Charities supporting emergency services to benefit from £10m in LIBOR fines

Charities are to benefit from almost £10m in funding arising from fines on banks for LIBOR rigging.

The Cabinet Office has announced more than £8m will go to English charities, with the rest made available to the Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland governments. It is the first time that LIBOR funding has gone to support emergency services personnel.

Up to £4m of the English funding will be allocated to help mental health charity MIND in developing a package of targeted support and information for all emergency services personnel. This will include anti-stigma work, establishing peer support groups and embedding training and awareness raising within employers, charities, and other groups.

MIND chief executive Paul Farmer said the charity is delighted the government is recognising the importance of supporting the mental health of emergency services personnel.

"Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations receive appropriate support. We're looking forward to working with police, ambulance, fire service and search and rescue staff across England."

Around £3m in funding will be used to address physical injuries incurred on the frontline, with £2m specifically to enhance existing Police and Fire Service treatment and rehabilitation centres. It will also provide funding so ambulance and search and rescue personnel can benefit from these facilities.

Charities supporting the bereaved families of emergency services personnel will benefit from £1m in funding. This will also be used to ensure further coverage across all the emergency services, and to support families when need arises. The government is calling for a partner to manage an endowment that will support bereaved families of active service personnel.

Funds will also be allocated for development of the Ambulance Services Charity, so it can provide a high level of support to all Ambulance Services personnel and volunteers in times of need.

The LIBOR fund comprises fines on banks for misdemeanours and attempted manipulation of financial markets. This latest allocation builds on £35m of LIBOR funding already given to military good causes in previous tranches, £60m to support Armed Forces personnel, their families and veterans, and a further £10m per annum which has been earmarked from 2015 to support the Armed Forces Covenant.

Chancellor George Osborne said it was “only right” that the fines are used to support emergency services personnel.

“Emergency services personnel regularly put their lives on the line to protect the most vulnerable in society, and these funds will help support both them and their families through bereavement, mental health issues and physical injuries sustained through their vital work.”

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said the fund will help charities like MIND continue to support emergency personnel and their families.

“Managed by the Cabinet Office, this money will really make a difference through innovative programmes and I urge relevant organisations to partner with us to manage our new endowment fund that will help bereaved families of active service personnel.”

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