COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the charity sector. Charities have been unable to fundraise over the summer period, a time of year when they would ordinarily hold numerous public-facing events.
Just this year, it has been estimated by the Institute of Fundraising that the charity sector is facing a loss of £12.4 billion. With the average charity only typically holding just 4 months’ worth of reserves, it’s clear they need help to see them through the long-lasting effects of this crisis. It is for these reasons that I have been calling on the Government to provide charities with greater financial support. The help charities across the country have provided over the past few months has been a lifeline for many vulnerable people.
On 8 April, the Government announced a £750 million support package for charities across the UK directly responding to COVID-19. While I welcome this funding, I’m concerned that the money falls far short of filling the financial black hole charities are facing. A report by the New Philanthropy Capital also finds that only five of 152 Association of Medical Research Charities members are eligible to benefit from the Government’s support package. The Government needs to implement a policy that provides more support for charities at the time that they desperately need it.
I want to wholeheartedly thank our local charities in Slough, since they’ve played a crucial role throughout this crisis, helping those in need. Slough CVS, local organizations, and charities have all played their part in the One Slough project, which I’m proud to be a champion for. It has consolidated this work by spreading important public health messages in various languages within our community, providing much-needed assistance and they should be rewarded for their excellent work.
It’s not just locally that charities have provided essential services, national charities like those in medical research have continued to carry out vital, life-saving work during the Coronavirus pandemic, but only 3% have been able to access Government support. I’m concerned that important research is being shelved during this crucial time. Without this support, medical research and other charities may not be able to continue their vital work, which saves thousands of lives each year.