The National Lottery will divert £300m to support Britain's most vulnerable amid coronavirus crisis in biggest UK non-government contribution since outbreak began

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    • The National Lottery is stepping in to help the battle against coronavirus spread 
    • A huge £300million pot of funds will be diverted to helping those most at risk
    • Move is described as 'UK's biggest non-governmental contribution to the effort' 

The National Lottery is set to join the fight against coronavirus by distributing up to £300million in funds to support the most vulnerable across the UK during the crisis.

An initiative has been put together which will see charities and voluntary organisations receive a cash injection over the coming months in order to provide services for those most susceptible to the rapid spread of deadly covid-19.

The news, announced by the National Lottery on Friday, comes at a time when the organisation is projected to end the financial year with record ticket sales.

  • National Lottery has described the move as 'the UK's biggest non-governmental contribution to the efforts in local communities to combat covid-19.
  • Additions reserves are now needed wherever possible, after the death toll jumped by 181 in a single day on Friday to mark the largest daily increase.

    So far coronavirus has claimed 759 lives, including young and previously healthy people.

    Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise. The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce 'person-to-person interaction'.

    The chief executive officer of the National Lottery Community fund, Dawn Auswick, said of the move: 'The fund has always supported projects that help people and communities across the UK thrive. 

    'Now the fund is switching its focus for the foreseeable future on supporting charities seeking to mitigate the unprecedented pressure communities are coming under as the country rallies to overcome the virus.'

  • Speaking on the impact of covid-19 on ticket sales a Camelot spokesman revealed: 'Like many businesses we have begun to see some impact on sales, particularly due to retail disruption.

    'But it's too early to say what effect covid-19 will have on National Lottery sales over the medium to long term.

    'However, we're completely focused on continuing to run the National Lottery as safely and responsibly as we can because we know the importance of the work it does in raising over £30million every week for good causes around the UK.

    'As well as our employees, we're continuing to support our players and our retailers and are encouraging people to play online or only buy their lottery tickets in stores as part of their essential shop.' 

  • This week France announced that individuals could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of an hour and within 1,000 yards of their homes. 

    Spain and Italy have banned exercise altogether, and there are concerns that Britons are deliberately misinterpreting the guidance by travelling to beauty spots miles from their homes when social isolating is now paramount.

    Most recent figures show that London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by West Midlands hospitals with 19. But these numbers do not include patients who die at home or in care homes, meaning the true number may be higher.