Campaign urges those saving money by working from home to donate to care workers

Two firms have launched a campaign to ask those working at home to donate money they have saved in lockdown to an emergency appeal for care workers.

South Bank-based animation studio Dutch Uncle, and Our Design Agency (ODA), are appealing to the creative community to donate the cash they normally spend on coffees, lunchtime meals, travel or after-work drinks – with the average Brit spending £205 per month on such items.

The Care Workers’ Charity is raising £1m to provide 2,000 care workers with £500 grants if they are unable to work through ill-heath or self-isolation.

ODA Creative Strategist Sarah Westwood said: “Care workers are on the front line looking after our most vulnerable people, taking risks, but if they catch Covid-19 there’s no one to catch them.

“Many in the sector are not even entitled to statutory sick pay, and some must shield for 12 weeks without pay because of pre-existing health conditions.

“Even if they get sick pay they can’t always keep their families going on this. We’d heard a few friends in the creative industries saying how they’re actually saving money by working at home and thought, ‘what if that saving could be put to work for others?’

“Some workers are seeing modest daily savings, from not buying a daily coffee or their usual work lunch, possibly being able to contribute to this fund, so together we can make a huge difference.

“It’s common to feel quite helpless during the crisis, knowing that these people are going out and risking their lives to look after others, so we designed this as a way for all of us to begin paying them back. Even donating the cost of a weekly coffee, say £2.50 – £10 a month – could give care workers and their families some added security during the crisis.”

Karolina Gerlich, executive director of the Care Workers Charity, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly the biggest challenge ever faced by the care sector and its employees – who work around-the-clock with some of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals.

“Many care workers are themselves affected by underlying health conditions, immediately required to self-isolate for 12 weeks. We forecast around half of the sector’s two million employees will have to take time off work during this crisis so this fund-raising initiative will give them some of them a little bit more financial security if their circumstances suddenly change.”

The Care Workers’ Charity supports current and former care workers (who meet our eligibility criteria) by providing crisis grants to ease the negative effects of unexpected life events.

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