Covid-19 lockdown may force 'nearly half of all children charities to close'

31 March 2020, 08:44

The Childhood Trust warned that almost a quarter of children's charities could lose more than £100,000
The Childhood Trust warned that almost a quarter of children's charities could lose more than £100,000. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Almost half of all children's charities in London are at risk of closing due to lack of funding caused by coronavirus lockdown, according to a new survey.

The Childhood Trust warned that almost a quarter of children's charities could lose more than £100,000 in funding whereas 42 per cent could lose £50,000.

According to the trust, the financial crisis was hitting at a time when vulnerable people and disadvantaged children are under increased pressure.

Among the 65 charities surveyed, which support 184,000 children collectively, some 40 per cent said they will be forced to close within six months if they cannot find an alternative source of funding which has been lost due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Michael Gove announced on Friday that the government was preparing a package of financial support for charities but details have not yet been released.

The charitable sector is predicted to lose at least £4.3 billion in income over the next 12 weeks, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates.

Read more: Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for Covid-19

Laurence Guinness, Children's Trust CEO, said: "The stark comparison between the funding decline in charities and vast increase in children who are going to need support is hugely worrying.

“Evidence from our network of over 200 funded charities highlights that the impact of this crisis is being disproportionately experienced by children whose lives are already challenged by poverty and its attendant hardships.

"For many of these children, the crisis is exacerbating chronic anxiety, stress, inadequate diets, domestic violence, loss of peer support and rapid mental health deterioration.

"After a decade of austerity and cuts to services for children the support that small, grassroots charities provide for children throughout London is more important than ever.

“The economic impact of Covid-19 is an existential threat to many charities’ ability to provide support once this crisis subsides. We need the government to step in and provide specific charitable support immediately.”

Read more: Coronavirus symptoms - What are they and what is the risk of Covid-19 in the UK?

Happening Now