James McAvoy speaks about 'NHS war zone' and why he donated £275,000 to crowdfund

Ben Arnold
Contributor
James McAvoy (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

James McAvoy has called the situation facing the NHS 'a war zone', after he donated £275,000 to a crowdfund dedicated to funding protective equipment for front-line staff.

It emerged yesterday that McAvoy had made a huge donation to the Masks For NHS Heroes crowdfund, set up by four doctors to raise money for much-needed personal protective equipment, or PPE.

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Speaking to Good Morning Britain, the X-Men actor said: “Yeah, people have asked me why I chose to donate some money and I think we all feel the same. There’s an invisible enemy that they’re fighting every day on our behalf, not in some foreign country, but right here, right round the corner from all our houses.”

“It’s an absolute war zone in there and we’re asking them to go and fight that war with no weaponry, with no armour and I’m sure it’s going to get fixed in the coming weeks and months, but what is happening right now in the interim, what is happening right now - the threats that they face and the threat of them passing it on to their patients and their patients’ family is huge, so every day that goes by without the correct personal protective equipment is an opportunity lost to save someone’s life.

“The sooner we can PPE in there - even just donating £10, that means you might potentially save a life because you’ve provided essential PPE to a healthcare provider as this essentially important time.”

Speaking about his donation, he added that 'you can't take it with you'.

“One of the incredible things that’s happening right now across the world is we are prioritising our health service, our care for the elderly, we are looking inwards, we are spending time with our families - there are weird positives to come out of this new reality we find ourselves in, but one of the massive things is we’re all coming together regardless of financial status, birthright status,” he went on.

“We’re all in the exact same boat. If you’ve got £10 to give, great, if you’ve got £275,000 to give, then great. Everything helps… We value the NHS so much.”

At the time of writing, nearly £1 million has been raised for the fund, topping its original £200,000 target amount.

The outbreak of coronavirus is putting unprecedented pressure on the health service, with 20,000 former NHS staff returning to assist in the fight as the death toll in the UK reaches 1228 people.