Grant giving charities say applications for support have doubled since Covid-19 lockdown

Applications for funding from grant giving charities have more than doubled since Covid-19 lockdown and are set to rise further when the furlough scheme ends next month, research has revealed.

Figures released by grant giving charities body the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) found that applications for funding increased 122% since 23 March.

A continuing wave of redundancies as the government’s furlough scheme finishes in October is expected to fuel further demand. Almost all (87%) of ACO members anticipate applications for support to increase when the job retention scheme ends.

“With most of our member charities seeing an increased demand for support as a result of this pandemic, we believe it is vital we reach out to members of the public that could be suffering at this time to let them know there are charities here and ready to help,” said ACO chief executive Donal Watkin.

“As we unfortunately anticipate further redundancies as the government’s job retention scheme comes to an end, we urge members of the public and those working closely with them to think about whether a grant-giving charity could help.”

Support includes helping disadvantaged families pay their bills, rent and food.

Among those to offer immediate support to families has been the Licensed Trade Charity, which supports pub and brewery staff and has provided for vouchers to almost 2,500 people affected by lockdown.

“We started planning early so that we were able to respond to the changing and increasing demand for our support and we put measures in place to scale up our delivery,” said Licensed Trade Charity head of charity services Carolyn Jenkinson.

“We have good relationships with licensed trade operators and spoke to them early to offer our services to put in place and deliver support funds for their people. Through those projects and an increase in our usual applications we have delivered almost £1m of support in the form of shopping vouchers to help licensed trade people get through one of the most difficult times our industry has ever faced.”

The ACO is the umbrella body for grant and welfare support charities, with more than 100 members.

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