Julia and Hans Rausing have donated £500,000 to St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity to support people facing homelessness across the UK. It was given in response to the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal, whose theme this year is ‘Everything Starts with Home’.
This is the largest one-off donation to the charity in the 96-year history of the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal. The money will support people experiencing homelessness across the UK, mainly through the charity’s Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF).
Vicar’s Relief Fund
The VRF provides emergency financial support so that people in vulnerable situations can find – and keep – a safe place to live. Designed to prevent someone from losing their home or to help them find a new one, these quick and urgent grants can transform someone’s situation.
VRF grants are issued quickly and efficiently, within a matter of days.
The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust
The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust aims to foster a healthy society that gives care to those in need, provides opportunity for all, and offers inspiring cultural engagement. it has provided over 1,000 grants totalling more than £330 million, supporting organisations working within three main areas:
Health and wellbeing
Welfare and education
Arts and culture.
Julia and Hans Rausing said: “Thousands of people are facing homelessness this winter with rising energy and food bills leaving many people with impossible decisions to make. St Martin-in-the-Fields provides support to both prevent homelessness in the UK and to find accommodation for those in need. We are pleased to support this worthy charity once more.”
BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal
In the last two years, the BBC Radio 4 Appeal has raised over £9 million. The money donated by listeners provides, across the UK:
quick and urgent access to funds
support to those working on the frontline
investment in strategic programmes to tackle homelessness
practical help to people rough sleeping in central London.
Tim Bissett, Director of St Martin’s Charity, thanked Julia and Hans Rausing for their generosity. He said:
“At a time when we are all deeply concerned about the cost-of-living crisis, these grants could be a real lifeline. We know that, with the help of our Vicar’s Relief Fund, many lives have been turned around: evictions prevented and new homes secured. It gives me real hope to think how far this generous sum will go”.
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