UK public pull together for India

Atul, who has raised over £19,000 for our Coronavirus Appeal, explains how you can donate through your local post office

Atul Bathia, Postmaster at the Broadway Post Office in Wimbledon, has raised over £19,000 for our Coronavirus Appeal through his fundraising page.

DEC member charities are on the ground in India providing vital supplies and support to vulnerable people caught in the devastating second wave of coronavirus. And at the same time, people up and down the UK are helping by taking on fantastic fundraising challenges for the DEC Coronavirus Appeal.  

In Essex, the young and old are working together to raise vital funds for the DEC Appeal in a special eight-hour relay walk that brings together residents of the New Deanery and St Mary's Court care homes and members of St Mary’s Church in Bocking Braintree, and children from the local nursery and primary school. 

“After following the Covid-19 crisis in India on the news, I felt there must be something we could do as care homes or even as a community to help raise funds for the urgent medical supplies so desperately needed there now,” said Jo Whitehouse, Activities Manager at Sonnet Care Homes.  

“I wanted something that we could all be involved in, so a Covid-19 secure eight-hour relay walk within our grounds became the plan! I contacted Reverend Rod from St Mary’s church, who was only too happy to help. 

“The ages of people taking part could range from one year old to 106 years old!”

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Watching the news and seeing all the suffering in India has been difficult for Atul Bathia too, Postmaster at The Broadway Post Office in Wimbledon, whose grandfather was born in India.   

“I have family and friends in India, and I speak to them daily. One is not very well at all. It’s so worrying,” says Atul. “That’s why I chose to support the DEC. Their charities are there now, on the ground, ready, moving.” Atul’s fundraising page has already raised over £19,000.  

The Post Office is also working with the Disasters Emergency Committee by allowing people to donate to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal by cash or card over the counter at any of Post Office’s 11,500 branches across the UK.  

“If everyone donated £1 at their local post office imagine how much we could raise,” says Atul, who will continue to fundraise as long as is needed. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had and we’re not stopping until the virus is under control in the world’s most vulnerable regions.”  

Six-year-old Freddie from Kidderminster has set himself the impressive challenge of reading 50 books in one month.

“I want to help the people in India who don’t have all the things we do and can’t just go to the doctors like we can," says Freddie. “I love reading so this was the best way I could think of.”

Freddie, 6, and his Mum, Verity

Six-year-old Freddie, who is doing a read-a-thon to raise money for our Coronavirus Appeal, with his Mum, Verity

It’s not only individuals and community groups taking action.  

The British Medical Association has generously donated £5,000 and together, their staff have raised over £22,000 in 24 hours.  

"Having only just extended our Coronavirus Appeal to India, we've been overwhelmed already by the amazing generosity shown by the UK public towards suffering communities", says Simon Beresford, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the DEC. "We have been moved by many supporters' deeply expressed sense of connection and solidarity with communities in India. Often, of course, including their own friends and family given the diverse communities who support our appeals here in the UK."  
“I want to say a heart-felt thank you to each and every one of you who has taken action to fundraise for the DEC Coronavirus Appeal, and to all those who have made a direct donation to the appeal too. These funds mean that our member charities on the ground in India can scale-up their response and provide more life-saving support and services. But the situation is still challenging and so, if you haven’t donated yet, please do so today to help us save more lives. Thank you.”