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The Independent and Evening Standard launch Christmas Appeal

The Independent and Evening Standard yesterday launched their joint Christmas appeal, On The Breadline.

The Independent and Evening Standard launch Christmas Appeal
David Cohen: “For families on the breadline, this is a terrifying moment.”

The campaign will provide urgent support to those worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis, working with Comic Relief to fund community projects across the country.

Leading public figures, including celebrities and politicians, are supporting the appeal, which will run for five weeks, and Comic Relief yesterday marked the launch of On The Breadline with a £1m pledge to get fundraising underway.

A number of high-profile backers will visit the community projects working hard to support people through the cost-of-living crisis, to help raise awareness of the desperate situation millions will face this winter and these initiatives which will provide such crucial relief.

It comes as inflation hits a 40-year high, with an estimated 4.3 million children living in poverty and an increasing number of people forced to choose between heating and eating, say the publishers. The campaign will get tangible relief to those who need it as quickly as possible:

  • £10 could help feed a family of three for a week
  • £20 could help buy a winter kit containing a blanket, hat, scarf and gloves
  • £75 could help provide a slow cooker, recipes and cooking sessions for a family
  • £100 could help provide an emergency shopping voucher for a family struggling with cost of living rises

People can donate to On The Breadline by visiting the Comic Relief campaign page. They can also show support by tweeting the hashtag #onthebreadline.

Sir Lenny Henry, Comic Relief co-founder said: “I’m incredibly proud that since Comic Relief began it has been there to support people when they need it most, and I’m equally proud of how people join together to make that support possible. The cost of living crisis is a time when some of the most vulnerable communities will be hit hardest. No one should be scared of what this winter might bring for them and their families. But together we can change this, together we can make a difference.”

Lord Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard and major shareholder in The Independent said: “The stories from those on the breadline are frightening not just because of the sacrifices they've already made, but because of those they'll have to make when things get even worse. As many struggle to afford even the bare necessities, campaigns like ours have never been more important.”

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “This winter is going to be frighteningly tough for people up and down the country as the cost of living crisis pushes millions to breaking point. Millions face going hungry and without basic necessities, and pressure is mounting from all angles. As this national emergency intensifies, people need our help now. We are hugely grateful for this opportunity with the Evening Standard and The Independent to launch a cost of living appeal and raise urgent funds this winter. From supporting foodbanks to providing warm clothing and energy top up cards, this campaign will deliver a lifeline and ease the pressure for people facing the toughest times of their lives.”

David Cohen, Campaigns Editor of The Independent and Evening Standard said: “Over the past couple of months, our team of writers has been interviewing people around the country struggling with the cost of living crisis. We thought we knew how rising prices were impacting people, but what we have come across is deeply harrowing. They include cases of:

  • Families sitting in the dark and cold at night, swathed in coats and blankets and too afraid to turn on the lights or heating for fear of unaffordable bills;
  • A mother putting her baby to sleep in an open drawer because she cannot afford a cot;
  • Toddlers wearing soiled nappies all day because their parents ration them;
  • Mothers with no recourse to public funds feeding children on £10 a day and running out of food;
  • People with dental problems unable to get NHS treatment and living with toothache.

For families on the breadline, this is a terrifying moment. That is why we are launching On the Breadline to support and ease the pressure on our fellow citizens most affected by the cost of living crisis.”

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