‘It’s not the whole answer’ - charities say £750m coronavirus cash boost must be start of support

PUBLISHED: 14:28 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:28 09 April 2020

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


The government’s £750m lifeline for charities battling to weather the coronavirus pandemic is “not the whole answer”, bosses have warned.

Break charity shop. PHOTO: Sophie SmithBreak charity shop. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Charities across the county have welcomed new funding announced by chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, but have warned that more will need to be done to keep organisations afloat.

In the conference, the chancellor announced that charities, including those supporting domestic abuse victims and hospices, will receive a £750m boost to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus.

Mr Sunak said: “Our charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need.

“It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this extra funding.”

Tracy Rennie, EACH acting chief executive. Picture: ArchantTracy Rennie, EACH acting chief executive. Picture: Archant

READ MORE: ‘We can’t do any fundraising’: Charities appeal for help to get through coronavirus

While many charities have welcomed the move, some have also warned it must be the start - and not the end - of the government’s efforts to protect the sector.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, which has launched a Covid-19 Community Response Fund, said: “I think it is fantastic that the government has recognised the crucial and vital support that charities at a local level give to the community.

“It is the first point and a stepping stone which will give charities a lifeline. £370m (funds earmarked for small local charities) sounds like a lot of money but when you divide that between charities in every county you realise it won’t get very far. It’s not the whole answer.”

Tracy Rennie, acting chief executive of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), said: “It’s fantastic news and recognises the key role charitable care providers like EACH play in delivering specialist nursing care and wellbeing support to so many children and families. This funding is critical to protecting and supporting what we do.”

Opening of a new East Anglia Childrens Hospice shop in Halesworth.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherOpening of a new East Anglia Childrens Hospice shop in Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The charity said once it knows the level of funding it will receive, it will look to reduce its emergency fundraising appeal.

A spokesperson from Break, a Norfolk charity which supports vulnerable children and young people, said: “It’s a much needed boost for the sector which has been deeply affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are hopeful this is the start of much needed support.”

Efforts to support vital causes have been ongoing around the county - a JustGiving page set up by the N&N Hospitals Charity to help NHS staff cope with challenges they face through the pandemic has raised more than £16,000 in two weeks.

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