Hey BYP Network,
We hope you're all keeping healthy and safe during these tumultuous times. Over the past week, we've seen the UK even more affected by the COVID-19 virus, with over 12,000 hospital deaths and many more cases.
We've been personally saddened to see stories such as this exposé from a care home worker who is terrified to go back to her place of work given the lack of protective equipment. A viral video of a heartbroken nurse in tears after treating coronavirus patients shows just how much of a mental toll this is taking as well. We're seeing people who don't have the right protective equipment continuing to put their lives at risk by going to work, whether due to financial demands or because they need to hold onto secure employment. We've also been seeing a disproportionately larger number of Black and ethnic minority NHS workers and key workers dying, in comparison to their white counterparts.
At this time, it's important for us to remember that whilst our key workers signed up to serve on the frontline, they didn't sign up to lose their lives. Our workers signed up to help, care and support, not to be exposed themselves. The lack of government response has been disappointing, and we've been shocked to see little to no support in terms of funeral costs for NHS and key workers who have lost their lives in the service. It's been even more disappointing to see MPs being given a £10,000 extra expenses cover whilst NHS workers have been told that pay rises are 'not up for discussion'. In our own network, we've had members tell us that their workplaces have forced them to come into work, with sick leave not being permitted and even threats of 'If you don't come in, you don't have a job'. Our community can not continue to have their lives put at risk. Ultimately, we want to ensure we survive. We want our parents and loved ones to survive and they should not be dying prematurely because of a lack of governmental care and remuneration.
It's for this reason why we've created the BYP Network Fund - we're raising £10,000 for black workers who are risking their lives to work due to financial insecurities. This fund will support key workers in the black community who are immunocompromised, chronically ill, asthmatic, elderly or posing a risk to others within their household. We will be providing two relief options: £250 to cover food, bills and other necessities, and £500 to cover larger costs such as rent payments. All who are eligible can apply on our job board but we need our community to contribute. Any amount you can give will help us make a difference. The money is to save black lives and to not let the fear of loss of income become the reason they risk their own. Please contribute and share.
Together, we will survive