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South Bank creative firm joins call to raise funds for care workers

London SE1 website team

A South Bank-based firm has launched a campaign to ask those working remotely to donate money they would otherwise have spent on coffees or drinks to an emergency appeal supporting care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Illustration agency and animation studio Dutch Uncle – which is based on Upper Ground on the South Bank – in partnership with Our Design Agency, has put out an urgent call to the creative community and wider business sector to donate money which would usually be spent on daily coffees, lunchtime meals, travel or after work drinks.

The Care Workers' Charity is raising £1 million to provide 2,000 care workers with £500 grants to make up for lost income if they are unable to work due to ill heath or self-isolation.

ODA creative strategist Sarah Westwood said: "Care workers are on the frontline 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 SSP they can't always keep their families going on the amount they receive. 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?'

"It's an uncertain time for everyone at moment but we know some salaried workers who are now remote working are seeing modest daily savings, from things like no longer 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 initiative 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 2 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 has set up a JustGiving page
and all money raised from the campaign will do directly into this Care Workers COVID-19 relief fund.

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