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May 1, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:14am

News publishers have raised at least £7m so far to help fight coronavirus

By Freddy Mayhew

UK news publishers have helped raise at least £7m to aid the fight against coronavirus, alongside reporting the impact of the pandemic and holding those in power to account.

The Daily Mail has set up a £4m fund to provide protective equipment for NHS staff through its new charity Mail Force. It flew a plane full of masks and coveralls, worth £1m, from China this week and plans to supply more.

Reader appeals across the national and regional press, in print and online, launched during the outbreak have brought in a further £3m so far.

National press

The Telegraph’s Coronavirus Appeal, which launched last month, has raised £1m through reader donations. The money will go towards helping people in poverty through charity Turn2us.

The charity has already provided 802 emergency grants worth £401,000 for those affected by the coronavirus crisis thanks to the funds raised through the Telegraph appeal.

News UK

The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Appeal with NHS Charities Together is on the way to reaching its £1m target, with more than £880,000 raised so far for NHS workers.

The Sun has also brought forward some of the donations it is making from its £1m 50th anniversary fund, contributing £50k to NHS Charities Together with plans to give away a further £260,000 to 20 charities.

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Last week the tabloid launched the Fabulous NHS Care Package to give toiletries to healthcare workers as a “small token of gratitude” for their vital efforts during the pandemic.

The Sun’s News UK stablemate The Times has so far raised £767,000 through its Coronavirus Charity Appeal which launched at the start of April.

The money goes towards two charities:  The Big Issue Foundation, which supports sellers of the magazine – many of whom are highly vulnerable rough sleepers – and Family Action, which helps families with food and utility bills.

The Big Issue’s founder has warned the magazine could face “permanent death” during the lockdown, as its street vendors are unable to sell copies and advertising is in a slump.

Times sister title The Sunday Times has been raising money for the Educational Endowment Fund.

Last Christmas, £1.8m was donated by Sunday Times’ readers to the EEF to support schools serving disadvantaged communities during the holidays.

Readers have now added an extra £50,000 to that sum to help school children in deprived areas affected by economic hardship and school closures during the lockdown.

Reach and Guardian

At Reach, the UK’s biggest news publisher and home to the Mirror, Express and Star national newspapers, a weekly NHS Heroes Raffle launched this week.

Donors pay £2 to enter the prize draw and if they win they get the option to keep the prize or send it to an NHS worker instead. The raffle is held every Thursday.

The Mirror has called for NHS workers to receive a medal, while sister title the Sunday Mirror has called for NHS workers and carers to receive supplementary pay.

The Guardian has offered free job adverts on Guardian Jobs for NHS listings throughout the outbreak, worth £900 each, with ads for the roles also placed on its main website.

The newsbrand is also selling exclusive “Work From Hope” prints, created by its deputy creative director Chris Clarke, from £25 with 70 per cent of the profits going to NHS charities.

Regional press

In the regional press, a number of Covid-19 appeals have brought in tens of thousands of pounds.

Wales Online, part of Reach, broadcast a live fundraiser for NHS Wales on social media earlier this month, which included interviews and performances from actors Luke Evans and Michael Sheen, Rob Brydon, Ruth Jones, and singers Katherine Jenkins and Charlotte Church.

The marathon event lasted for more than four hours and raised £10,000 on the night.

In Bristol, the Bristol Post hit its £10,000 this week for its Arms Around Bristol campaign, raising money for small charities on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus.

The Manchester Evening News has raised more than £16,000 so far to help the most vulnerable in Greater Manchester during the pandemic through its Covaid-19 appeal.

Earlier this month, the Liverpool Echo called on people who would have bet on the cancelled Grand National horserace to donate to help local vulnerable people through its You Bet We Care appeal.

Regional publisher Newsquest has raised more than £16,000 so far for its Support Our NHS Guardian Angels appeal, which raises money for NHS Charities Together and the Association of NHS Charities.

Read all Press Gazette’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the news industry here

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