For several weeks now, charities have been highlighting the impact coronavirus is having on us. Income has fallen - for example because of the cancellation of fundraising events and closure of charity shops - at the same time as many organisations have seen a rise in demand from the vulnerable people they work with. NCVO, the national voluntary sector body, has calculated that the voluntary sector will lose £3.7 billion in income.
On Wednesday 8 April, the government announced £750 million of extra funding. £360 million is to be allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people. Another £370 million will be available for small and medium-sized community organisations providing services such as delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.
It's not clear yet how the first funding stream will be allocated, or which organisations are eligible for the second stream and how they can apply - we'll provide this information as soon as we have it.
Jane Ide is the Chief Exec of NAVCA, the national network of infrastructure bodies like RedbridgeCVS. This morning she commented on the government announcement as follows:
Yesterday's announcement from the Chancellor on funding for frontline charities is helpful and urgently needed - but it doesn't begin to meet the medium and longer term need to support the wider charity sector, which is playing an equally critical role in maintaining vital services now and in the future for people in need.
Funding for smaller charities will need to be available very quickly and easily to ensure that they can continue to operate in their local communities. We'll be looking at the detail to understand more about how and where this funding can be used.
Meanwhile, many funders have announced new support for charities - see here for our summary.