AN EAST Lancashire law firm have raised over £4,000 to support families who have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Watson Ramsbottom Ltd, who have offices in Accrington, Blackburn, Darwen and Great Harwood raised £4,286 after taking part in Will Aid, a national campaign which invites solicitors to give up a portion of their time in the month of November to write wills in exchange for a voluntary donation to charity.

Charlotte Ledson, Solicitor at Watson Ramsbottom Ltd said the team had written more than 80 wills during November to raise £4,286, and after taking part in the annual fundraiser for 12 years, the charity has raised over £55,000 for charities.

She said: “Making a will with a professional solicitor is one of the most important pieces of paperwork a person can complete and yet millions of people put it off.

"Coronavirus has also highlighted to many the importance of protecting your loved ones in the event that the worst were to happen. The popularity of the Will Aid scheme increases year on year and we are anticipating this year’s demand to be the highest yet. The more solicitors who sign up and donate their time to Will Aid, the bigger impact we can make.

“There has been a huge demand for will-writing in the last few months as a result and Will Aid therefore is a great opportunity for people to get their affairs in order and help charities that have suffered a lot in this period of lockdown.

“We know that the donations we raise reach some of the most vulnerable individuals world-wide, changing lives for the better. So it really is win-win!”

The money raised by the law firm will be split between nine organisations – one of which is Save the Children.

Save the Children said the sum was enough to provide resource packs for more than 6,500 families in the UK containing child-friendly information on COVID-19, learning materials and tips to manage childrens’ wellbeing during this difficult time as well as potentially funding handwashing kits for 500 families in Yemen to protect themselves against COVID-19 and other diseases.

Fundraising Proposition Lead of Save the Children Jon Jacques said: "Save the Children believes every child deserves a future and in the UK, in Yemen and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach but in order to do this effectively we need money.

"That is why we are incredibly grateful to firms like Watson Ramsbottom Ltd who take part in Will Aid. By giving up their time, they have managed to raise a significant sum and by demonstrating the type of project that this money could fund, we hope they can see what a tangible difference their efforts can make."

As well as Save the Children, Will Aid also raises money for ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Will Aid solicitors will be following the most up-to-date government health advice to ensure that face-to-face meetings remain safe with many firms writing wills at a distance via a phone or online consultations.