I have been lobbying the Government for many weeks now and you will have likely heard the welcome announcement yesterday that the Government has set out a new £750 million package for charities providing key services and support during the coronavirus crisis.
This new package has three elements:
- £360 million is being allocated by the Government directly to charities in England based on evidence of service need. This includes up to £200m support for hospices. The remainder will be given to charities like St Johns’ Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people.
- £370m will support smaller, local charities working with vulnerable people, allocated through organisations like the National Lottery Community Fund, helping charities on the frontline.
- Whatever is donated by the public on the BBC Big Night In on 23 April will be matched by the Government.
Clarification has also been provided to confirm that all charities will be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.
Other business measures also apply to charities, including deferring VAT bills and no business rates for charity shops.
Please find below the letter I have received from the Chancellor, setting this out in more detail.
Guidance for the charity sector can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector. I realise more details will need to be set out in terms of accessing funding, which we can expect in due course, but as soon as I have more information, I will share this with you.
Please can I take this opportunity to thank you for what you are doing for the people of Harlow. It is incredible the difference you are making at this time of great need.