At the Downing Street Press Conference on 8 April, Rishi Sunak announced much needed support for the charity sector.

The Chancellor said:

“One of our greatest strengths as a country is our civil society. The local charities who provide so much compassion, care and community to the most vulnerable in our country. You have not been forgotten.

Charities can already use many of our existing schemes to support people and protect their staff. All charities are eligible for the job retention scheme, and in line with medical advice, just like any other employer, the right answer for many charities will be to furlough their employees.

But some charities are on the front line of fighting the coronavirus, and others provide critical services and support to vulnerable people and communities. Those charities have never been more needed than they are now; and they’ve never faced such a sudden fall in their funding.”

The Chancellor went on to announce £750 million of funding for the charity sector.

  • £370 million to support small, local charities working with vulnerable people, delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England.
  • £360 million allocated directly by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people. These will include:
    • hospices
    • St Johns Ambulance
    • victims’ charities, including domestic abuse
    • vulnerable children charities
    • Citizens Advice
  • £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust Appeal and match funding the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April.

The Chancellor’s simple idea? “We depend on each other.” He assured the sector that:

“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.”

Wayne Thomas, partner at Bates Weston comments:

“Many charities are facing unprecedented need for their services just at a time when their income has dropped dramatically. They face significant cashflow difficulties. Charities need to make sure they are accessing the support already announced as well as taking up the new and welcome support offered by the Chancellor yesterday”.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance for the charity sector

Bates Weston’s summary of support for charities during Covid-19 outbreak

Bates Weston’s help with managing cashflow