Generous readers donated more than £ 34,000 during the Guardian and Observer’s socially distant annual charity telethon on Saturday. The 2020 Winter Call, which is used to raise money for charities that support disadvantaged young people, now stands at over £ 585,000.
A list of journalists seized the telethon phone lines from home – among those who took calls from readers were Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner, John Crace, Marina Hyde, Anushka Asthana, Jonathan Freedland, Amelia Gentleman, Owen Jones, and Polly Toynbee.
In order to comply with industry regulations, the calls were then routed to a small team of Guardian volunteers who, under the aegis of the Charities Trust, were taking card donations at the Guardian’s offices in Kings Place, London.
The annual Guardian and Observer Charity Appeal, which runs throughout the Christmas season, supports three charities that are helping to manage the severe impact of the pandemic crisis on young people in disadvantaged communities: the UK Youth, Youth and Child Poverty Action Group.
The money raised will be invested in grassroots youth work projects, initiatives to support emotional well-being and improve the mental health of young people, and innovative work to reduce child poverty in the UK.
Emma Thomas, General Manager of Young Minds said, “We are incredibly grateful for the generous support and donations from everyone through this call. Young people’s mental health is in crisis and the money raised will help us in our mission to stop young people’s mental health at a time when it is most needed. “
Ndidi Okezie, UK Youth General Manager, said: “The tremendous generosity of the Guardian and Observer readers enables us to provide vital support to young people across the UK at a time when they have never needed our help. By supporting the call, readers are sending a clear signal that they believe in young people. “
Alison Garnham, General Manager of the Child Poverty Action Group, said, “It is encouraging to see so much support from Guardian and Observer readers. What is clear is that there is strong public support for action against child poverty. I hope that those who have given very kindly to support our work will also add our voices to our calls for change. It doesn’t have to be like that. “
Introducing the appeal earlier this month, Viner wrote, “By putting young people at the center of this year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal, we are signaling our support for the generation we hope will flourish after Covid. The young people of today must not become a lost generation. “
• The call lasts until midnight on Sunday, January 10th.