MPs call for emergency charity funding

More than 236 MPs and peers from nine different political parties have come together to call for an urgent government package to support charities and other voluntary groups in light of the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on charity fundraising.

The cross-party letter has been circulated by Stephen Doughty MP, and urges Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support charities, the voluntary sector and social enterprises by adopting five specific measures.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity is continuing to support seriously ill children and their families across England at a time when many are in a high risk group and must self-isolate to prevent their child contracting the virus. We are particularly concerned that the government implements the first two proposals which are:

  • To provide immediate emergency funding for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises supporting the response to the crisis, especially those alleviating pressure on the health service or providing support to people suffering from the economic and social impact
  • To establish a stabilisation fund for all charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to help them stay afloat during the crisis and to continue operating.

Rainbow Trust Chief Executive, Zillah Bingley, said:

‘We are, as are many others, facing unique times. Rainbow Trust faces a dramatic drop in our income. All large fundraising events for the foreseeable future are cancelled or postponed (including our two flagship events) and we are in a world where we do not expect to be able to recover these sums easily. 98% of our income comes from the generosity of donors.
Our Family Support Workers are on the front line in this COVID-19 emergency supporting families - the majority of whom are in the 1.5 million vulnerable group - and are stepping in in any way that they can to provide emotional support by telephone and video calls, and practical support such as transport to hospital appointments and the delivery of essentials like medicine, nappies and food, and even the delivery of breast milk from a self-isolating mother to her sick neonate in hospital many miles away.
Isolation is a key concern. Seriously ill children and their families are sadly used to living with anxiety about what each day will hold, but the current crisis has exacerbated this and risks leaving families feeling lonelier than ever. Family Support Workers are adapting their support in highly creative ways, such as setting up competitions for sick children and their siblings, and leading play activities or reading stories over video calls.
It is unthinkable that Rainbow Trust would reduce or end its operations at the time when families most need our expert support. I am calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to respond as quickly as possible with a comprehensive package of support to charities.’

Supporters of the campaign are using the hashtag #EveryDayCounts on social media to promote the urgent need for a government response. Read the full letter here.

Donate to Rainbow Trust's emergency appeal here.