National Emergencies Trust – Make a Donation and / or Apply for Funds as a Grassroots Charities

The National Emergencies Trust will collaborate with charities and other bodies to raise and distribute money and support victims at the time of a domestic disaster.

Victims often find it difficult to know who to turn to in the tragic aftermath of a national emergency. The Trust will be there for those victims to facilitate a single point of contact to apply for help with a simple application process. Financial awards can be made to victims quickly and efficiently, avoiding the bureaucracy of multiple applications. It should also help use money more effectively and minimise fraud.

More at

Making a Donation

The Government is doing everything it can to alleviate some of this pressure. However, at times like this, it’s the strength and desire to help from the public that can make the most difference. That’s why we, the NET, are launching an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.

Donate online at

Application process for Grassroots Charities

NET have launched a Coronavirus Appeal to support grassroots charities and groups who’ll be supporting some of society’s the most vulnerable people throughout the outbreak. If you are an organisation looking for funding please find your local community foundation below.

If you want to find out more about what’s happening in your area, apply for funding or just speak to someone about your project idea, please get in touch with your local Community Foundation.

Full details at

March 27, 2020

NI to offer unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks

Abortions in Northern Ireland can take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy “without conditionality”, under new laws soon to be in force.

Terminations will be permitted beyond 12 weeks in a number of other circumstances, with no time limit in cases of a fatal foetal abnormality.

In 2019, abortion was decriminalised in NI by MPs at parliament.

The government published regulations regarding the provision of services that will come into effect next week.

Currently there is no statutory framework permitting lawful abortion and until recently, abortions in Northern Ireland could only be carried out in very limited circumstances.

The document sets out that terminations will be allowed “without conditionality” in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.

It said that was to ensure that victims of sexual crime – rape and incest – could get access to services.

A limit of 24 weeks will apply in circumstances where continuing the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the woman’s physical or mental health, greater than the risk of terminating the pregnancy.

The regulations state that no time limit will apply in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, where there is a substantial risk that the fetus would die or if born would suffer a severe mental or physical impairment.

The government said this decision had been taken to ensure it mirrored similar provision in Great Britain, arguing that a different time limit in Northern Ireland meant “women and girls would effectively be left with no choice but to travel to other parts of the UK for a termination”.

No time limit will apply either for an abortion if there is a risk to the life of the mother, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated – or, the government says, “where necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl, including in cases of immediate necessity”.

Part of a longer news story at

March 26, 2020

71% of men have slapped, choked, gagged or spat on their partner during consensual sex – BBC survey

BBC Disclosure and BBC 5Live commissioned a survey of 2,049 UK men aged 18 to 39 to assess how so-called “rough sex” was being navigated.

In the survey, 71% of the men who took part said they had slapped, choked, gagged or spat on their partner during consensual sex.

One-third (33%) of the men who had done this said they would not ask verbally whether their partner would like them to do it either before or during sexual activity.

What is driving this interest in so-called “rough sex”? Our survey of young men pointed to a big factor – pornography.

More than half of the men (57%) who had said they had slapped, choked, gagged and spat on partners said pornography had influenced their desire to do so.

One in five (20%) said it had influenced them a “great deal”.

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, from Durham University, researches the clips, titles and thumbnails found on the front pages of the world’s most popular free pornography sites.

She says she found evidence on the first page of the sites of all kinds of videos that would not be allowed to be uploaded under their stated terms and conditions.

Dr Vera-Gray says she even found evidence of videos that “promote, endorse or glorify sexual violence, such as rape”.

She says: “Porn has changed the landscape of what’s going on for kids and so if you think your 12-year-old hasn’t seen pornography, I’d really question that.”

BBC Disclosure approached the most popular free pornography sites for an interview. None agreed.

Part of a longer article at


March 24, 2020

Financial debt amongst older women in the United Kingdom – shame, abuse and resilience – new research from Manchester University

“It’s hard, I’m drowning” – older women facing greater financial problems

Personal debt is at record levels in the UK, and 17% of pensioners live in relative income poverty. Now, new research from The University of Manchester has found that women aged 55 years and older are more likely to have financial problems than older men – particularly those women living on low incomes who are separated or divorced.

Using survey data and interviews with older women in debt, researchers Kingsley Purdam and Jennifer Prattley found that 44% of women aged 65 years and older who were divorced reported having difficulties ‘keeping up with bills and credit commitments’, compared to 19% of married women.

Amongst women aged between 55 and 64, those in routine and semi-routine occupations such as care workers, shop assistants and cleaners were much more likely to state that they were having financial difficulties compared to those in managerial jobs – 52%, compared to 24%.

The far-reaching impact of being in debt was evident from all the women that the researchers spoke to. Many had kept their financial problems hidden due to fear and shame, and all of them had made financial sacrifices to support their children. Some of the women were being threatened with eviction and were reliant on food banks, and the debts were affecting their relationships and health.

One woman, who had two children and debts of around £3,400, stated: “It’s hard, I’m drowning. They won’t give me any more hours at work. I’m just chasing myself all the time. Someone told me to sell myself on the street.”

A lack of employment and low pay were key factors linked to being in debt, as a mother of one who had debts of around £1,300 commented: “I have been paying it off, but it’s really killing me. The boss closed the chip shop for three nights and I didn’t get the wages. I was paying bits off. In my eyes at least, I was paying something.”

Some of the women had been subject to coercive control and economic abuse by their former partners – one woman, a divorced mother of two with debts of around £6,000, commented: “He used to wish me dead on the phone…if I don’t talk to him politely enough, he won’t pay the bills. I have to do as I am told. He’ll always have control. He still has the keys to the house and all the bills are in his name. He still comes round and opens the letters and tears them up or burns them. I never get to see the letters!”

“The financial problems faced by older women are linked to issues of long-term poverty, precarious employment, low pay, high-interest credit and coercive control within relationships,” said Kingsley Purdam. “Many have spent their lives in low-paid jobs and juggling debts, usually as a result of trying to provide for their families.”

“It is vital that pension reforms, changes to minimum wage rates, new divorce and domestic abuse legislation and welfare policies take account of the circumstances of separated, divorced and widowed older women.” Kingsley Purdam

The research, entitled “Financial debt amongst older women in the United Kingdom – shame, abuse and resilience”, has been published in the journal Ageing and Society.

March 24, 2020

Gingerbread calls on government and employers to support single parents during Covid-19 school closures

As schools and nurseries across the country close in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, many single parents will be worried about the challenges ahead and the impact on their families.  Gingerbread is calling on the government and employers to consider the circumstances of single parents and support them in this time of crisis.

Victoria Benson, Gingerbread CEO, said:

“Gingerbread is very aware that many single parents are extremely worried about the impact of the coronavirus on them and their families. We have seen a big increase in the number of single parents seeking support through our helpline and our online forum, along with a spike in membership to Gingerbread friendship groups in the past week alone. The wide-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic will have a disproportionate effect on single parents. We already know that many single parents rely on income from insecure work and we also know that they are far more likely to be facing poverty than couple parent families. The impact on their finances from the virus could be devastating if they can no longer work or lose their jobs. In addition, they are likely to be feeling isolated and overwhelmed by the worry this is causing.

“School closures across the country for the majority of students will lead to additional worry and stress, as it means that single parents who are able to work from home will be faced with looking after their children on their own and, unlike couple parents, they won’t be able to juggle care with a partner to enable them to work. Gingerbread is calling on employers to consider the circumstances of single parents and to ensure that they are paid while the school closures are in force.

“We are calling on the Government to support single parents who cannot work, or those who have lost their jobs and to ensure that claims for benefits are processed swiftly so they are not left without any income. We would also like to see all work seeking requirements and sanctions lifted.

“It is also important to remember that single parents are likely to be feeling isolated, alone, and overwhelmed – particularly while we are all being advised to take social distancing measures. We would like to call on everyone to be mindful of this and to offer to help any single parents in their networks. This may be offering to help with shopping or just picking up the phone to check in.

“Gingerbread’s helpline is also available to offer specific advice and guidance and our single parent online forum is active 24/7 with other single parents in similar situations.”

Gingerbread has prepared a key set of recommendations for government and employers that will ensure single parent families are supported at this time.  To read our full recommendations click here.

March 24, 2020