James McAvoy makes big donation to provide protective gear for U.K. medical staff

Actor James McAvoy has donated $342,500 (£275,000) to help provide members of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) with key personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The X-Men star has stepped up to front the #Masks4NHSHeroes crowdfunding campaign, set up by a group of doctors desperately trying to raise money to buy face masks, gloves, visors, and gowns for their fellow NHS workers, who felt they were “going to war without armour and protection” due to the widespread shortage of essential gear.

The project (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/masks4nhsheroes) initially had a fundraising goal of $249,000 (£200,000), but the target was quickly smashed thanks to McAvoy’s “extraordinary generosity”, after donating to the cause himself and then recording a video message for the campaign, encouraging those with the means to follow in his footsteps.

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Expressing their gratitude to the Scottish star in an update on Saturday (28Mar20), the organisers wrote, “We would not have reached our target this swiftly if it was not for your immense kindness in supporting our cause which is for the NHS workers daily on the frontline.”

In McAvoy’s video, which he shared with fans on social media on Sunday (29Mar20), he says, “The situation is truly urgent and time is of the essence…

“Money donated today will save lives, it’s as simple as that… So help us to help the government to help the NHS to save lives…

“I’m grateful and I know you are.”

The campaign has since raised in excess of $878,000 (£705,000) to outfit those working to treat COVID-19 patients and help limit the virus’ spread.

As of Sunday, the U.K. had more than 19,700 confirmed cases of infection, with the death toll climbing to over 1,200.

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