Chancellor Pledges £750 Million To Charity Sector

The charity sector will benefit from a £750 million support package to help ease the financial burden many will suffer as a result of social distancing restrictions.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the investment during the evening briefing on Wednesday, claiming that tens of thousands of charities will be supported in order to help them ‘continue their vital work.’

£360 million has been promised to charities providing key services or supporting vulnerable people.  Amongst others, these will include:

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

The additional £370 million will help small to medium sized charities. Additionally, the government has pledged to match all donations raised in a future ‘Big Night In’ event run by the BBC, with a minimum pledge of £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

Running alongside the additional funding promised to charities, the government insist Staff Retention and furloughing schemes,  paying no business rates in charity retail shops next year and deferred VAT bills should help the sector remain active.

However, many charities may need longer-term support with legacy incomes set to decline. Legacy Foresight research suggests that legacy income will decrease by between 3 and 9 per cent in 2020.

Whilst many anticipate the economy to bounce back quickly when restrictions are lifted, many legacy gifts are dictated by house prices. If the economy falters and house prices fall this will, in turn, have an impact on the amount a charity receives.

However, in the main, the predicted legacy losses in 2020 are being attributed to administrative delays caused by disruptions to Wills and death notification services because of remote working restrictions making the dissemination of information a lot slower.

Similarly, processing claims may also face delays until restrictions are lifted and people are free to work in an office environment.

Chancellor of the Exchequer 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.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“Our brilliant charities are already playing a crucial role in our national effort to fight coronavirus – backed up by an army of volunteers. We’re determined to support them and match the generosity being shown by the British people. This package will make sure those on the front line are able to reach people who need help most, support communities and take pressure off our NHS.”

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock said:

“The entire charity sector has stepped up as part of our national effort to tackle coronavirus – from helping our NHS heroes to ensuring the most vulnerable among us are cared for properly.

“Hospices have suffered a huge challenge to their funding due to the outbreak of coronavirus but at the same time continued to play a vital role in delivering compassionate, quality end-of-life care for many people. I am delighted that this cash boost will provide further financial stability and support them to increase capacity of NHS Services and provide stability as we manage our response to coronavirus.

“It’s vitally important we all continue to support our fantastic and hardworking hospices and their staff during this unprecedented time, and the whole country is grateful for the incredible work they do.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said:

“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.”

Tracey Bleakley, CEO from national charity Hospice UK, said:

“Hospice UK is delighted that the Government is providing up to £200 million of funding per quarter to hospices to help support the NHS and respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

“Hospices are on the frontline of providing care and support to almost a quarter of a million vulnerable people every year at the end of their lives. This unprecedented funding recognises the vital role that hospices play in supporting the NHS in its fight against COVID-19, and means hospices across the country can keep providing beds, specialist clinical care and staffing to relieve pressure on the NHS at this critical moment.

“Hospices depend on the generosity of their local communities to care for people and families affected by terminal illness. This incredible government support is very welcome but it’s still important that people continue to support their local hospice.

“Hospice UK is working with the NHS to disburse this much-needed funding as soon as possible so we can continue to protect the most vulnerable people in our country during this national emergency.”

John Herriman, Chief Executive of the National Emergencies Trust, said:

“This is very welcome money that builds on the success of the NET Coronavirus appeal to date and which will give thousands and thousands of people real and much needed help. By working collaboratively with many local grassroots charities and local community foundations we have been able to deliver support quickly, fairly and efficiently to those who need it most. We have seen many, many stories of people who have already received wonderful support, from food deliveries to helping those in isolation. This additional funding means we can do so much more, and we will work in partnership with the sector to ensure support continues to get to where it’s needed most.”

Dawn Austwick OBE, Chief Executive, National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“I’ve been inspired by how charities and voluntary groups have stepped up to support people and communities through this crisis. So this support from Government is welcome, we look forward to working alongside Government and others to ensure these new funds have the biggest possible impact in communities.”

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, said:

“The incredible support for the Big Night In means we will be able to provide vital funding to smaller charities across the UK who are working around the clock to help keep people fed, safe and supported throughout the pandemic.”

Sir John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), said:

“The Charities Aid Foundation knows only too well that charities on the front line are facing incredible demands for their services just as income is squeezed. This set of measures from the Treasury will offer important and welcome support for civil society at this very difficult time for us all.

“Recognising the humbling generosity of the British public right now is so vital as we rally together in the face of such a national challenge.

“Charities at the front line and all those working to support our society need help to perform their vital function bringing people together at this time of enormous challenge. They will need this type of support now and into the future as we come out of this crisis.”

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