BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme supports children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances, and is delivered by Family Fund Business Services. The programme provides items that meet a child’s most basic needs such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to provide a hot meal and other items or services critical to a child’s wellbeing.

All applications must be made by a registered referrer.


Coronavirus Update – Emergency Essentials Programme

The Emergency Essentials Programme is currently operating as normal and we aim to process applications within 10 working days.

Since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, we have experienced a rise in applications for essential items, such as washing machines, cookers and fridge/freezers. Thanks to the donations received through the BBC’s The Big Night In appeal, we are now able to help those families facing financial hardship as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The additional funding also means that we can award more of our essentials grants (such as kitchen appliances, furniture, beds and clothing) to families directly impacted by Coronavirus.

In order to reduce delays, we ask that you only contact us about an application if absolutely necessary.

We are unable to take phone calls during this time but please contact us by email (stating your application ID if possible):

BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Flood Support

The Emergency Essentials Programme is committed to supporting vulnerable low income families who have been affected by the recent severe floods.

If you haven’t already, please first follow this guidance

Then read our Emergency Essentials Flood Support – Referrer Guidance.
All enquiries must be made by a professional such as a support worker, social worker, teacher, GP or nurse.

For more information please contact (we are unfortunately unable to take phone calls during this time).

Click here to find other support for those affected by floods


Who can we help?

  • Vulnerable children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing a crisis or emergency.
  • UK or EU citizens who are normally resident in the UK.
  • We can only accept one application per household within a 12 month period.

(Discretion may be given where a child or young person, or their family, have an asylum application under assessment or in circumstances where residency criteria is not consistent across the family unit).

Who are we unable to help?

  • Adults aged 18 and over.
  • Those who do not meet income criteria as defined by the programme.
  • Those who are leaving care who have access to separate, specific statutory provision.
  • Children and young people who do not meet the residence criteria as defined by the programme.

Please read our Emergency Essentials Referrer Guidelines for more details.

How we help

We can deliver or fund critical items such as:

  • Electric cookers
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen equipment and small appliances
  • Children’s beds and bedding (including cots)
  • Washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers
  • Baby equipment
  • Clothing

How to apply

Applications must be completed by a registered referrer who is part of an organisation that is supporting the family or young person and capable of assessing their needs. The referrer’s organisation should also be able to administer and supervise the grant on our behalf.

Family Fund Business Services has to work within specific criteria whilst aiming to provide a flexible grant programme to assist those most in need. Please read our guidelines before applying.

Read our Emergency Essentials Referrer Guidelines >

For more information, please email


Important documents