On Wednesday 8 April, the Chancellor announced a £750 million package of funding to support charities through the coronavirus crisis. 

  • £360 million of this funding will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis
  • £370 million will be disbursed to small and medium charities through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund and others.
  • £60 million will go to the devolved governments in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
  • The government has also pledged to match, pound for pound, donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month, with a minimum pledge of £20 million.

The Chancellor’s statement was welcome in that he acknowledged the vital role the voluntary sector is playing in supporting vulnerable people and communities through this very stressful time.

While the £750 million fund is much needed, it is a small contribution to the £4bn of lost income the sector faces over the first three months of this financial year, and will not be enough to sustain the many charities who are giving their all to help the most needy individuals and families.

We hope this is just a first step and CVAA will be joining with other voluntary sector bodies to press the Government for the further support in the weeks ahead.

The ability of VAAs to continue their vital work for adoptive families and children waiting for their forever home, remains our top priority. We remain committed to working with Government and other partners to secure a sustainable future for our sector.

Hear what others have to say about the Chancellor's announcement:

  • Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, writes, 'With charity shops shut and fundraising events cancelled, we estimate charities stand to lose around £4bn in 12 weeks as a result of the crisis. We have been pushing for government support because we know how many people and communities rely on the services charities provide, many of which are now at risk. Today’s announcement is an important first step, though it will not be enough to prevent good charities around the country from closing their doors. Even many that survive will look very different in a few months’ time, with a severely reduced capacity to provide the support that people rely on.'

  • Children England writes, 'As every household knows only too acutely, this is a critical time where meaningful help must be offered swiftly, generously and unconditionally - whether that help is finding refuge from an abusive partner, affording food to put on the table or seeking an emergency grant from the government. This is not the time for competitive funding applications or ranking one part or member of the voluntary sector more essential than another.'

  • Caron Bradshaw, CEO of the Charity Finance Group, writes, 'I was delighted to hear the chancellor speak so passionately about the role we play. Overjoyed that he didn’t just acknowledge the work in response to COVID19 but the importance of charitable activities for struggles being fought irrespective of this pandemic. But thought the use of the word ‘gentleness’ spoke volumes. Language is important. Charity isn’t gentle. It’s messy and hard and difficult and painful. He also said that he couldn’t guarantee he could save every job. I agree. But that isn’t the point - it never has been. It’s not about charity jobs. It’s about the people we serve. It’s not about preserving the institution of charity so it can carry on after this crisis has passed. It’s about ensuring that the marginalised, the vulnerable the bits of society that are unseen and unsupported by all but charities, do not carry the greatest burden.'

  • The Directory for Social Change writes, 'It’s nowhere near enough. Not even close. In fact it’s a whopping £3.5bn short. This isn’t about charities surviving and it isn’t just about the coronavirus emergency either – it’s about saving people’s lives.'