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JK Rowling donates £1m to UK charities during coronavirus outbreak | Books

JK Rowling is donating £1m to help homeless people and those affected by domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the financial contribution, which will be split between the Crisis and Refuge charities, the Harry Potter author said the money would go towards helping some of those hit hardest by the outbreak and the impact of the lockdown.

The author told of her mixed emotions at having three key workers in her immediate family during the crisis.

In a tweet announcing the donation on Saturday, she wrote: “Today’s the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I’m going to be honest and say that it feels inappropriate to talk about fictional deaths today. Too many people are losing loved ones in the real world.

“So on this anniversary of a great wizarding victory, I’m thinking of the people who’re out there doing their jobs to protect us and our way of life. I have three key workers in my immediate family, and like all such relatives, I’m torn between pride and anxiety.

“As ever in a crisis of this sort, the poorest and most vulnerable are hit hardest, so in honour of the Battle of Hogwarts, I’ll be making a donation of £1m, half of which will go to Crisis, who’re helping the homeless during the pandemic, and half of which will go to Refuge, because we know that domestic abuse has, sadly, increased hugely during the lockdown.”

The charities praised Rowling for her support, with Crisis saying the money would go towards its frontline response and Refuge saying it would support the services it provides, which have experienced a surge in demand in recent weeks.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We are overwhelmed to have the support of JK Rowling and we’d like to say a huge thank you for her incredibly generous donation. People experiencing homelessness during the outbreak have been hit especially hard.

“The money donated by JK Rowling will go towards our frontline response to the pandemic, helping us to carry on supporting people who are homeless across Great Britain at this very difficult time. Together we can protect more people from the worst effects of the outbreak and make sure they are safely housed when it is over.”

Refuge tweeted: “This is wonderful news – and comes at a time when we have seen calls to our already overwhelmed helpline increase by 50% during Covid-19. Our huge thanks, JK Rowling – your support will underpin our frontline specialist services and enable us to reach more abused women who need us.”

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