The total raised by The Independent’s cost of living appeal in partnership with the Evening Standard has passed the £4m mark – with more than two-thirds of this amount already given out in grants to charities helping the most disadvantaged people across the UK.
With food, energy and water prices continuing to rise, charity bosses hailed our appeal as “a game changer” that will support people left behind by the cost of living crisis while struggling parents called it “a godsend”.
Our grants will provide winter help, such as food, fuel vouchers, warm places to meet, activities for young people and much more.
Jonny Boux, CEO of Ambition Aspire Achieve, a London charity that offers trips to children from low-income households and received a £50,000 grant from our campaign, said: “Families are having to choose between heating and eating and so activities for kids goes out the window.
“This money allows us to provide exciting daytrips and residentials to children who need respite from the daily grind of poverty.”
As of today, we have given out £2.78m in grants to 208 charities, with £1.5M of these grants flowing from our partnership with Comic Relief and £1.28m from our collaboration with The Childhood Trust.
It marks the biggest disbursement to charities from any UK newsgroup in response to the cost of living crisis.
The grants agreed with The Childhood Trust have been paid to 20 charities supporting children in poverty in London and range in size from £200,000 to £40,000.
The £1.5m given out with Comic Relief comprises one £500,000 grant to food redistribution charity FareShare and £1M in micro-grants of up to £16,000 each which have so far been awarded to 187 grassroots groups nationwide.
The micro-grants – phase 1 of the Comic Relief funding – has been disbursed to 94 charities in England, 58 in Scotland, 27 in Northern Ireland and 8 in Wales, with the total amount per country calculated proportionate to its share of the population.
The undistributed balance of over £1m – phase 2 Comic Relief funding – will be given out in larger grants to no more than a dozen charities and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile the £3.7m we raised in the five weeks before Christmas has since been boosted by further donations amounting to £360,000 that poured in from the public, corporates and foundations, taking our total to £4.06m.
This includes £100,000 from The Barratt Foundation and £75,000 from The Haberdashers’ Company.
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “The Independent’s and Evening Standard’s On the Breadline appeal in partnership with Comic Relief is helping those who need it most, now more than ever. With rising costs and particularly after Christmas, lots of families will need more assistance, so the Barratt Foundation is pleased to donate £100,000 to this great campaign.”
Christopher Hardie, master of The Haberdashers’ Company, one of London’s livery companies, said: “We hear at first-hand how the cost of living crisis is affecting Haberdashers’ pupils and their families in our school communities. The charities being supported by your campaign with The Childhood Trust will help meet the needs of those communities at this incredibly challenging time.”