Abta LifeLIne has received a £20,000 grant from consumer champion Martin Lewis’ coronavirus emergency charity fund.

The charity applied for help from the £1 million fund, which is offering grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 to help small charities with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.

Abta LifeLine said the money would be used to help those in the travel industry suffering severe financial hardship by granting food vouchers to those in immediate need; giving financial management advice including on debt, budgeting and benefits available through charity partner Citizens Advice Manchester; and mental health support through The Centre for Crisis Psychology. Applicants who need mental health support will be required to fill out an application form without submitting financial information.

The charity, which helps those working for or who have worked for an Abta member, says it will prioritise funding to those who have been made redundant; the recently self-employed who cannot benefit from the government’s support income scheme; and the self-employed who cannot claim income support until June.

Director Trudie Clements said: “This doesn’t mean others cannot apply, just priority will be given to those in the categories above. I am hoping that with these funds we will be able to make a difference to those really struggling.”

The charity has also launched its own coronavirus support appeal, Travel People United, on Just Giving to help those in need. The aim is to encourage those working at home, still in work, or with sufficient means, to donate the cost of one day at work – the cost of a train ticket, lunch or a cup of coffee – to the appeal.

“Anything people can do to help us would be amazing. We want travel to come together, unite to help our people,” added Clements.

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