A number of charities across the UK should be able to benefit from the support package of £750 million announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, last week.
This is no small sum, although falling far short of sector estimates of income lost to the sector in the first twelve weeks of the Coronavirus pandemic, as a result of the collapse in income from fundraising. It is also targeted at specific subsections of the charity sector, rather than the sector generally – at organisations providing what the Government calls “frontline” and “vital” services during the pandemic.
What support is the Government offering, and to which charities?
The headline £750 million pot for “frontline charities”, includes:
- £360 million allocated directly by Government departments to:
◦ hospices, with the aim of helping increase capacity, and giving stability to that sector;
◦ St Johns Ambulance, with the aim of supporting the NHS;
◦ victims charities, including domestic abuse, so as to help with the potential increase in demand for charities providing these services;
◦ vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities; and
◦ Citizens Advice, to allow the increase in the number of staff providing advice.
- £370 million for small and medium sized charities, operating in local communities, including those delivering food and / or essential medicines, and providing financial advice. The section of this funding destined for charities in England will be passed to and administered through the National Lottery Community Fund.
- The Government has said it will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month, and pledged that this sum will be a minimum of £20 million.
The Government estimates that “tens of thousands” of charities should benefit from the direct cash grants to help them continue their day-to-day activities supporting their beneficiaries, and to meet increased demand as a result of the Coronavirus.
When will the funding be available?
It is the Government’s intention that charities should receive funds from this new pot of money for the sector “in the coming weeks”.
The CEO of the National Lottery Community Fund, Dawn Austwick, has said that the organisation is “now urgently discussing with government details of how the funding will be made available and will provide further information as soon as we are able to do so."
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