Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed news announced by the Chancellor that charities across the UK – including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.
Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.
As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.
The Chancellor also announced the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
Yesterday’s announcement builds on previous announcements by the Chancellor to support charities and businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.
Charities providing vital services and helping vulnerable people through the current crisis will benefit from the £360 million allocated by government departments. These will include:
- hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector
- St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
- victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
- vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
- Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time
Robin is a longstanding supporter of the hospice movement and has focused on both children’s palliative care and adult hospice care and is pleased that this announcement will help St Richards and Acorns to carry on providing the vital care and support to the community.
Speaking after the announcement, Robin said:
“Local charities provide so much compassion, care and community to the most vulnerable in our country and are already playing a crucial role in our national effort to fight coronavirus.”
“I am delighted with the Government’s commitment to support hospices who are on the frontline of providing care and support to vulnerable people every year at the end of their lives.”
“This unprecedented level of funding recognises the key role of hospices in supporting the NHS, and will help to ensure the hospices in Worcester can continue providing beds, care and staffing to alleviate pressure on the NHS.”
CEO of Acorns, Toby Porter said:
“Everyone at Acorns Children’s Hospice is deeply grateful to the Government for yesterday’s pledge of support to the country’s vital hospice sector.”
“We understand that everyone is facing challenges as a result of this crisis, but it has been incredibly difficult for hospices to see income falling so sharply at a time when demand for our services is sadly but clearly higher than ever.”
“Without this support, vital local hospice services would have had to be cut back, or stopped altogether. Everyone at Acorns would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts all the MPs who have called for this support, including Robin.”
“It is so important for the people of Worcester and surrounding areas that the families needing the care and support of both St Richard’s and Acorns will be able to continue to count on us to be there for them.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi 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 unprecedented £750 million package of extra funding.”
“This will ensure our key charities can continue to deliver the services that millions of people up and down the country rely on.”
Notes to editors
For further information on Robin’s previous work and campaigning on hospice care and funding: