Grahame has signed a letter to the Chancellor from a group of cross-party MPs and peers, calling for urgent action to be taken to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The letter acknowledges the vital role that the charity sector will play in the effort to combat coronavirus in the coming weeks. It states that, whilst the Chancellor’s recent pledge for further financial support for employers, businesses, and people extends to charities, such organisations require more detailed clarification about the financial support to which they are entitled.
It includes a projection from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations that the sector will see a loss of at least £4.3bn in income over the next 12 weeks.
In order to alleviate the impact of the crisis on the sector, the letter calls for the establishment of a ‘stabilisation fund’, clarification as to how these organisations relate to specific business interruption measures, and for the government to work with the UK’s largest philanthropic organisations and foundations to source funding.
Haswell Mencap is one of several East Durham charities that have been affected. The charity has had to close the Lisa Dixon Centre and shops, which represent their principal source of fundraising.
The letter has also been copied to the Prime Minister, and the Minister for Civil Society.