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Billable Hour

COVID-19 impact on children

In every single country and community, COVID-19 is turning children’s lives upside down. According to UNESCO, over 1.5 billion children are not learning due to school closures in more than 180 countries. Some children may lose one or both their parents to COVID-19 and children’s wellbeing will be seriously affected as they’re made to stay at home and see their families struggle financially.

This crisis will hit the most vulnerable children, like refugees and those living in conflict, hardest. Preventive measures such as social distancing are difficult, if not impossible, in refugee shelters and city slums due to cramped, poorly ventilated shelters. Hygiene practices like simple handwashing are also extremely challenging when clean water sources, soap and hand sanitiser are scarce.

Save the Children’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Save the Children is determined to help curb the outbreak of COVID-19. We have a global network of health experts with the skills and experience needed to deal with complex health challenges in the world’s most difficult contexts. We have experience of responding to deadly outbreaks of Yellow Fever, cholera, measles and the Ebola virus.

Our global health teams are working with the World Health Organisation and other partners on preparedness activities across many of our country offices. Our teams are also doing everything they can to keep children and our staff safe and healthy in our programmes, including rigorous infection prevention measures. Wherever we work – in schools, refugee camps, or health clinics – our priority is to ensure the safety of children, and we’ll adapt our programmes to meet the changing nature of the outbreak.

“We want to make sure we can keep our essential programmes going – whether that means strengthening infection prevention control in a child friendly space, making sure health facilities have the right supplies they need in case a coronavirus patient comes in, or making sure that we think about innovative ways to deliver education in emergencies if people are quarantined.”
Senior Humanitarian Health Lead, Dr Louisa Baxter.

How the legal profession can help

Back in September 2015, a group of lawyers helped to galvanise support for our Europe migrant crisis by asking colleagues to donate their fee for one billable hour of their time. You helped to save hundreds of children from drowning as they fled from danger, persecution and poverty.

We are calling on your support again to help us fight for children caught up in this new crisis. As this pandemic was so unexpected, we desperately need funding to adapt our work to support children and ensure struggling health facilities can access the special equipment needed – such as protective gear and soap – to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


This pandemic brings new challenges for our staff working in already extremely tough environments. To make sure we can be as prepared for COVID-19 as possible, we need your support.

Your support will allow us to respond to the outbreak as quickly as possible. It means we can get essential supplies, healthcare and other life-saving support to those who need it.

A contribution to our COVID-19 response will help make sure we have the resources available to be flexible and mobilise our teams quickly. 

How did Billable Hour begin?

In September 2015, the terrible consequences of the refugee crisis were plain. Horror at the sight of children fighting for their lives compelled us all to help.

A group of lawyers set up a donation page and invited professionals to donate a sum equivalent to a single billable hour of their time.

The campaign was called Billable Hour and raised over £200,000 in its first year. All the money was given to Save the Children to help  refugees.

Now, The Billable Hour is focused on supporting Save the Children’s Emergency Fund, ensuring that children and their families receive the much needed life-saving support whenever a disaster strikes and impacts their lives.

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