NewstrAid Coronavirus Update

March 26th, 2020

I am pleased to be able to report that all of us at NewstrAid are now working remotely from our own homes. Our post is being redirected, our phonelines are diverted and we are all set up to securely access the information we need to carry on the work of the Charity. Like many others, we are also getting used to regular calls and video conferences to stay in touch.

Our welfare team worked hard to send out April beneficiary payments a week early which has made it possible for more of the people we support to access their funds before the lockdown. Area Committee meetings, fundraising events and almoner visits have clearly been cancelled or postponed until we are clear of the risk of spreading the virus but, otherwise, the Charity is fully operational.

Although we can still do just about everything we were doing before, the constraints of working remotely may mean that things take us just a little longer so, please bear with us. We are still available to our beneficiaries and have a process in place to approve applications for support or even fast-track requests for help if necessary. Whilst we will do our best to take calls, it would be helpful if you could to contact us by email at oldben@newstraid.org.uk if possible.

Please stay safe and healthy as best you can by following the government advice to stay at home other than for one of the permitted reasons, always maintain a 2 metre gap from anyone not in your immediate household and wash your hands frequently, especially as soon as you get back home.

Best wishes from all at NewstrAid

Mike Mirams
CEO

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A Note from Mike Mirams (CEO) Regarding Covid-19

March 19th, 2020

This is such an extraordinary time that I thought I should write to let you know what we are doing at NewstrAid to keep helping people whilst protecting our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.

Firstly, we are following the original advice to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, try not to touch our faces and cough into a tissue and dispose of it quickly. We are also staying up to date and heeding government advice in respect of travelling and physical distancing where possible.

Whilst it isn’t immediately practical for us to close the office or work completely from home, we are taking steps to reduce the amount we come into work and are likely to introduce a minimum staffing rota in the next few days. We will then move to working entirely from home within a week or so.

We will endeavour to divert the phones and mail effectively but this will inevitably have some implications for the work we do and the services we provide. However, we will remain available for our beneficiaries and those who need our help, whatever it takes. As usual, we will also fast-track Welfare decisions for those with urgent need at this difficult time.

In the meantime, as you will know, we have cancelled all beneficiary visits with immediate effect and will be mailing the April cheques to avoid unnecessary contact. There is no question that this is the right decision but we haven’t taken it lightly as the almoner visits are hugely important to the way we work as a charity and greatly valued by our beneficiaries.

We are also asking Area Committees to heed the current advice and postpone all face to face meetings and events until we have the all clear.

Finally, it is important to us that all our staff and volunteers stay as healthy as possible and whilst it is inevitable that some of us will be infected with Covid-19, please take every precaution to stay as well as you can for as long as you can.

Many thanks for everything you do for NewstrAid and best wishes.
Mike

Mike Mirams (CEO)


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NewstrAid Philanthropist of the Year 2020

February 12th, 2020

NewstrAid are delighted to be sponsoring a new award at this year’s Newspaper & Magazine Awards hosted by ACE on 2nd April 2020.

The NewstrAid Philanthropy Award heralds the individual, group or business that has or have shown a great example in their support of a specific or multiple charitable or not-for-profit initiative.

Mike Mirams, CEO of NewstrAid said; “With this award we want to celebrate the many people from the Newspaper and Magazine industry who give up their precious time to give something back to a deserving cause.”

The winning entry will be judged on:

  • The commitment shown by the individual, group or business in generating support for an initiative.
  • The amount raised for charitable purposes or delivery of other charitable impact.
  • The inventiveness and creativity shown to maximise awareness, participation or support.
  • The impact and value achieved by the initiative relative to the resources available.

Nominations can be supported by a maximum of 3 single pages of sales data, testimony or images.

Entering is easy and free to do; visit https://www.acecirculation.com/?post_type=events&p=5146  for more information.

CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES IS 18TH FEBRUARY 2020

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New Brand for NewstrAid

February 10th, 2020

NewstrAid is launching a new logo and branding which aims to keep the charity current and contemporary.

The new look includes some of the key elements of the previous logo – including the strapline ‘The helping hand of the Newstrade’ but refreshes the typeface and colours to make them work better across print and digital media. It also introduces the recognisable ‘Helping Hands’ graphic to symbolise cooperation across the industry and the support the charity gives to those in need.

Mike Mirams, CEO of NewstrAid said, “This update to the NewstrAid brand will help take the charity forward into the 2020’s and reflects the work we are doing to engage with our supporters, volunteers and the industry to better help people from the news trade who face hardship every day.”

The charity’s website and other promotional materials will be updated with the new branding over the next few months.

-End-


For Media information

Contact: Lindsay Rule lindsay@newstraid.org.uk 01279 879569

About NewstrAid

The NewstrAid Benevolent Fund has been in existence for over 180 years. It was founded in 1839 by, amongst others, Charles Dickens, to provide welfare for the desperately poor newspaper street sellers of London. NewstrAid has since expanded to cover the whole of the UK and everyone involved in the retailing, wholesaling, distribution and circulation of newspapers and magazines, and their immediate dependents.
We provide welfare for people who are, or have been, employed in the selling and distribution of newspapers and magazines in the UK. This includes their immediate family and dependants who are in need, hardship or distress. For more information visit www.newstraid.org.uk

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January 20th, 2020

ACO SHOWS NEARLY HALF A MILLION TURN TO CHARITIES FOR SUPPORT, INCLUDING BASIC ESSENTIALS

Grant-giving organisations including NewstrAid face increased demand for financial and non-financial aid within the news trade.

Press release

20th January 2020

With January intensifying the difficulties people face financially and emotionally, new research has revealed nearly half a million people turned to charities for help in just one year, with NewstrAid supporting more than 800 alone.

National data from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) shows the number of people seeking help from charities and benevolent funds because they have nowhere else to turn following an unexpected change in circumstances has risen over the last four years. During this time NewstrAid, the welfare charity for those employed in the sales and distribution of newspapers and magazines, has helped more than 2500 people from the news trade with support including financial support, emotional support, state benefits advice and debt advice.

The ACO represents more than 120 charities, including NewstrAid, that provide financial support in the form of grants, which help thousands of people across the UK. A recent survey of members* showed more than 100,000 people applied for financial help in the last financial year. When extrapolated across its entire membership base, it is estimated ACO member charities will have supported at least 400,000 people in need. In 2015, the charities distributed more than £56million in grants. In comparison, this rose to more than £60million last year – £216million when applied to its entire membership base.

In the last financial year nearly 900 people who work or have worked in the sale and distribution of newspapers and magazines applied to NewstrAid for financial help and over the last 4 years the total amount of grants given by the charity has risen from more than £800,000 in 2015 to over £900,000 last year.

The ACO is highlighting the work done by its member charities across the UK on 22 January 2020 by sharing the stories of people whose lives were turned around thanks to the support they received.

Its campaign, One Day Changes Lives, which is supported by NewstrAid will show how an individual act of support granted by a charity one day can have a huge impact in improving someone’s life. Together, individual acts by ACO charities amount to a colossal positive impact on society.

Mike Mirams, CEO of NewstrAid, said: “NewstrAid helps people and their immediate dependents, who have been employed in newspaper and magazine sale and distribution in the UK and who have fallen on hard times. This sector is facing a very difficult time at the moment and the people we help are in real hardship. The support we provide – both financial and non-financial – can often be the difference between someone sinking or swimming, it can be life changing.”

Donal Watkin, Chief Executive at ACO, said: “These figures show the increasing levels of support needed by people with nowhere else to turn. Today we’re highlighting the big difference our members make to people’s lives through financial and non-financial help, and the role charities continue to play in the UK.”

Those supported by the charities were driven into a crisis for reasons including them or a family member facing sudden illness or disability, incurring costs for unexpected household repairs or bills, being unable to pay the high costs associated with a health condition, poor mental health, being involved in an accident, family breakdown, or redundancy.

Whilst ACO members are predominantly grant-making organisations, they also provide practical assistance, employment support, befriending services, and mental health and wellbeing support. Members are seeing an increase in supporting applicants with non-financial aid, rising from 60,584 people helped in 2015 to 93,308 in 2018.

Help can include the purchasing of fridges, clothes and food, and support with the costs of childcare, healthcare and household bills. Some of the people supported needed help to buy wheelchairs, hearing aids, medical equipment and respite care. The charities also provide legal, debt and/or employment advice.

Examples of some of the ways NewstrAid has helped beneficiaries with a news trade connection:

Mrs S, endured an attempted armed robbery whilst alone in her newsagents and although she managed to foil the robbery, the long term effects had taken their toll and she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and felt very unsafe in the shop and, at times, in her own home. NewstrAid were able to organise a wellbeing assessment for her through Anxiety UK and a further 6 therapy sessions to help her deal with the trauma she had gone though.

Mr J was suffering from non-curable cancer and had not been able to work for some time.  He and his family were left with very little money to meet their living costs. They were facing a significant mortgage repayment each month whilst they looked for a buyer for their property and had two teenage boys to support. NewstrAid was able to award the family 2 months mortgage repayments and a further grant from the ACE Fund for back to school costs as well as an ongoing regular benefit payment to help during Mr J’s’ illness.

Miss P called NewstrAid when she was moved from income support to Universal Credit and had run out of money for the month. She was also being affected by the benefits changes as her income had been reduced under the new system. She was struggling and in desperate need for funds to help clear her rent arrears and help put food on the table. NewstrAid were able to advise her regarding applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment and give her telephone numbers for her local authority and family support team to see if they could help her apply for further benefits. She was also awarded with an emergency hardship grant to help with her rent arrears.

Mr and Mrs B contacted us because they were only just managing to keep up with their bills. Their cooker had recently broken, and they had no savings to replace it. NewstrAid were able to fund the replacement of their cooker and offer financial help and advice through the Fresh Start Assist scheme.

NewstrAid is encouraging members of the public who have ever been helped by grant-giving charities to take part today and share examples of support on social media using the hashtag #OneDayChangesLives

If you are an individual in need with a news trade connection, please visit www.newstraid.org.uk

ENDS

For more information about NewstrAid, please contact Lindsay Rule: lindsay@newstraid.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  • *Survey carried out by the Association of Charitable Organisations, June 2019, with 33 respondents across a membership base of 120 using data from their statements of the last financial year. www.aco.uk.net
  • NewstrAid provides welfare to people who are, or have been, employed in the selling and distribution of newspapers and magazines in the UK. This includes their immediate family and dependants who are in need, hardship or distress. The charity has been in existence for over 175 years. It was founded in 1839 by, amongst others, Charles Dickens, to provide welfare for the desperately poor newspaper street sellers of London but has since expanded to cover the whole of the UK. Visit www.newstraid.org.uk for more information.
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The little known way Universal Credit Families can get help

March 20th, 2019

Universal Credit continues to hit the headlines, highlighting the many issues being faced by working families throughout the UK applying for support under this scheme.

With a change in circumstances incurring a minimum of five weeks wait for benefits to be processed and many recipients coping with reduced payment totals, thousands of families are facing hardship, falling into rent arrears and finding the need to use food banks.

But, occupational charities across the country may have money available to help people in these very circumstances. Read More »

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Mike Mirams appointed Chief Executive of The NewstrAid Benevolent Fund

November 9th, 2018

Following the announcement of Alex van Straubenzee’s retirement from his position as Chief Executive Officer of NewstrAid, the trustees are pleased to announce that Mike Mirams has been appointed to the role, with effect from 1st November 2018. Read More »

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