Rebecca Evans AM urges people in Gower to give safely to charities responding to Coronavirus pandemic
Rebecca Evans AM joins the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator, Action Fraud and Trading Standards to encourage people to give to genuine registered charities as people in Gower respond with generosity in the current crisis.
It comes as regulators receive reports of scammers targeting vulnerable people, for example by posing as fundraisers collecting money for charity, who are diverting vital funds away from genuine causes.
Rebecca Evans, AM for Gower is urging people to help ensure their donations reach genuine charities responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
Mrs Evans said “Charities, including those working in Gower are already forming a core part of the nation’s response to the pandemic.
“I would encourage people to support registered charities, at a time when many face an increased demand for their services, such as the National Emergencies Trust (NET) national coronavirus fundraising appeal.”
The appeal was launched to raise funds for local charities including in Gower responding to the pandemic.
Many local and national charities are dealing with the pandemic and continuing to do important work throughout the country to support vulnerable people and communities. By giving to a registered, regulated charity, people in Gower can have assurance that their funds will be accounted for in line with charity law.
Action Fraud and Trading Standards have received reports of fraudsters seeking to exploit the pandemic by targeting vulnerable people, for example posing as charity volunteers offering to help with shopping, offering fake virus testing, or claiming to be raising funds for charity.
There are simple ways of making sure you give safely to registered charities. Always check the charity’s name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered. Ensure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information. Also, be vigilant about unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them. The public is also advised to ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company.
Rebecca Evans added: “I have been heartened and encouraged to witness the generous community spirit that people across Gower have demonstrated since this crisis began. I would like to thank all those who have been looking out for vulnerable neighbours and friends. I also want to encourage those across Gower who are able to donate, to support registered charities helping to relieve those most in need, and to be vigilant against ‘charity’ scams. Together, we can look after the people in Gower who need our help, and ensure this terrible situation strengthens our community.”
Baroness Tina Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, said:
“British people have a proud tradition of charitable giving and generosity, and this pandemic is already giving rise to that spirit of charity and community that brings people together. We want to ensure that people do so safely and in the most effective way possible so that people in need get help. We encourage everyone wanting to donate money to follow our simple steps to check that they are donating to a registered charity. By giving to a registered charity, the public can have assurance that their funds are regulated by the Charity Commission.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:
“Charities are a lifeline to many local communities and play a vital role in supporting people across the UK, particularly at a time of national crisis. In what is the most significant public health emergency in generations, we encourage the public to continue to give generously throughout these difficult times. Unfortunately, we have heard of some individuals who have used the Coronavirus outbreak as a means of defrauding the public, so we urge you to check that an organisation is legitimate before you give to it. For more helpful advice on giving to charity safely, please read our guidance here.”
Louise Baxter, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:
“As people stay indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, criminals are preying on people in vulnerable situations who are isolated and living alone. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.
“There’s never been a more important time for neighbours to look out for each other – particularly as we self-isolate – which is why we’re encouraging communities to prevent scams in their local area by using the free Friends Against Scams resources. Our online courses will help you spot a potential scam, identify people at risk and help you protect local residents from falling victims to scams. We’re urging communities to protect each other from scams and encourage people to share the latest advice with families, friends and neighbours.”
Last week, Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, was pleased to announce in her role as Minister for Finance that the Welsh Government is providing a £1.4 billion package of support for businesses in Wales.
Those grants will start landing in business’ bank accounts from Thursday of this week.
Rebecca Evans AM said, “This is a challenging time for businesses in Wales, and time is of the essence for many of them.
“I am pleased that we have been able to work closely with local authorities in Wales to ensure that the grants get out to businesses so quickly.”
All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
This will mean around 8,500 shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, cinemas, live music venues, hotels, and guest accommodation will receive funding.
A £10,000 grant will be available to a further 63,500 businesses in Wales, which are eligible for small business rates relief and have a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
The business grants will be distributed by local authorities on behalf of Welsh Government.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed moves by the Welsh Government to offer free bus travel for NHS staff.
Bus companies are struggling with the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak, and this move forms part of a hardship fund which will help support bus companies through a difficult period. Free travel for NHS staff is already available on Transport for Wales trains.
Rebecca Evans AM said: ”Demand for public transport has fallen significantly as people are following the new rules to stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS. This means that the bus industry is really struggling.
“This new package of support for the bus industry will give the industry the funding it needs to continue to deliver services, and pay staff and sub-contractors. It will be conditional on continuing to provide a timetabled service, and provide all NHS staff with free travel.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the coronavirus information hub for families and children established by the Children's Commissioner for Wales.
Mrs Evans said: "The coronavirus outbreak is really worrying for adults, and it can be frightening for children. There is so much misinformation out there, which is why a clear and child-friendly source of information and advice is so important.”
The Children’s Commissioner’s coronavirus hub can be at:
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has expressed her thanks to the former health and social care professionals who are returning to work to help in the effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency recruitment drive is also seeing final-year students being offered work in the NHS to boost the workforce over the coming months.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “This is all part of the extensive plans to prepare the NHS and social care sector to provide care for the number of people who are likely to need it as a result of the coronavirus.
“These are extraordinary times, and I am grateful to everyone who is returning to work, or stepping up to work for the first time in the Welsh NHS to care for patients. Your knowledge and professionalism will be crucial in the period ahead of us, and I am full of thanks and admiration.”
Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the ramping up of testing capacity for Covid-19 by Public Health Wales.
There are currently more than 800 tests per day in Wales, but from 1st April there will be capacity for 6,000 per day, and by 7th April there will be capacity for 8,000 per day.
Alongside Covid-19 patients, self-isolating frontline health care workers will be prioritised for testing in order to provide a basis for an early return to work.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “I welcome the prioritisation of testing for of health care workers who are in roles on the frontline looking after patients with Coronavirus. Our health care staff do absolutely amazing work. Testing those workers in self-isolation will mean that those with a negative test result can return to the frontline sooner.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the decision by Wales’ Housing Minister Julie James to introduce a temporary three month interest repayment holiday for ‘interest-bearing’ Help to Buy Wales customers who may face financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Rebecca Evans AM said, “The announcement means that customers who might be affected by Coronavirus and who subsequently suffer a drop in income will not need to pay their Help to Buy Wales loan interest repayment for a three month period. Several hundred people could be helped by this welcome move.”
Police have issued a series of tips and advice for people to bear in mind during the coronavirus outbreak – and to community groups who are offering their support to others.
In South Wales and across the country, there have been numerous examples of communities coming together and helping each other, particularly the most vulnerable.
But with reports from elsewhere in the UK of fraudsters and scammers trying to use the outbreak to take advantage of others, South Wales Police is raising awareness of advice which may help prevent people in our communities from falling victim.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Parfitt, Head of Operational Support Services, said: “It is fantastic to see so many examples of a generous community spirit, and we want to encourage that to continue, while everyone abides by the latest public health guidance.
“However, we also want to pass on some advice to help keep everyone – and particularly the vulnerable – safe from the tiny minority who may try to take advantage of others’ situations during this outbreak by claiming to be offering support, while in fact acting with an ulterior motive.”
To speak to the police, call 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the BBC's announcement that it is to delay TV licence fee changes for the over-75s until August in light of the coronavirus situation.
Rebecca Evans AM has previously raised her concerns about the scrapping of free TV licences for up to 3.7 million older people.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "These are deeply unsettling and uncertain times, and the television can be a source of company, comfort and information for many people.
“Delaying the scrapping of the free TV licence for older people until August is a welcome first move, but I would like the UK Government to go further and scrap the plan to charge the over-75s for their TV licence for good.”
The Welsh Government is taking immediate action to allow delivery hours for supermarkets and other food retailers to be extended to ensure the food industry is able to respond to increased consumer demand during the Coronavirus outbreak, Local Government Minister Julie James has announced today.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM said: “I welcome these pragmatic measures to relax planning conditions restricting night-time and early morning deliveries, allowing retailers to accept deliveries throughout the day and night where necessary.
“These are exceptionally challenging times and it is vital that deliveries of food, sanitary and other essential products over the coming weeks can be made as quickly and safely as possible, minimising disruption to the supply chains on which communities depend.”