Apr 02, 2020
We often hear that a big barrier to women getting the support they need is geography. Unfortunately, there are gaps across the UK of specialist support services. Alongside our affiliated projects, we provide ongoing support to women all over the UK who are facing a multitude of complex issues. We empower women and see them better equipped with tools that bring resilience and enable them to find their freedom.
Like our affiliates and so many other charities, we are at the frontline of action on the COVID19 outbreak for women involved in prostitution. We are doing everything we can to maintain critical services and respond to growing need as women are increasingly vulnerable during this crisis.
However, the rapid shutdown of society has caused massive pressure on charities and other social sector organisations at extremely short notice. Fundraising events are being cancelled and trading revenues are drying up overnight, resulting in immediate cash flow problems. Most charities have few or no cash reserves to tide them over situations like this. Many are already planning redundancies or even to close down.
Without swift, substantial and simple financial help from national government, vital charities like our affiliates could go under at short notice in the coming days and weeks. Even larger, national, more well-known charities are at risk of insolvency. Literally #EveryDayCounts to save our charity sector.
Since the Budget on 11 March and the subsequent announcement of emergency measures to deal with the pandemic, representative bodies in the charity sector have been working with HM Treasury and the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport on a range of policies to keep the charity sector afloat at this crucial time.
Some initiatives were announced by the Chancellor on Friday 20 March but these are unfortunately insufficient to stop many charities from collapsing. For example, financial support for charities to furlough staff will not be as helpful as it is for businesses whose demand has dried up, because charities like ours are experiencing increased demand during the crisis. Furloughing staff might help some charities to survive for a few months but it does not help charities to serve the rising social need.
We are joining with others to ask for help. There are things you can do to help Britain’s charities to survive this crisis so they can continue to serve communities. I would be extremely grateful if you could do any or all of the following actions:
– Establish a £4.3 billion emergency stabilisation fund for the charity sector to help it support the crisis response and avoid charities collapsing. This figure is a conservative forecast based on the best available data about the income charities will lose over the next three months. This fund would help charities to: a) not close down at short notice; b) keep providing key services of all kinds; c) mobilise and organise the necessary volunteering effort to combat the pandemic.
– Make the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme eligible for all charities, not just those that receive over 50% of their income from trading (which is the current position). This scheme has been put in place to support businesses through the economic interruption but all charities should be eligible.
If you are on twitter, please tweet the hashtag #EveryDayCounts to colleagues and other influential people in the media to show your support – you can tweet an image of your letter to the Chancellor and campaigning charities will amplify your message.