Over the last two weeks, all of us across the UK, and further afield, have had to make lots of changes to our everyday lives due to the spread of Coronavirus.

At the British Red Cross, our staff and volunteers respond to an emergency every four hours, on average, in the UK – and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception.

Now more than ever, we need to come together across all sectors and support our communities through this uncertain time.

We are delighted to say that, thanks to a significant additional donation of £10 million by our long-standing partner Aviva, we can accelerate our response, reaching more people – and quickly – to ensure those made most vulnerable by the coronavirus outbreak can get the right support at the right time.

Our partnership with Aviva began in 2016. Together, we focus on building safer and stronger communities, through a range of resilience, disaster preparedness and response programmes in the UK and all over the world.

This additional investment from Aviva and the Aviva Foundation* is one of the biggest single corporate donations ever received by the British Red Cross. This generous donation will help us get more support to where it is needed.

We are committed to making sure this very welcome contribution has the greatest impact, so this £10 million will be spent on vital services to ensure the most vulnerable people are supported at this critical time

These funds will expand Aviva’s existing support of our Community Reserve Volunteer (CRV) programme in the UK – something that is more important than ever during these times. 26,000 new CRVs have signed up in the last fortnight, who can now be called upon to share their kindness by sorting food donations in partnership with their local food bank or distributing welfare packs to the most vulnerable individuals who are self-isolating.**

This new donation will also enable the British Red Cross to continue supporting those in the UK coming out of hospital, ensuring they are safe and working with hospitals to help ease the pressure.

Outside of the UK, funds will be used to support the most urgent and impactful activity across the global Red Cross movement, with the support of Aviva teams in these locations.

I spoke to Maurice Tulloch, Aviva CEO earlier this week and his commitment was clear, he said:

“At this unprecedented moment we all need to act now – and act together – to look after each other. That’s why we’re strengthening our partnership with the British Red Cross. Since 2016 we’ve seen first-hand the incredible work they do to help communities here in the UK and around the world. This new funding will get vital help to the people who need it most during the coronavirus pandemic.”

*The Aviva Foundation is administered by Charities Trust under charity registration number 327489.

**subject to government guidelines regarding safe distancing.