Stark warning that more charities face closure in wake of Age UK Suffolk collapse
PUBLISHED: 20:51 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:09 17 July 2020
More charities could close following the collapse of Age UK Suffolk, a voluntary sector expert has warned.
Christine Abraham, chief executive of Community Action Suffolk, said the “extremely disappointing” news of the charity’s closure shows the vulnerability of charities in the county due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the financial impacts of lockdown putting increased pressure on the sector.
The organisation published alarming results of a local survey in April, with 60% of those approached saying they are likely to face closure within 12 months should further support not be provided. Shockingly, 30% said they could be forced to close within six months without urgent help.
Ms Abraham added the “invaluable” support of Age UK Suffolk will be sorely missed.
She said: “Sadly, having carried out several surveys across the sector in recent months, we were able to see very clearly how vulnerable a number of our county’s organisations were feeling.
“This loss brings about a significant impact for many people in our community, and of course, this is the area of greatest concern in the midst of a really challenging time for us all.
“Age UK Suffolk delivered some invaluable support for elderly people and for carers. They provided much needed befriending and advice, as well as hands-on activities. The loss of these will be acutely felt.
“While this is the first major charity in our county to declare the need to close, it is a reminder that the sector is really under a lot of pressure, at the same time as delivering incredible services and resources for the people of Suffolk.”
Suffolk Community Foundation is continuing to raise money to help charities survive the crisis, with its Suffolk Coronavirus Community fund. The campaign is also supported by Community Action Suffolk and this newspaper – having raised more than £1.5million since its launch.
The fund, which has also been supported by Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran, has helped 232 charities – including Age UK Suffolk, who received grants to help continue supporting those in the older community in the most remote areas of Suffolk, while also helping to fund emergency care services.
Those who would like to donate to the fund can do so by visiting www.suffolkcf.org.uk/suffolk-coronavirus-community-fund/.
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