Actor Emma Thompson has become the latest high-profile donor to the Daily Mail’s Mail Force charity, which was set up to procure vital PPE equipment for the medical frontline.
The charity, which has raised close to £8 million, has bought and flown much-needed supplies to the UK, and is now funding manufacture in this country, too.
And the news comes as the paper announced it has increased its support for local businesses by a further £2m.
Nearly 50,000 readers and some of Britain’s leading philanthropists have donated money. The paper reported Thompson has made a sizeable personal donation.
“I’ve never been as moved by a newspaper campaign. It’s a brilliant initiative which I’m happy to support,” she told the paper.
“For a national newspaper to give people the opportunity to do something they are hearing about on the news every day, this whole question of PPE, was brilliant. You just want to be able to be useful in some way, and the paper gave them the opportunity to do something.”
“I thought for a newspaper to take it on, and give their readership a really active positive role, was fantastic.”
The paper reported that Thompson conceded that she is not always a supporter of the media, but that we are not in normal times.
“Everyone is struggling to just get through. But this campaign allows people to give a small amount and really feel part of an initiative that makes a difference. And I know a lot of doctors and healthcare professionals who appreciate it. They are doing the most amazing jobs and it’s a privilege to do whatever we can to help them.”
In a separate announcement, the Daily Mail confirmed the success of its campaign to offer free advertising to support small businesses struggling to cope with the Covi-19 crisis.
Applications have now closed for the scheme which has an original budget of £3m but which the paper has now increased to £5m.
Around 6,000 small businesses have applied for a slice of the Daily Mail group’s multi-million pound free advertising fund.
Last week Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) launched the £3million scheme to provide 1,000 firms with advertising packages worth £3,000.
The move by the newspaper group to help struggling companies was hailed by both the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and small business minister Paul Scully.
Applications opened on Wednesday last week and thousands of companies applied. As a result, DMGT has now increased the fund to £5million and pledged to help 1,500 firms.