The Duke of Westminster, one of the UK’s richest men, is donating an extra £10m to the national effort against COVID-19, pledging money that will directly help NHS staff and their families.
Last month Hugh Grosvenor, 29, pledged £2.5m to projects helping the vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.
But now the billionaire, who is the world’s richest person under 30, is giving another £10m largely to thank NHS staff for their tireless work.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff and everyone providing critical frontline services,” he said.
“We are all humbled and incredibly grateful that you are working tirelessly to keep us safe and keep the country functioning.”
Most of the money will go straight to helping NHS staff and their families, with £5m going to NHS Charities Together to set up a family fund.
The fund will provide help and support for workers who’ve continued to risk their own lives to treat patients, as well as acknowledging what a worrying time this has been for their children and wider families.
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Hugh Grosvenor, who is worth an estimated £10bn said, “NHS staff and key workers don’t work in isolation. They have children and families whose health and wellbeing will also be highly impacted by this crisis.
“As they keep us safe, I want to help provide as much support to them and their families as we can.
“Our donation will help create a Family Fund within NHS Charities Together to provide food, respite, rehabilitation and positive mental health support to NHS staff and their families.”
A key focus for the duke’s own charitable foundation is helping families and young people, which is why he was keen to work with NHS fundraisers to set up this specific type of fund.
“We know many NHS staff have chosen to keep their families safe by staying apart and focusing their time and energy to care for their patients and save lives,” Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together said.
“Their dedication is not only remarkable, but no doubt comes with its own price.”
The rest of the duke’s £10m donation will be split between scientific bodies and other charities helping vulnerable families.
Some £3m is going to national medical research and development linked to COVID-19, while a further £2m will help charities and organisation supporting those most likely to feel the greatest financial and social impact from the ongoing crisis.