I’m writing this blog at home at a time when the world seems turned upside down. Ordinarily I’d be in an office in Vauxhall hearing the buzz of colleagues chatting around me. Instead I’m sitting at the dining table with the cat as my company. Like many other organisations, my charity has taken the tough decision to furlough a number of staff, myself included.
It’s a strange time indeed and the impact on our daily lives is so huge as to be indescribable. I have no idea what the world will look like when this period is over, however I hope that we will learn to appreciate the everyday heroes who make our lives work.
Our homes are still supplied with electricity, gas, television and the internet. Delivery drivers bring supermarket deliveries – at least if you can get a delivery slot. Bin operatives collect our waste while posties bring our mail and parcels. And our shops and supermarkets are staffed so people can obtain what they need. In the background, GPs, pharmacists and others have changed the ways they work to continue to look after the health of the nation, whether COVID-19 or more ordinary afflictions.
So much of this is invisible in our daily lives – we just take for granted that these people will always be there to help. They contribute to our lives in ways that we don’t always notice, and I am very grateful.
Payroll Givers are the unsung heroes of charitable giving. Over one million Payroll Givers contribute around £132 million to over 8,000 charities, from the tiniest Scout Group to the largest medical research charity.
Through their regular gifts, Payroll Givers have funded ground-breaking medical research. They’ve helped cats, dogs and donkeys to live lives free from cruelty and abuse. They’ve funded phone lines for children and given them safe places to stay. Payroll Givers have provided guide dogs for people with visual impairments and life-changing operations to children here and abroad. They’ve helped people with terminal illnesses and their families through skilled nursing care, and counselled others through grief and mental health issues. And so very much more than I have space to list here.
Payroll Givers have done so much for the people of the UK and many other countries with little recognition. I’m grateful that they continue to give every payday to my own charity and so many others across the UK.
Employees can still donate to charities through their pay, even when furloughed. I’m glad that the charities I support will receive my monthly donation at a time when the need for funds has never been greater.
Payroll Giving is deducted from salary before tax. That means for me, as a basic-rate taxpayer in England, I pay £8 for every £10 that my chosen charities receive. And for my charities they don’t have to claim anything back from HMRC as the tax is included in their monthly disbursements.
If you’re not involved in Payroll Giving and would like to help, here’s what you can do:
- If you’re a charity – visit www.gearedforgiving.org and find out how you can increase the number of people giving via their pay to your charity
- If you’re an employer – visit www.gearedforgiving.org and find out how you can set up a scheme for your employees
- If you’re an employee – visit www.payrollgivinghub.org.uk and sign up to make a regular tax-effective donation to the causes that are close to your heart
To all the unsung heroes out there, I offer my sincere thanks. Thank you for making such a difference.