Since April, NatWest has donated £5m, matching £5m of support from customers and colleagues to make a total of £10m – which will support a diverse range of organisations on the community frontline.
A surge in donations towards the £10m target was seen during the recent broadcast on Channel 4 of England's win against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final. Aired alongside the match, the full programme of 'Final Replay ‘66' included commentary from England's hat-trick hero, Sir Geoff Hurst and celebrity guests. All donations made by the public throughout the Final Replay ‘66 were match-funded by NatWest.
Around half of the donations have been made by NatWest Reward account customers who had accrued a balance of unused rewards. Rewards are earned by holding two or more direct debits as well as cashback on certain types of spending and can be redeemed as cash or donated. Through pledging to match every penny donated to the NET Coronavirus Appeal, NatWest wanted to encourage customers to donate their unused rewards to support the fight against Covid-19. NatWest colleagues fundraising efforts and donations were also matched alongside customers who gave directly though their mobile app, which has generated over £1.3m of donations.
Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group, said: “I am pleased to announce that we have reached our £10m target. As a purpose led bank we have a role to play in supporting families, businesses and local communities. We hope that this donation will allow NET to continue to work with grassroots organisations and local charities to support the most vulnerable members of our community, from food banks and meal delivery efforts to mental health support groups. At NatWest, we are proud to play a part in this and we want to sincerely thank everyone who has donated. We will continue to look at how we can support those most in need’.
NatWest has put in place a broad package of support for its customers to help manage the impact of coronavirus, providing dedicated contact lines for NHS workers, those over 70 and those in extended isolation.
Lord Richard Dannatt, Chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, said: "By distributing funds as swiftly as possible to thousands of grassroots charities and groups, our aim is to curb the impact of this crisis on communities as much as possible. Since March, we’ve allocated more than £61million and supported more than 8000 local organisations. However, as the Government schemes that have proved a lifeline for so many now draw to a close, the need within communities will continue, and change shape.
“This incredible donation from NatWest Group not only takes our funds donated and pledged up to nearly £100million, but importantly, will enable us to continue to respond to the urgent needs on the ground, whatever shape those might take. On behalf of the National Emergencies Trust, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all the customers and colleagues that have made this possible.”
The money will be going directly towards the NET, who will work with UK Community Foundations. Each of the 46 community foundations have an in-depth understanding of their local area, what the priority needs are and how best to address these issues, so they can ensure the funding goes where it is most needed and can make the most impact.