National Emergencies Trust Fundraising Appeal Launched

Post author image. Hannah Tankard

Hannah Tankard, Director of our Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), outlines the tangible action organisations can take in response to COVID-19

It barely needs repeating: it is a time like no other since most of us can remember. Our response to COVID-19 is requiring significant changes in the way we are all thinking, behaving, responding and dealing with the incoming changing news. There are so many ways our members can support, here I outline one very tangible action your organisations can take now.

In my role as Campaign Director of Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) at Business in the Community (BITC), I have had the privilege over the last week to be talking with some of the most committed voluntary and community organisations in the UK to helping those who most need help. I have also had the privilege of talking to our members, many of whom are reaching out and asking how they can support in these testing times. It is the kindness of everyone, from individuals to charities, to small and large businesses, to front-line NHS staff and carers that will keep the country – world even – going.

Through these conversations with the Voluntary and Community Emergency Partnership, I understand the sheer scale that front-line charities are facing to support those who most need help at this time. From supporting the elderly who live alone, to those who do not have a safe space to shelter, and those families who were already facing financial difficulties. There are charities who are responding to all the different needs of vulnerable people. However, we know that charities are facing their own challenges: fundraising has already gone down for the sector but the need for their services has gone up.

One of our partners is the National Emergencies Trust (NET), which was set up in direct response to the number of emergencies in 2017 to quickly and efficiently raise funds across the UK. BITC is standing behind NET in its fundraising efforts. Whilst money is only part of the solution, we urge members to support this national appeal. Donations can be made at:

For more information about how responsible businesses can support communities at this time, please read our BITC factsheet.

Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership

The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP) is made up of a range of organisations within the sector with the shared aim of improving coordination at national and local levels before, during and after emergencies – while empowering communities to help shape the process. 

Bringing together local, national and global expertise from the sector, it aims to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, so that they can rebuild their lives.

It also has an influencing role and gives a voice to those at risk of or affected by disasters and emergencies in the UK, so that they are at the heart of any response.

The partnership is chaired by Michael Adamson (CEO British Red Cross) with Jane Ide (CEO National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) as vice-chair.

Membership includes:

National Emergencies Trust

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) was incorporated as an independent charity in April 2019 and formally launched in November 2019, with the support of the VCS and Government.  In the event of a national disaster in the UK it will launch a pubic national appeal and distribute those funds as quickly and efficiently as possible to those affected.  This creates a single, trusted appeal mechanism. The funds will be distributed in partnership with VCS and local charities. Funds raised will support both the immediate relief of hardship for survivors as well as the longer-term recovery of individuals and communities. 

NET is currently fully established in England with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland developing their plans to adopt NET.  During this interim phase NET has agreed that in the event of a disaster in any of the devolved nations it would offer its support with a national appeal and distribution.

NET has activation criteria that must be met:

  • Is the emergency of sufficient scale and urgency that there is a need to raise and distribute funds to those effected?
  • Is there a desire from the public to donate money?
  • Are established routes to support people sufficient or do we need an appeal?

During regional emergencies NET will promote local appeals where it is appropriate to do so, as it did for the recent floods in North and Central England. During what is called the dormant phase, when it is not launching an appeal, NET will be working collaboratively to build local distribution capability. This will also help to support community resilience during a regional emergency that would naturally use the same networks.

Visit the National Emergency Trust website for more information.