Government Announces £750m Support Package For Charity Sector
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak took on today's briefing and said: "Some charities are on the front line of fighting the coronavirus and other provide critical services and support to vulnerable people and communities.
"For them, shutting up shop at this moment would be to contravene their very purpose, their entire reason to exist. Those charities have never been more needed as they are now and they've never faced such a sudden fall in their funding."
He explained that the government wouldn't be able to match every pound of funding lost for the nearly 170,000 charities in the country.
But Sunak went on: "I'm announcing £750 million of funding for the charity sector. £370 million of that funding will support small, local charities working with vulnerable people.
"We all know who they are. Those small charities in our villages, our market towns, in pockets of our cities. The unsung heroes looking after the vulnerable and holding together our social fabric.
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"The UK government will also provide £360m directly to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people as we battle the coronavirus.
"Up to £200m of those grants will support hospices, with the rest going to organisations like St John's Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as charities supporting vulnerable children and victims of domestic abuse or disabled people."
Sunak also announced the government would match public donations pound for pound on the BBC's The Big Night In.
He said: "Last night, the BBC announced their Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April and today I can confirm that the government will match, pound for pound whatever the public decides to donate - starting with at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal."
He concluded his briefing by adding: "The normally invisible connections between us have, in recent weeks, become more apparent. For most of us we spend our lives oblivious to these connections, these bonds and how our behaviours, however small, can have a dramatic effect on others.
"These bonds are not invisible for our local charities. For the volunteer keeping victims of domestic violence safe, to the outreach worker helping a rough sleeper find a bed, or for the support worker manning the phones to help stave off the heart-wrenching loneliness so many of our elderly relatives and friends will be experiencing right now.
"These connections might be heard to see but they are there and they are strengthened by our compassion for others. Charities embody this like no other organisation and their lesson is that the simplest acts have the potential to change lives."
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