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NET launches pilot project with national charities to speed up support to emergency survivors

Melanie May | 5 October 2021 | News

A flooded road with trees on either side

The National Emergencies Trust is piloting a new collaborative project with British Red Cross, Cruse Bereavement Support, Mind and Victim Support aimed at supporting those affected by future emergencies.

The National Partners Programme aims to ensure that all those affected by future emergencies receive the support they need, when and where they need it, by facilitating nationwide funding at speed during future disasters. The four partners for the pilot project have been selected based on their expertise in survivors’ priority needs.

The programme will enable the National Emergencies Trust to pre-agree a range of support packages and conduct due diligence with potential distribution partners in advance of an emergency. This aims to tackle the time lag seen in historic emergencies between life-changing funds being raised by the sector and those funds being received by survivors and loved-ones.


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By bringing on board national charities or nationwide charity consortia, the Trust also hopes the Programme will complement the work of local Community Foundations during future localised national emergencies by ensuring that all survivors and loved ones receive the support they need, including the many who are likely to be living outside of the affected area.

During the Programme’s pilot, initial partners will work closely with the National Emergencies Trust to explore how various funding strategies could be pre-designed so those affected receive assistance as soon as they need it. If the pilot proves successful, the Trust aims to open up the National Partners Programme next year to charities who are able to offer UK-wide support for survivors’ needs, either on their own or as part of a consortia.

Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said: 

“Whether it’s a natural disaster, act of terror or tragic accident, history shows us that national emergencies can change people’s lives and circumstances in an instant. But vital funding that could help to alleviate their trauma or remove practical worries can take too long to reach them. History also shows us that the effects of localised national emergencies are felt far beyond the area affected. Survivors often travel back to their homes in other places, while loved ones can, of course, be based anywhere.


“By introducing the National Partners Programme alongside the local lifelines that Community Foundations will be providing in the area or areas affected, we hope to be able to offer urgent support to survivors and loved ones, wherever they are – and as soon as they need it.”

The pilot of the National Partners Programme will build on insights from the Trust’s funding strategy during the Coronavirus Appeal, when it established ten national charity partnerships to help it to target specific unmet needs. By bringing specialist knowledge and expertise at a national level, the national partners complemented the work of Community Foundations across the UK, which provided funds to grassroots efforts within communities.

To coincide with the launch of the National Partners Programme, Mike Adamson, CEO of the British Red Cross, will step down as a trustee of the National Emergencies Trust.

General The Lord Richard Dannatt, Chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said:

“Myself, the Trustees and Executive team are all hugely grateful to Mike for his contributions to the National Emergencies Trust so far.  He and all the staff at the British Red Cross helped to conceive and create the National Emergencies Trust as a charity, and most recently played a major role in the success of the Coronavirus Appeal, making a huge difference to people’s lives right across the UK.


“We now look forward to working with Mike in a different capacity, as the British Red Cross, Cruse Bereavement Support, Mind and Victim Support help us to pilot the National Partners Programme, an important strategic project which, if successful, will help us to ensure that nobody is left behind during future emergencies.”

Earlier this year, Crowdfunder also launched a collaborative project, #MentalHealthMatters, to help mental health charities and organisations across the UK needing support increase public awareness of the growing mental health crisis, and raise funds to continue delivering their services. 60 had joined at launch.