The not-for-profit sector has become an important lifeline for many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite adapting to the needs of their communities during the pandemic, charities and not-for-profits have been facing a crisis of their own and are in urgent need of support.
The Trust backed the Never More Needed campaign's day of action on Wednesday 17 February.
Many of our funded partners have had to adapt their services to work online so they can continue providing vital support to people during this difficult time.
The importance of this continuing support cannot be overlooked. Our funded partners, and charities across the UK, have provided vital opportunities for people to continue to connect with others digitally, helping to combat social isolation. Volunteers have distributed food parcels to clinically extremely vulnerable people and, projects have been able to continue working with young people to deliver skills-based workshops through school closures.
Our Active Communities partner, CoActive Arts, who provide arts-based activities to bring people with learning disabilities and autism across Wakefield together, said:
“The isolation is immense. We started back in September for a couple of months with small, distanced sessions with one of the activities being drawing portraits of each other across two metres. The surprising feedback from many participants about the activity was that it was good to be seen and to be really looked at. We were surprised that this was more important than doing the drawing, but one of the things about isolation is that you can lose your significance, you can feel invisible and like as though you vanish.”
The voluntary sector will play a vital role in supporting those who have been adversely impacted during this time and the government must provide the support needed for the not-for-profit sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.
As part of the Never More Needed campaign, People’s Health Trust joined a coalition of charities in writing to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to ask the government to:
- Recognise that existing measures do not do enough to enable charities to continue to deliver essential services that have never been more needed. We ask Ministers and officials to work with the charity and voluntary sector to address the medium and long-term scale of the financial challenge ahead, and to ensure that the critical support charities provide will continue to be able to meet need and make a vital contribution to rebuilding our society.
- Ensure the distribution of funding available is speedy and efficient, and that equality and human rights are designed in from the outset, so that we meet everyone’s needs and that decision making is transparent.
- Make necessary regulatory changes to existing schemes to make them fit for purpose for charities and voluntary organisations.