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Update: BBC Children in Need’s COVID-19 Response Programmes

Children and young people across the UK are currently facing a multitude of challenges, including illness, poverty, mental health problems, isolation, loneliness and social injustice. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has made life even harder for those who were already experiencing difficulties in their lives.

BBC Children in Need is here to help children and young people who urgently need support to overcome these challenges. Thanks to your donations, we currently fund 3,900 local charities and projects making a real difference to young lives in communities throughout the UK, bringing hope at a time when children and young people need us most.

Following The Big Night In appeal in April, BBC Children in Need launched a number of dedicated Covid-19 response programmes to support organisations across the UK who are providing essential help to children and young people during the current crisis. To date, the charity has awarded £24.7 million in funding to specifically help projects provide essential support to children and young people facing disadvantage during the pandemic.

Following The Big Night In Appeal in April we’ve awarded £24.7M to projects providing essential support during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our COVID-19 2020 Booster Grants Programme has awarded small grants of up to £5,000 to 948 local charities and projects working with children and young people throughout the UK who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, to a total of £2.9m. These grants are designed to help organisations change, adapt and expand their approach so they can better support the children and young people they currently work with through the current crisis.

One of these projects is Living Paintings, which BBC Children in Need funds to provide ‘Touch to See’ books for children and young people with visual impairments. These books provide improved learning experiences, improved family relationships and increased confidence. Thanks to new funds raised through The Big Night In, they have received an additional Booster Grant to enable them to produce and despatch sensory books to disabled children and young people, facing isolation due to COVID-19.

A further £13.6m of funding has been allocated to 249 projects through BBC Children in Need’s COVID-19 Next Steps Grants Programme, which is designed to help organisations support for children and young people who are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with grants of between £5,000 and £80,000. These grants will fund sustained responses to the COVID-19 situation with the aim of alleviating the longer-term impact of the crisis on young people.

We’ve allocated £13.6M to our COVID-19 Next Steps Grants Programme

One of these projects is Mind Mosaic Child and Family Therapies, which BBC Children in Need funds to provide face-to-face therapy for children and young people affected by psychological difficulties and complex life experiences who have contacted the project’s COVID-19 helpline, with the aim of supporting their emotional wellbeing.

In addition, BBC Children in Need’s crisis fund, Emergency Essentials, was allocated an additional £1.2m to help families who need immediate support. The Emergency Essentials programme provides small grants to families facing a crisis at home. The programme can provide items that meet children’s most basic needs, such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to give them a hot meal, clothing and other items and services that are critical to children’s wellbeing. Further emergency funding of £0.6m will be allocated to projects and programmes providing essential equipment to children with specialist needs and digital devices to children and young people living in poverty.

We’ve allocated an additional £1.2M in funding to our Emergency Essentials programme

As part of this funding stream, BBC Children in Need awarded Newlife – The Charity for Disabled Children a grant of £100,000  to provide equipment to children with specialist or additional needs that will significantly improve their health, welfare and quality of life. These items could include specialist beds, wheelchairs, car seats, seating systems, walking and standing frames, communication aids and sleep systems. Many of the children supported have serious underlying health conditions and are at severe risk should they contract COVID-19.  Being so vulnerable, these families are shielding at home and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.  Without access to schools and other support networks, having the right equipment now is more important than ever.

Elsewhere, BBC Children in Need has worked in partnership with the Youth Futures Foundation to develop, Inspiring Futures, a £6.4 million programme which will tackle youth unemployment. Inspiring Futures aims to support children and young people facing the greatest challenges, to support them as they move through adolescence to adulthood with the aim of guiding them towards successful employment.

Following our 2020 Appeal last month, we have opened applications for our Main and Small Grant programmes and encourage projects supporting children and young people facing disadvantage to find out more here.

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