Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak 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 measures include:
- £750 million pot for frontline charities across the UK – including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims
- £360 million direct from government departments and £370 million for smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund
- government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month – pledging a minimum of £20 million
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 will include:
- Hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector
- St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
- Victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
- Vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
- Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time
As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will 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 the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
“The Big Night In promises to be a fantastic evening of entertainment and we welcome this support. We want to help as many people as possible through this crisis. These funds will be shared by the huge number of smaller charities and projects who are making a vital difference to so many communities up and down the country.”
Yesterdays announcement 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.
Departments will now work at pace to identify priority recipients, with the aim for charities to 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.
Above all stay strong! Remember your health and welfare is more important than anything else just now. We will help you every step of the way. Together we will beat this!