Third Sector: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the financial sustainability of (a) civil society organisations and (b) charities in (i) Wolverhampton South West and (ii) England during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

£200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund which is mainly targeting smaller and local VCSE organisations. Under the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, a total of 518 awards valued at £12.36 million has been allocated to organisations in the West Midlands, as at 28th August 2020.

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. From this money, a total of 40 awards to the value of £3.1 million have been allocated to organisations in the West Midlands, as at 28th August 2020.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In', the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with grants to the National Emergencies Trust working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations (£20million) and to the remaining £17million being shared by Comic Relief and Children in Need. £1.14 million from the National Emergencies Trust grant was allocated to the Heart of England Community Foundation. Under the National Emergencies Trust, Comic Relief and Children in Need grants, a total of 125 awards valued at £723,029 have been made to organisations in the West Midlands as at 28th August 2020.

The ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations will further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

In addition to the £750million, a further £150m has been unlocked from dormant bank and building society accounts which will be directed to charities, social enterprises and individuals.

Finally, civil society organisations and charities can access additional business support measures including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loans.

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