Newspapers Continue Initiatives To Support Businesses And Readers

National, regional and local newspapers are continuing a range of initiatives to support readers, businesses and good causes during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Mail Metro Media has teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses to give free advertising to 1,000 small firms struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which in total will add up to £3 million of free advertising.

Small business owners attempting to rebuild following the lockdown will be eligible to apply for £3,000 worth of advertising each, for use across the publisher’s print and online titles.

The advertising fund will give the selected small businesses access to print advertising in Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro and i, with further online adverts running across MailOnline, and

The Chancellor voiced his support for the initiative. Mr Sunak said: “I want to thank the Mail for doing its bit to help small businesses get through these challenging and unsettling times.

“Our High Street firms are the backbone of our economy and they will be vital in helping us recover from the outbreak.”

Separately, more than a dozen Newsquest dailies including The Bradford Telegraph & Argus, The Northern Echo, The York Press and the Southern Daily Echo have launched a joint campaign to persuade the Government to refund the tuition fees of student nurses working in hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than 15,000 student nurses have answered the Government’s call for volunteers to help meet staff shortages in the NHS, with many setting aside their studies to work in wards caring for sick patients.

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Reach has launched a platform, Britain Connects, to bring people together during lockdown. The platform is running across the Reach portfolio of national and regional newsbrands and gives readers the chance to video chat with a fellow citizen

The first session saw 75-year-old grandmother Linda who is isolating at home in Yorkshire and relying on food parcels connect with 23-year-old student Jovan who lives in lockdown with his parents near Birmingham.

The project is being led by Mirror journalist Ros Wynne-Jones, who said: “While we undoubtedly still live in a very polarised world, it will be fascinating to see how the pandemic has changed the way we feel about our fellow citizens.

“In addition, thousands of people are struggling with loneliness and isolation right now and we hope this will give many of them the chance to simply enjoy some social contact.”

The Louis Baylis Trust, which supports the community served by the publications of Baylis Media Ltd, has donated to a local domestic abuse charity.

The Dash Charity, based in Slough, provides refuge and support to women and children experiencing domestic violence and has received a £1,000 grant from the Trust’s emergency coronavirus fund to enable it to provide vital support to people during the pandemic.

The Trust distributes grants of over £100,000 to more than 100 recipients each year and has a policy of distributing the majority of the grants to local organisations and charities.

The Sun and Virgin Radio have partnered to give away 35,000 free tickets to the ‘Big Thank You Tour’ for key workers.

Three special arena shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow will take place this autumn and aim to celebrate staff going beyond the call of duty to care for patients.  

Anyone who has been classified as a key worker during the coronavirus crisis is eligible to apply for a pair of tickets, from health and social care workers to teachers and child carers, utilities and transport workers to shop assistants and distribution drivers.

Iliffe Media has run pages of messages from grandchildren currently unable to send messages to grandparents who are self-isolating as a result of the pandemic.

Iliffe’s titles across the East of England and Kent have all taken part in the initiative with the group securing sponsorship for all pages carrying the messages.


The Evening Standard’s Food For London campaign is helping get food delivered to those who need it; children, families, the homeless and NHS workers. 

London residents are giving over their kitchens to the emergency food drive during the coronavirus crisis, cooking and packing vital supplies for neighbours struggling to get enough to eat. Using fresh produce from The Felix Project, residents in the capital are making meals for vulnerable people in their community who cannot get out for health reasons or cannot afford to buy food because of lost income.

The Standard has raised £3.7 million and has pledged to raise £10 million to help The Felix Project scale up to feed the hungry across the capital over the next three years.