Major coronavirus charity match-funding scheme launched

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Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton answer the phones during Global's Make Some Noise Charity Day at Global Radio station in Leicester Square, London. Source: PA

Nineteen philanthropists, charitable funders and foundations – whose campaigns have raised millions for the most vulnerable since the coronavirus pandemic struck – have received a share of £85 million to double their donations to good causes, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced yesterday.

Household names including Comic Relief, The Greggs Foundation and Global’s Make Some Noise have committed millions of additional pounds of support for vulnerable people, with the Government’s Community Match Challenge scheme matching their generosity pound for pound.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, said:

I’m delighted to be working alongside some of the country’s specialist funders and philanthropists to double the money reaching incredibly worthy causes, benefiting as many people as possible.

Whether that’s helping families to provide nutritious meals, using innovative tech solutions to reach the most vulnerable or supporting the mental health of our young people, it is vital we continue to do all we can to support our communities in the months ahead.

This important match fund is part of the £750 million government investment to back charities during the pandemic so they can continue to do their vital work and help those most in need.

The funding will support ongoing work helping communities impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. With a £10 million government investment, the Steve Morgan Foundation will support front-line charities to deliver projects that tackle the issue of domestic violence, mental health services, food parcels and activities for young people – such as grassroots football training or days out for those with disabilities – in the North West of England.

Working through their established relationships with 508 primary schools where they currently deliver Breakfast Clubs, The Greggs Foundation are able to identify families in need and provide grants to help them buy supermarket vouchers, cookers and fridges. This means families are able to provide nutritious meals and have access to small grants to buy new school uniforms. Funding also helps schools to run activities and offer free meals for children in need during the school holidays.

Founders Pledge – where entrepreneurs make a commitment to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds to charity when they sell their business – will see £1.5 million turned into £3 million through the scheme. This will enable them to fund remote parenting groups, deliver meals with local councils in England and educate families on nutrition.

Tracy Lynch, The Greggs Foundation Manager said:

The Foundation has now been supporting the communities that Greggs serves for over 30 years and today we have more than 500 clubs in primary schools across the country, providing over 35,000 children with free breakfasts every morning. The Government’s £750 million support package for charities has provided us with the opportunity to boost this with £1 million from the community match challenge fund, which will enable us to support many more families across the country.

We are delighted to be part of this initiative and we’ll use the funding to continue making a huge difference to families who find themselves struggling – especially given the additional challenges many households are now facing as they deal with the wider impact of COVID- 19.

Tom Jackson, CEO of Love Your Neighbour said:

As needs for food and supplies increase nationwide, and more people are unfortunately entering into debt, we are so grateful to be one of the charities selected by DCMS to have our fundraising matched. This support will help us in reaching the most vulnerable – whether that’s with meals, debt advice or employment training. Thank you for helping make this possible.

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief said:

Vulnerable communities continue to need our help and support more than ever throughout the pandemic. Our new UnLtd partnership will reach thousands of people in need, including people living with disabilities and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, thanks to such strong Government support.

This funding is part of the £750 million package of support announced by the Chancellor for frontline charities across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has led the allocation of funding to support charities providing key services to help vulnerable people during the crisis. Funding awarded includes £200 million for hospices and £76 million to charities that support vulnerable children and people who have suffered from domestic abuse, sexual abuse and modern slavery.

The Government has also matched public donations to the BBC’s “The Big Night In” charity appeal, with over £74 million being distributed by Comic Relief, Children In Need and the National Emergencies Trust to charities on the frontline. This is on top of the £150 million released from dormant accounts to help social enterprises get affordable credit to people who are financially vulnerable and support charities tackling youth unemployment.

Charities have also had access to wider measures to support the economy, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

In line with government guidance, charity shops have been able to open from 15 June in England, and will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100 per cent.

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