Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday a £750 million package of support for UK Charities to help them continue to run during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Of the £750 million, £360 million will be directly allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. These include hospices, victims charities such as domestic abuse charities, vulnerable children charities, Citizens Advice and St Johns Ambulance. Government departments will work to identify priority recipients, with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks.
A further £370 million, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support small and medium-sized charities working with local communities, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. The application system is expected to be opened in the next few weeks.
It was also announced the Government will match fund whatever the public donates to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on Thursday 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Our charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need.
It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this unprecedented £750 million package of extra funding.
This will ensure our key charities can continue to deliver the services that millions of people up and down the country rely on.”
The announcement builds on previous support packages announced 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.
However, many charities are unable to take advantage of the furlough scheme as charity workers are vital to continue the charity’s work.
Details on exactly who will be eligible and how funding will be accessed are yet to be published, but we will provide updates as and when they are available. More on the announcements can be found on the government website.