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Charity Sector: Covid-19 Support

Volume 683: debated on Thursday 5 November 2020

How many charities his Department has allocated funding to as part of the Government’s £750 million package of support for the charity sector during the covid-19 outbreak. (908257)

Nobody works harder for their constituency than my hon. Friend, and I know she welcomes the fact that the Government have funded 13,000 charities, social enterprises and other community organisations, including St John Ambulance, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, FareShare and a host of others. That includes £45,000 going to charities in the Hyndburn constituency.

Despite the suffering caused by the coronavirus, it remains the case that funds are lying unused in dormant accounts. Will my hon. Friend join me in welcoming the continued funding his Department has secured from identifying and putting to good use the money left in dormant accounts?

The dormant assets scheme is a great success; it has unlocked more than £745 million for social and environmental causes in the UK to date, including £150 million released in May to support charities, communities and individuals affected by the pandemic. Work is also under way to expand the scheme to a wider range of assets and enable hundreds of millions of pounds more of forgotten money to be put to good use.

On Monday, the Prime Minister said he would be

“doing much more over the winter to support the voluntary sector”.—[Official Report, 2 November 2020; Vol. 683, c. 41.]

The sector provides vital support and services to people across our communities. It already has an accumulation of a £10 billion deficit over just six months, because of the loss of fundraising, and 10% of organisations are due to fold, so can the Minister say exactly how he and the Prime Minister are going to rescue our charities and address that deficit, and what further money will be forthcoming, as charities are never more needed and never more in need?

The hon. Lady is absolutely right to say that charities have performed an immensely valuable role, and they will continue to be more important than ever. I would point her to the £750 million package, and she will know that the Chancellor will be making a statement later on, which I am sure will not be the last one he will be making over the course of this pandemic.