£150k boost for Mail Force as Sky TV boss helps PPE charity fund soar to £8.9million

  • Jeremy Darroch has donated £50,000 of his own cash while the rest came from the broadcaster
  • Contribution means Mail Force has raised £8.9m since the charity was launched four weeks ago
  • Mail Force was created by the Mail and its partners to help tackle the PPE shortage
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The boss of Sky has pledged £150,000 for the Mail Force campaign to supply healthcare workers with protective gear after several of his colleagues became seriously ill with coronavirus.

Jeremy Darroch has donated £50,000 of his own cash while £100,000 has come from the broadcaster.

The generous contribution means Mail Force has raised £8.9million since the charity was launched four weeks ago. Mr Darroch, 57, who has run Sky since 2007, said the campaign to make sure NHS and care staff have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat patients safely is of ‘critical importance’.

He added: ‘People at Sky have got Covid-19 and some of them are really very poorly so I’ve seen what can happen when it goes from an unpleasant illness to a very serious illness.

Jeremy Darroch (middle) has donated £50,000 of his own cash while £100,000 has come from the broadcaster. Pictured with Sky presenters Sarah-Jane Mee and Natalie Pinkham 

‘And when that happens you are reminded about how brilliant the NHS are and what doctors do – what sacrifices they make and literally how they fight for people’s lives.’

Mr Darroch said it is easy to take front line healthcare workers for granted because everyone has ‘grown up with the NHS’. He believes that the pandemic has reminded the country of their great work.

Last month Mr Darroch, who earns more than £1million a year in basic pay, announced he would donate at least six months of his salary to charities helping people affected by the pandemic.

This now includes Mail Force, which was created by the Mail and its partners to help tackle the PPE shortage. He stressed: ‘Mail Force is a great initiative and one that is very much needed. We were keen to support it, both at a corporate level and a personal one. I think it’s great that Mail Force has taken the lead and it means others can just plug in and help do their bit to make this successful.

‘This is pretty significant. It’s getting money to an organisation which has the scale to make sure it gets to the right places.’

Mr Darroch added: ‘This caught my eye because of its focus – PPE has been so critically important, and that’s why I wanted to do it. This is a brilliant way to be able to add a bit from me as well. I’m really happy about it. I think, with these things, if everybody can do their bit then we can get through this.’ His first charitable donation during the crisis was £100,000 to the National Emergencies Trust.

PPE is delivered to Bank House Residential Care home in Newport, Shropshire. Pictured from left to right: Kirsten Buck, Nikki Rose, Jane Broom, Kate Brennan, Callum Wapstra, Shirley Richards and Dep. Manager Helen Millinder

It was founded in 2017 after the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people, and terror attacks in London and Manchester. It works with charities to raise and distribute funds. Northumberland-born Mr Darroch, who has three children with his wife Rachel, has also donated to the Community Foundation For Surrey, where he lives.

It is part of a network of 46 community foundations which help disadvantaged people. Almost 50,000 Daily Mail readers have now given more than £2.5million to Mail Force.

Your continuing support, along with pledges from philanthropists and corporate partners, helped the fund soar to the £8.9million mark last night.

Supporters include the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Michael Caine and Dame Vera Lynn while former prime ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown have also backed the initiative.

Last week lorries carrying 100,000 gowns arrived from Turkey after the charity sourced PPE from a factory near Istanbul. The gowns were quality checked by the Health and Safety Executive and delivered to the NHS. The charity previously chartered a jumbo jet packed with 20 tons of PPE from Shanghai to London. The £1million cargo included 50,000 medical coveralls and 100,000 masks.

And Mail Force has placed an initial order for 1.5million aprons from British firm Issa Group, which had them made in a former cotton mill in Blackburn.

These are being channelled into the main NHS distribution network over the next two weeks.

HERE’S HOW TO DONATE 

Mail Force Charity has been launched with one aim to help support NHS staff, volunteers and care workers fight back against Covid-1 in the UK.

Mail Force is a separate charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust. 

The money raised will fund essential equipment required by the NHS and care workers. 

This equipment is vital in protecting the heroic staff whilst they perform their fantastic work in helping the UK overcome this pandemic.

If we raise more money than is needed for vital Covid-1 equipment, we will apply all funds to support the work of the NHS in other ways.

Click the button below to make a donation:

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