Last night, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced £750 million of new government support for charities, to ensure that they can continue throughout the COVID 19 crisis.

The funding is divided as follows:

  • £360 million direct from government departments, to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. This will include
    • hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector (£200m)
    • St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
    • victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
    • vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
    • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time


  • £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England.  This will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.


  • The Government will also match-fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

This is in addition to support already offered, including deferring VAT bills, paying no business rates for charity shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.


The Government press statement on the news is here, and you can read a full transcript of the speech here.


How to get hold of this extra support

The details regarding how to apply for this extra money are not being made clear yet, but it appears that the recipients of the £360 million fund will be dealt with direct.    (If we hear otherwise, we’ll update here.)

For the National Lottery Community Fund, visit their website.

Their priorities:

  • Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of COVID-19
  • Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19

Funding size £300 to £10,000.

Online application, funding could be in your bank account within 14 days.

For the National Emergencies Trust, see their website.

Funding will be distributed by the NET to local community foundations, including Cornwall Community Foundation (and Devon Community Foundation), and applicants should go direct to them. These community foundations will have freedom to choose who to give to, and how to prioritise.

Cornwall Community Foundation has raised £334,000 , and already given out £160,000 from their coronavirus emergency fund in the last three weeks, and just raised their upper limit for applications to £5,000. You can find out how to apply for grants from CCF via their website.