To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support is available for (a) charities and (b) religious organisations to help them respond to the covid-19 outbreak.
The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. Religious activities are not eligible for this funding but religious organisations could be funded if their project benefits the wider community and does not include religious content. The funding is being allocated through the following ways:
£200 million is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund which is available to smaller and local VCSE organisations, including religious organisations that provide charitable services in response to the outbreak.
£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices.
To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In', the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with grants for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust who is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million split between Comic Relief and Children in Need to issue grants to grassroots, local and community organisations providing charitable services during the outbreak.
£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support organisations from across the country who are 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.
A further £4.8 million was allocated 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.
In addition to the £750million, a further £150m has been unlocked from dormant bank and building society accounts which are being directed to charities, social enterprises and individuals.