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 or dedicated helpdesk by sending an email to or calling 01904 550011.

Registering as a referrer FAQs
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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 referrer guidelines for more information.

How do I register as an Emergency Essentials referrer?

You can find a link on our Emergency Essentials webpage to register as a referrer. We will ask you to verify your email address and then complete a registration form. Once you have submitted your form, our team will review your registration before either approving or declining it. Please ensure you provide your work email address and contact details.

I don’t have an email address associated with my organisation, can I register?

We can only accept applications from individuals affiliated with an organisation. This means we are unable to approve a registration using a personal email address, eg.;;

The email address you provide MUST only be accessible by one person and not a shared inbox in order to comply with our safeguarding policy.

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:

  • Have you provided the correct email address?
  • Has the email gone to your junk 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.

If you are still having trouble please contact our helpdesk at:

Why isn’t the submit button working on the referrer form?

Please ensure that you are using the address search function and select your address from the drop down. This is where it asks you to ‘enter postcode or other address search criteria’.

Alternatively, some people are struggling when they are using Internet Explorer as a browser. If you try Chrome or Edge this may work instead.

In addition, mandatory fields are:

  • Referrer Title
  • Referrer First Name
  • Referrer Surname
  • Job Role
  • Office Tel
  • Organisation name
  • Organisation Role
  • Declaration & confirmation
  • Confirmation and submission.

Why has my registration been declined?

Referrer registrations may be declined for the following three reasons:

  • The email address used is non-compliant, this includes BT Connect, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo addresses
  • The organisation that you work for does not meet the requirements of the programme
  • The organisation details that you have supplied are invalid, this refers to the organisation address and organisation type.

Making an application FAQs
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How do I start an 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, please use the links on our Emergency Essentials webpage

Internet Explorer: Current browser related issues

Some referrers encounter issues relating to using Internet Explorer. These may prevent pages loading properly or cause other problems during the application process. We advise using a different browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox. If these are not available on your computer, you can download them. Please speak to your IT team to see if they can support.

What is the eligibility criteria for the scheme?

Referrers may apply for one grant per household within a 12 month period. The application for each household will take into account the needs of all children under the one application, it does not mean only one child per household can be supported.

If the applicant is in the process of moving home, please wait until they are in their new address before applying.

The child’s family must be UK or EU citizens or have leave to remain.

Applications are considered where the child or young persons’ family are:

  • experiencing a crisis or emergency, and
  • do not have access to support and have insufficient resources to meet their needs and
  • experiencing poverty* or destitution**, or are in receipt of a means tested benefits. Applications based purely on financial hardship will not normally be considered. For further information please refer to the referrer guidelines.

What can I apply for?

The programme awards grants for critical household items, typically:

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

These items are not exhaustive and other forms of assistance may be considered subject to the situation and the needs of the child.

Can I request more than one item per application?

You can apply for more than one item per application. However, because there is limited funding, we ask that you list items in order of priority and explain why the items are needed as well as the difference they will make to the child/young person.

To add more items click the ‘update table’ button at the bottom of the page and then search for an item as above.

When adding more than one item, please state the priority, ‘1’ being the most important.

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
  • The applicant’s name, address and date of birth
  • Contact details of the parent or guardian
  • Residency status of the applicant
  • 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 is requested.
  • Statement regarding vulnerability and crisis situation impacting the applicant
  • Statement regarding the unexpected circumstances/crisis that has resulted in the application
  • Optional ‘equal opportunities’ information regarding gender, ethnicity and disability.

Can I save an application and return to it later?

There is no save and exit facility on the application form so we advise that you use the application checklist to collate the necessary information before starting an application.

It isn’t allowing me to 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 has been 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 haven’t completed the section and there are still mandatory fields that require information.

Please ensure that you scroll to the top of the page after you have finished each section and click on the next tab. The submit button will remain greyed out until the whole application is complete.

Alternatively, you may need to check that any address fields have been correctly inputted. Please search for the postcode and choose from the list of available addresses before submitting.

How do I confirm consent from the applicant?

You must issue a copy of the Terms & Conditions and Data Protection Statement for Parents, Guardians or Young People (applicants) who authorise you, as an approved referrer, to submit their application.

Written consent from the applicant, for Family Fund Business Services (FFBS) to process their personal information must be obtained and saved for FFBS to audit.

Can I apply for a grant without written consent from the applicant?

In exceptional circumstances we will accept verbal consent if you are unable to meet the applicant in person. Please select this under ‘Type of consent’ in the application form.

Location, time and date of consent should be recorded.

The address search function isn’t finding the correct address, what can I do?

In some situations the search function will not recognise a postcode. If you are unable to find the address, please use Family Fund Business Services details (below) to allow you to submit the application and then email us with the correct details together with the application ID reference –

Family Fund Business Services

Postcode: YO32 9WN

Address: Family Fund, Unit 4, Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, York

Can I view my application once it has been submitted?

Once you have submitted an application you will not be able to access it or make any changes. Should you wish to change anything, please call the helpdesk 01904 550011.

You will be able to view details including ID number, surname, application date and the status of the application on the referrer dashboard.