The Chancellor yesterday announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the Coronavirus outbreak. The package will provide funding for frontline charities across the UK, including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims. The £750 million is made up of
- £360 million direct from Government departments;
- £370 million for smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund; and
- a pledge that the Government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month, with a minimum of £20 million being guaranteed.
In more detail
Charities across the UK will receive a package of support totalling £750 million to ensure they can continue their vital work during the Coronavirus outbreak. Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.
As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by Government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. These charities will include:
- hospices, to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector,
- St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS,
- victims’ charities, including victims of domestic abuse, to help with a potential increase in demand for charities providing these services during the ‘lockdown’ period,
- vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities, and
- Citizens Advice Bureau, to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time.
In addition, £370 million will be made available for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. This funding is intended to support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.
The Chancellor also announced that the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, pledging a minimum contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
The National Emergencies Trust website is here
The funding announced yesterday builds on previous announcements by the Chancellor to support charities and businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.
The impact of COVID-19 on the charity sector – and their crucial support
Charity sector bodies estimated last month that charities will miss out on at least £4.3bn of income over the coming 12 weeks, with many facing collapse as income falls while demand and costs increase. The recent Coronavirus Impact Survey, carried out by the Institute of Fundraising in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), indicated that 43% of the charities surveyed had seen an increase in demand for their services coupled with a 48% decline in voluntary income.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, the Chief Executive of the NCVO, said that while the package was an important first step, it would not be enough to stop many charities closing their doors as a result of the closure of charity shops and fundraising events cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Feeling in the sector is that, although the funding announced yesterday will help to provide much-needed immediate support to many charities providing essential services around the UK, it is far lower than the £4 billion charities are predicting in lost income in the months to come and is therefore unlikely to be enough to safeguard many essential services.
The Chancellor acknowledged in his statement that charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against Coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need. Charities of all sizes have reacted in many and various ways to provide support, helping health services across the UK as well as providing direct support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of Coronavirus. Hospices, which have suffered a huge challenge to their funding due to the outbreak of Coronavirus have at the same time continued to play a vital role in delivering compassionate, quality end-of-life care for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.
One of the UK’s largest charities, Cancer Research UK, is offering the support of its laboratories, essential equipment and the expertise of its scientists to help with testing as well as continuing to work closely with health systems and other cancer charities to provide the best support and advice to cancer patients.
Government departments will now work at pace to identify priority recipients, with the intention being that charities will receive money in the coming weeks. The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a similar period of time.
If your charity needs advice or assistance please give Caroline Redhead or your usual Burnetts contact a ring on 01228 552222 and we will be more than happy to help.