300 MPs and Lords write to Chancellor to support VCS

300 MPs and Lords write to Chancellor to support VCS

Hundreds of MPs and Lords from nine different political parties have signed a letter demanding support for charities facing an "absolutely disastrous" situation of being forced to close as a reult of Covid 19, despite filling in many gaps for the most at risk.

The letter, which is addressed to Rishi Sunak (lst page jpeg) and has over 240 signatures from British politicians, asks the chancellor to take "urgent action" to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Labour's Stephen Doughty, the MP behind the letter said "a lot of people are being very generous" through this "unprecedented situation" but said "it's a question of billions of pounds suddenly not appearing". He added despite many people still giving to charity, many organisations rely entirely on events, such as the now-cancelled London Marathon, and payments will be due, but no money will come in.

The letter says "without an immediate injection of money, many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close. Funds are running out".

The letter demands:

  • "Immediate emergency funding" for frontline charities helping in the battle against Covid-19.
  • A "stabilisation fund" to be provided to all charities to help them stay afloat during the pandemic
  • Confirmation that all charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises are eligible for government action that pays up to 80% of salaries for retained workers
  • Confirmation that charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises eligible for the business interruption loan scheme provided to businesses
  • Confirmation that the relaxation of business rates applies to premises that are not charity retail shops
  • The government to work with philanthropic organisations, such as the National Lottery, to identify grants that can be provided "early" to fill the "growing gaps" in the sector

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO), predicts charities will miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income in the next 12 weeks.

It says "every day counts" in the battle to win support from the government and claims charities are "facing imminent collapse" if additional funding isn't provided. Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO said: "Every day counts here. I’m hearing from charities whose income has disappeared overnight but who still have to run services for their communities. Many of them have very little emergency cash to tide them over, and even those that do will run out in a matter of weeks...I know the government is working on this but for many charities around the country there is very little time to spare."

Rt Hon Stephen Doherty MP on twitter

As of 5pm today over 236 MPs and Peers from NINE parties have joined the call to @RishiSunak @dianabarran for an urgent Government package to support our #charities #voluntary orgs and #socialenterprises many on frontline tackling #Coronavirus and its impacts. #EveryDayCounts pic.twitter.com/f4bWrzmBwS

— Stephen Doughty MP / AS (@SDoughtyMP) March 25, 2020

Share this story

This story was shared by

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network logo

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is a network of voluntary and community sector organisations across London working for equality, rights and social justice and against discrimination. We are currently funded by City Bridge Trust, Trust for London and the National Lottery.

Under our Bridging Divides funding we work to ensure that specialist equality and human rights groups, particularly the smaller and user led ones, and the Londoners they work with, can connect and work together across London and across equality specialisms. With our members we work to make equality issues central in local and regional decision making, and to raise awareness and work more closely with universities, think tanks, professional bodies and business. This funding also supports our core activities as a network: regular bulletins and information provision, knowledge sharing, signposting, website and networking.

The Trust for London project funds our Policy and Campaigns work, which supports organisations to campaign together on equality and rights issues of joint importance. Currently campaigns are focused around support for Deaf and disabled refugees and asylum seekers and Digital Exclusion and we are currently developing a theme with members on Decent Homes as a Human Right. We lead for Disabled customers on the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum Equality Sub-Group, who work alongside the Home Office to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are protected, and established and used to host Charities Challenging Hate Crime, the London pan equality hate crime network.

In the NetEquality project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities, through the Cornerstone Fund, dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups and equality partners in London are working together. Over an initial two years, to mid 2021, we will design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and online tools to strengthen our connections and quickly and easily share information and knowledge. We will be exploring ways to join up our voices for solidarity and influence and for more coordinated, effective campaigning to fight discrimination and improve equality in London. Through Stronger Together, funded by Awards for All, we provide activities and support for individual campaigners and those in the smaller, user-led and grass roots groups.
Find out more about HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

Join one or more of our mailing lists:


I consent to receiving an email newsletter from HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network containing updates from the NetEquality project.

Cancel Join now

Digital Inclusion - London Network

I consent to receiving emails including a newsletter from HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network containing updates about activities and events

Cancel Join now

Decent Homes As A Human Right

I consent to receiving an email newsletter from HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network containing updates about activities and events

Cancel Join now