National Emergencies Trust pilots National Partners Programme to ensure all future emergency survivors receive support as soon as they need it

The National Emergencies Trust has announced the launch of a collaborative pilot project with four national charities. The National Partners Programme, which will initially include the British Red Cross, Cruse Bereavement Support, Mind and Victim Support, 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.

By enabling 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, the National Partners Programme hopes to tackle the critical 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.

Meanwhile, by bringing on board national charities or nationwide charity consortia, the Trust 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.

“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.”

Mhairi Sharp, CEO, National Emergencies Trust

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.

The four partners for the pilot project have been selected based on their specialist expertise in survivors’ priority needs. These include:

    • Victim Support – providing specialist support, information, help and advocacy in England and Wales for victims and witnesses of crime and those bereaved by homicide, in partnership with Victim Support Northern Ireland and Victim Support Scotland
    • Mind – providing mental health support and counselling to survivors and loved ones, through its helpline and in partnership with local Minds and others
    • Cruse Bereavement Support – supporting the needs of those who have been bereaved, and building capacity and resilience within communities to normalise grief and bereavement pathways, in partnership with Cruse Scotland
    • British Red Cross – providing first line response at the scene of national emergencies; support to people impacted by crisis including through cash-based assistance; supporting through its national helpline

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.

“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.”

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

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