for legacy giving, making it easier for people to set out their final wishes.”

NHS charities ready to give out £65m

NHS Charities Together has announced that it will distribute £65m via two new rounds of grants. This comprises £30m for community partnership grants and £35m for recovery grants.  Recovery grants will aim to tackle the longer term effects of Covid-19 and support hospitals in preparedness for any second wave. Community partnership grants aim to address the impact of the pandemic on settings like hospices.  The organisation launched the appeal to support NHS staff and volunteers during the pandemic on 23 March. The initial target of £100m was hit in early May, with Colonel Tom’s £33m fundraising effort making a key contribution. NHS Charities Together includes more than 230 NHS charities across the UK. It is inviting its members to apply for funding from its Covid-19 Appeal from 1 September.  Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “We may be easing out of lockdown but the devastating effects on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are still very much with us.” 

Calls to crime charity rise during lockdown

The last three months have seen record high numbers of calls in Scotland concerning domestic abuse, drug dealing and child harm or neglect, according to the charity Crimestoppers. In response to the pandemic lockdown, the charity launched a series of publicity campaigns highlighting the increased risk of harm some people would experience, including domestic abuse, doorstep fraud, drug dealers targeting vulnerable people and endangered children. Contacts about domestic abuse surged by more than 80% while reports of doorstep crime increased by almost one third. Drug dealing reports increased by 40% and the number of visits to the Crimestoppers website trebled in April. The number of people calling to share concerns about possible child abuse or neglect also increased, with one anonymous person reporting a child who was neglected and constantly crying in pain.

Thousands of face visors go free to charities

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has manufactured 10,000 certified face visors to donate to charities and companies across Scotland to help them operate safely as the country emerges from lockdown. So far, the team has distributed almost 9,500 visors to local and national charitable organisations and companies including care homes, hospices, counselling centres, youth groups, social enterprises and the Scottish SPCA. NMIS donated 2,000 visors to nearby Erskine Care Homes. Dougie Beattie, Head of Facilities and Support Services at Erskine said: “We are immensely grateful for this donation of visors from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Items such as these visors are essential in helping Erskine to continue looking after our residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a charity we are reliant on donations of this type to help keep our residents and staff safe and provide the exceptional level of care our Veterans deserve.”