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 Treasury has announced.
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.
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.
Coronavirus Financial Support
Today’s 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.
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.”
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.”
Charities providing vital services and helping vulnerable people through the current crisis will benefit from the £360 million allocated by government departments. 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 a 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
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.
For further information on Coronavirus please see our COVID-19 webpages.