Frequently asked questions

Have a query about the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme? Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions to see if they can help.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

You can contact our dedicated helpdesk by sending an email to or call us on 01904 550011 between 9.30am and 3.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Registering as a Referrer FAQs
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Is the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme suitable for me and my organisation?

For full information about the Programme, including how it operates and the assessment criteria please read our Emergency Essentials Referrer Guidelines.

Can I register as a referrer for the Emergency Essentials Programme?

If you work for an organisation that supports families, children or young people and are capable of assessing their needs, you can register to become an approved referrer for the Emergency Essentials Programme. Please read our Emergency Essentials Referrer Guidelines for more information.

How do I register as an Emergency Essentials referrer?

In order to be an approved referrer you need to create an online account.

Step one – Create an account

As part of the initial process we will ask for your email address and some contact information. You will also need to create a password. To do this, visit the login screen and select ‘Register as a referrer’, then follow the instructions.

Step two – Verify your email address

After setting up your account, the system will automatically generate a verification email which will be sent to your email address. The email will ask you to click on a link. Once confirmed you can then move onto the next step.

This verification is only available for 24 hours. If you don’t verify within 24 hours you will need to generate a new link via the login screen. To do this select ‘Make an application/login’ then ‘Need help signing in?’ and ‘Verify my email.’

Step three – Provide us with information about you, your organisation and your line manager

Please log into your account by using your email address and password. To access your account go to the main login screen and click on the ‘Make an application/login’ button. You may want to save this login screen to make things easier in the future. On this screen, you will need to provide us with your job details and contact information, your organisational information and details about your line manager.

Step four – Confirmation from your line manager

After submitting the registration form (the details provided in step three above) an email will be sent to your line manager. They need to approve your access to the programme and confirm that they accept the terms of use and the responsibilities of your organisation. We will not be able to consider your registration until we receive a reply from your line manager.

Step five – Final approval

When we receive the reply from your line manager, we will review your referrer registration. If successful, you will receive a confirmation email. If we cannot approve your registration, we will get in contact with you and explain our reasons for this decision.

What email addresses do you accept?

We only accept organisational email addresses. This means we are unable to accept personal email addresses that often end with,, The email address you provide must be unique to you and only be accessible by you. This is to maintain the integrity and security of the Programme.

I haven’t received a verification link email

There are a few reasons why you might not receive a verification email. Please check the following:

  • Spelling of your email address
  • Is the email in your junk or spam folder?
  • Check with your organisation’s IT team to see if they can adjust your security settings to put our email address onto your ‘safe list’ – sometimes firewalls can cause auto generated emails to bounce back.

We know that anti-spam filters can sometimes block verification emails. If you have not received the verification email within a few minutes of setting up your account, we would advise that you contact your IT support and ask them to check for blocked emails originating from

They may need to ‘whitelist’ the above email address. Your IT support may also be able to tell you why these emails are junk or spam.

Why can’t I submit my referrer registration form?

The preferred web browser is Google Chrome. However, you can also use Microsoft Edge or Firefox.

We do not recommend Internet Explorer, as it will cause problems with the online forms.

Adding your organisation’s address information: Start by adding your postcode and click on the search icon (magnifying glass). Select your address from the drop down list.

The following fields are not mandatory fields:

  • Charity number (leave blank if not a charity)
  • Website address

Why was my registration declined?

There are various reasons why we may decline a referrer registration. If your registration has been declined, we will get in touch to discuss further.

Has something gone wrong?

We work hard to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that we provide the very best service. However, sometimes things don’t go as expected and we’d like the opportunity to try and put things right. If you do need to raise an issue or make a complaint, please contact us at

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

You can contact our team by email at

Making an Application FAQs
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What can I apply for?

The BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme awards grants for basic essential household items, typically:

  • Cookers (electric or gas)
  • Fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers
  • Washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Children’s beds and bedding (including cots)
  • Kitchen equipment and small appliances (microwave, vacuum cleaner)
  • Furniture (wardrobe, chest of draws, sofas, table and chairs, desks)
  • Small items (curtains, towels, kitchen pack – crockery, cutlery, pans, tea towels)
  • Emergency clothing (including school uniform)
  • Baby equipment

These items are not exhaustive. We may be able to help with other items based on the needs of the child. When submitting an application it is essential to prioritise your list of items to prevent long delays.

What are you unable to help with?

We cannot help with the following items:

  • Items solely for the use of parents and everyday living costs (such as food, fuel, utility bills, council tax, mortgage/rent, repairs)
  • Payment of loans or debts, bankruptcy fees
  • Holidays, school trips, play schemes, childcare, childminding or afterschool clubs
  • Specialist medical equipment
  • Technology (televisions, computers, mobile phones)
  • Funeral costs including cost of headstones
  • Other specific requests, such as flooring, musical instruments/lessons, driving lessons, toys

Very occasionally, we may receive funding for specific items and we will let you know about these opportunities. 

How do I make a grant application?

You will need to be a registered referrer in order to apply on behalf of a child, young person or their family. To register or submit an application if you are already registered, please use the links on our Emergency Essentials webpage.

What is the eligibility criteria for the Programme?

  • As a registered referrer, you can apply for one grant per household within a 12-month period. Please remember, where there are multiple children in the household only submit one application. This single application should take into account the needs of every child (where applicable).
  • If the family is moving home, do not apply until they are in the new address (changing the address later on can cause significant delays).
  • Residency: the child’s family must have recourse to public funds in order to be considered.
  • Age: from birth to 17 years (applications are not accepted for unborn children or anyone aged 18 and over).
  • Applications can only be considered where the child or young person’s family are experiencing an immediate crisis or emergency and do not have access to support and resources.
  • We need to understand the full impact of the crisis or emergency. Applications based purely on financial hardship are not considered.

For further information, please refer to the referrer guidelines.

Can I request more than one item per application?

You can apply for more than one item per application.

We encourage you to think about all the needs of the child or children. This often results in more than one item being required. It is important to prioritise the list of items and explain the impact of each one. If you do not prioritise your list this will result in a delay.

What information will I need to make an application?

Before you start the application, please ensure you have the following information as you will be unable to save and return to any applications:

  • Details of consent from the applicant, parent or guardian and information of any previous support from this Programme in the last 12 months.
  • The child or young person’s name, address and date of birth (plus the total number of children in the household)
  • Contact details of the parent or guardian.
  • Knowledge that the family live legally in the UK (for this Programme we include people seeking asylum and people with refugee status).
  • Details of any means tested benefits including supporting statement and documents.
  • Details of why any statutory funding options are unavailable or not applicable.
  • The grant award item(s) you are requesting and the priority order if more than one item.
  • Statement regarding vulnerability and crisis situation impacting the child or young person.
  • Optional ‘equal opportunities’ information regarding gender, ethnicity and disability.

It can’t submit my application. What can I do?

You can only submit an application once all of the tabs at the top of the application have turned green. This indicates that each section is fully completed.

If any of the tabs are grey, it means you have not started that section.

If any of the tabs are red, it means you have not completed the section and there are still mandatory fields that require information.

The submit button will remain grey until the whole application is complete.

When inputting an address, please enter the postcode only and click on the magnifying glass search icon. You can then select the correct address from those listed.

How do I confirm consent from the applicant?

You must issue a copy of the Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Statement for Parents, Guardians or Young People (applicants) to the parent or guardian named on the application.

Please obtain written consent from the applicant, so that Family Fund Business Services (FFBS) can process their personal information. Click here for the programme’s consent form. Please keep it with your records and we will ask for it if we need to.

In exceptional circumstances we will accept verbal consent if you are unable to meet the applicant in person. Whichever type of consent you obtain, please provide this in the ‘type of consent’ section in the application form.

Has something gone wrong?

We work hard to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that we provide the very best service. However, sometimes things don’t go as expected and we’d like the opportunity to try and put things right. If you do need to raise an issue or make a complaint, please contact us at

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

You can contact our team by email at