The emergency funding is part of a wider £750 million package which aims to support organisations across the UK
A £30 million pledge has been made to support Scottish charities through the coronavirus crisis.
The UK Government announced a £750 million package of support for organisations across the UK – with £30 million reserved specifically for Scottish organisations.
The funding will see cash grants handed to charities which are providing key services during the crisis. Half of the funding will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities, with the rest going to small local charities, including those delivering food and essential medicines and providing financial advice.
Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “Volunteers up and down the country do a tremendous amount to support the most vulnerable in our society. That support has never been more important than in these difficult times.
“The UK Government has set out a generous funding package for charities, which means an extra £30 million for the Scottish Government. I hope they will use that to support the incredible army of volunteers working so hard across Scotland to support those in need.
“The UK Government will also match fund the money raised by the BBC’s ambitious Big Night In, which will raise funds for good causes right across the UK.”
Anna Fowlie, chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), welcomed the funding and said it is vital it is handed directly to the sector.
She said: “SCVO welcomes the additional funding announced yesterday to support the voluntary sector, in response to strong lobbying by our sister organisation, NCVO, and others south of the border. It’s great to see the UK Government catching up with the Scottish Government’s welcome funding to support the essential work the sector is doing to meet the needs of vulnerable communities in this time of crisis.
“I would urge Scottish ministers to pass the additional money for Scotland directly to the voluntary sector to build on the support already in place.”
The Scottish Government previously announced the £20 million Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF), an emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. The Scottish Government has also highlighted a £50 million Wellbeing Fund - which will help charities and others who require additional capacity to work with at-risk people who may be worst affected by the crisis, including homeless people and those experiencing fuel poverty - and a £40 million Supporting Communities Fund, which will be used to support the rapidly growing and inspiring community efforts at a local level which will be vital to national resilience.
Karl Wilding, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), said the fight to ensure adequate funding is provided for the sector will continue.
He said: “With charity shops shut and fundraising events cancelled, we estimate charities stand to lose around £4 billion 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.
“At a time of crisis, charities want and need to be able to give their all to supporting people who need it most. They cannot do that if they have to suspend their work or close altogether. We know this is not something that the government wishes to see any more than we do, so we will continue to push for the support needed so that charities can keep serving the public. We would welcome a commitment from the government to review the level of this support as the crisis continues.”
Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), said: “The Charities Aid Foundation has seen first hand how charities on the front line are facing incredible demands for their services at the same time as income is squeezed.
“Our own CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund for small charities had almost 5,000 applications in just one week from the very organisations across the UK helping people to get through this bleak time. This package of measures from the government will bring important support at such a difficult time, although we must recognise that there is still a long way to go.”
Do you need help due to Covid-19? Click here to see what assistance is available.