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Charities and COVID 19 Update

The Chancellor has this evening (8 April 2020) announced a package of financial support for frontline charities during the current coronavirus pandemic.  In his speech, Rishi Sunak confirmed that charities across the UK will receive financial support to ensure their vital work can continue.  £360m will be made available from government departments to charities, with the remaining £370 million being made available for smaller charities, coming via grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Which charities are eligible?

Tens of thousands of charities who provide vital key services and supporting the vulnerable will benefit from direct cash grants to support them during a period of increased demand as a result of Covid19, as well as continuing their day to day charitable support.  This category includes:

  • Hospices, who support the NHS in providing beds, specialist clinician care and staff, who in turn will relieve pressure on the NHS
  • St John’s Ambulance to support the NHS
  • Victims’ charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
  • Charities supporting vulnerable children to allow them to continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice Bureau, to increase their staff who are providing valuable advice during this time.
  • Smaller and medium-sized charities will be able to make a claim from the National Lottery Community Fund

When will funds be available?

Further announcements are expected within the coming days whilst government departments prioritise recipient charities.  The National Lottery Community Fund grants are also expected to be operational and available within a similar timeframe.

How can Charities claim?

Details of the claiming mechanism are yet to be announced.

Finally, the Chancellor also confirmed that the Government will match fund donations to funds raised by the National Emergencies Trust during the televised ‘Big Night In’, due to be aired on the BBC on 23 April, pledging at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

The finer details of the scheme will be made available in the coming days and we will of course keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.