William appeals for donations for small charities tackling coronavirus
By Tess de la Mare, PA
The Duke of Cambridge has launched an appeal for the National Emergencies Trust, to raise money on behalf of local charities working with those most at risk during the coronavirus crisis.
The trust will distribute the funds to organisations in the greatest need as they work to support those who are isolated or tackling the spread of Covid-19.
The initiative was only launched in November last year, and the duke remarked at the time that he "dreaded" the day that it would be needed.
Its aim is to distribute funds from the general public in the event of a domestic disaster with both "care and speed".
The duke said in a recorded speech: "Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, the people of the UK have a unique ability to pull together.
"The way that local communities support those affected shows the very best of our values and human nature."
He said the public's instinct to help out in a crisis could be "channelled in the best possible way" through the trust.
William added: "I said at its launch last year that I dreaded the day when it would be needed.
"Sadly, with the outbreak of Covid-19, that day has come faster than any of us would have hoped.
"But now, more than ever, I am grateful that the National Emergencies Trust exists.
"It will ensure that support reaches those across the UK who need it most, as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Those who wish to make a donation can do so at NationalEmergenciesTrust.org.uk or through the online platforms JustGiving, GoFundMe, Virgin Money Giving, LaunchGood, MuslimGiving.
Lord Dannatt, chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, said: "These are tough and uncertain times and we're only asking those who can really afford to give to our appeal to do so.
"We will do our very best to channel the money raised to organisations where people who need it can get support as quickly as possible."
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "As a government we are working closely with the charity sector, which is already playing a crucial role in the nation's response.
"The National Emergencies Trust will help to channel the amazing outpouring of generosity we are seeing from the British public and businesses, and ensure help reaches those most in need."
Individual charities seeking grants from the trust should contact their local Community Foundation to apply.