Covid Aid launches Annual Appeal after reaching 107,000 people with support in year one

Covid Aid, the UK’s national Covid-19 charity, is celebrating the impact made in its first year, providing support to more than 100,000 people and their families around the UK who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With hundreds of people dying from Covid-19 in the UK each week and 1.8 million people suffering with Long Covid, the role of Covid Aid is expected to grow and the charity is launching its first ever Annual Appeal to expand its support services in the year ahead.

Today publishing our inaugural Annual Report, we are dedicated to delivering the widest possible range of support to all people who have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic across a range of issues including Long Covid, grief and bereavement and financial hardships. We also act as an information hub for broader Covid-19 service provision by supporting, promoting and signposting other organisations via our high-level partnerships with the NHS, Asthma & Lung UK, Marie Curie, and more.

We made a significant impact in our first year as a charity despite a limited budget and the challenges of starting a charity during the pandemic. Highlights in the report include:

  • Reaching more than 107,000 people in the UK with information, advice, and support via a website hub with almost a quarter of a million page views.

  • Being nominated for Charity of the Year at the Scottish Charity Awards 2022 and nominated at the 2022 StartUp Awards.

  • Creating an innovative Covid-19 Support Community platform with Courses, Live Q&As, tailored support Groups and more for people significantly affected by Covid-19.

  • Publishing an in-depth Advice and Information section with more than 175 articles on a range of Covid-related issues including vaccines and Long Covid.

  • Building a comprehensive Get Help service pointing to over 85 trusted sources of support.

  • Offering professional online bereavement counselling for people affected by loss.

  • Participating in an NHS-funded assessment tool for people with Long Covid - My Long Covid Needs - within a Working Group led by Asthma & Lung UK.

  • Hosting lottery-funded workshops and research to build a pioneering services toolkit on Long Covid for other charities, healthcare providers, and organisations.

  • Producing a report for MPs of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Universal Credit about the experiences of those with Long Covid.

  • Receiving congratulations for our efforts in a cross-party Scottish Parliament motion.

Our social impact goes beyond these achievements as demonstrated in three detailed case studies within the report. Each case study describes the personal difference Covid Aid has made for individuals during this challenging time.

One community member, Gillian, said: “Finding Covid Aid has been a huge relief and has allowed me to channel my grief in a different way.” Another community member, Elaine, said: “I am so glad I found this charity. It has stopped me from feeling like I am mad or just a weak person… I came here to meet others in my situation as well as to try and get some answers.”

A year of success – but funding urgently needed to keep Covid Aid going and provide vital support to thousands in the UK

Though we celebrate our successes over the last 365 days as a new UK charity dedicated to supporting people affected by Covid-19, fresh challenges present themselves in the year ahead with the cost-of-living crisis and Ukraine war having a notable effect on national fundraising. This makes the launch of our Annual Appeal for donations more pressing than ever to secure our future service offerings.  

Covid Aid Founder and Chief Executive, Michael MacLennan said: “With under £31,000 – less than an average UK full-time salary – we have set up the charity and supported more than 100,000 people whose lives have been changed by Covid-19. Although the government is saying we now need to live with Covid-19, there is a real lack of support for people and their families, and we are seeing demand for our services grow month on month.

“We are a charity that relies entirely on the kindness and generosity of public donations. So it is vital we secure more funding to build on this success and ensure that people across the country can easily find and access the support they need to deal with the traumatic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is especially true when the number of people with Long Covid in the UK increased to 1.8 million people in June (according to the ONS), with hundreds of families losing loved ones to Covid-19 every week.”

Covid Aid is run by a part-time team of five people, supported by more than 60 volunteers, many of whom have been affected by Covid-19 or Long Covid, who bring a wealth of specialist skills and real-life experience to the team.

Covid Aid Head of Operations, Katie Boyd, said: “We are particularly proud of our army of volunteers, fundraisers, and community members who have built and shaped Covid Aid into a charity which has supported hundreds of thousands of people at a time when they needed it most. Through our Annual Appeal we hope to be able to reach thousands more over the course of the next year, changing lives for the better.”

Covid Aid is reliant on YOUR donations to provide support to those hit by Long Covid, grief and bereavement, and other Covid-related issues