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Charity support saves 15 journalists from losing their homes

Posted on: November 17, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Journalists’ Charity has prevented 15 journalists and their families from losing their homes during this year’s coronavirus pandemic.

Financial grants from the industry charity have helped families in the greatest need, including those with young children and have reinstated a sense of financial security – enabling affected journalists to feel able to work once more.

Following the impact of lockdown on the incomes of people nationwide, many journalists across sectors and locations have experienced job losses, compromised working situations, furlough and additional family demands, the charity has reported.

Hundreds of journalists have also received the charity’s emergency assistance as part of a rapid response aimed at minimising stress and preserving mental health.

Founded by Charles Dickens 150 years ago, the charity supports journalists when they are experiencing periods of personal hardship and this year has provided aid across the news media sector: from freelance to permanent staff as well as those working at regional and national brands.

Its CEO James Brindle told the SoE: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how invaluable journalism is to our nation and our democracy. Across all sectors, journalists have worked hard to maintain the delivery of quality news, entertainment, and public campaigns to ensure communities are both informed and fairly represented. An impressive feat for the industry to pull off when we consider the new logistical, financial, and emotional challenges journalists have faced on a personal level this year.

“When we launched a campaign earlier this year, celebrating the role of journalists during the crisis the response was phenomenal, with thousands of messages of support, including from the charity’s patron, Her Majesty the Queen.  The reaction not only showed us how valued the industry is, but it also reaffirmed the Journalists’ Charity’s purpose to come to the aid of journalists who are in need- a cause we are so proud to support.”

Joan, a Scottish journalist who received support from the charity over the summer said, “The thing about the Journalists’ Charity is that you do get this sense of awareness of your worth. Anybody giving you financial support is amazing, but there are so many layers to it. It frees up your time to work because you are not worrying about paying the bills; it gives you confidence that you are not alone; and there is a real sense of security there, that you are dealing with people who truly recognise how precarious the industry is, especially at the moment.”

The Journalists’ Charity has also extended its support offer by providing free online skills sessions covering various themes relating to the industry, catering to a range of needs over this unprecedented time.

Another beneficiary, Nicky, said after she “hit rock bottom, thinking I wasn’t good enough and hit rock bottom financially” the Journalists’ Charity’s donations made her realise that she is a worthy individual who makes an important contribution to society. She said the Journalists’ Charity was a lifeline who helped her financially and mentally, making her realise that she was an individual worth helping.

To continue promoting the support available, the charity has increased a drive for awareness within newsrooms by asking readers to sign up to the Journalists’ Charity database for free. You can follow this link or scan the QR code below to connect with the industry and support the sustainability of quality journalism.