09 April 2020
On 8th April 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750 million financial support package in response to COVID-19. You can read our statement below.
London Youth welcomes this £750 million investment in the voluntary sector, recognising the immediate need to protect those whose health and welfare are at risk. We are however concerned at the impact which will be felt by those most dependent on the services provided by the voluntary sector, given this investment falls short of the £4.3 billion sector income hole over the next 12 weeks as identified by NCVO.
Our fear is that small, community youth organisations, many powered by volunteers, will be among those hit first and hardest. Many have chosen not to furlough staff or stand down volunteers because the social need on the ground has been so significant, so they are already extremely vulnerable to closure. The survival of grass-roots organisations will depend on access to smaller, periodic grants over time to remain operational. We hope this can be considered alongside the needs of larger well established charities also seeking to access financial support.
Given charities will be navigating through these challenges for many more months to come, London Youth encourages Government to phase their financial support as we move from meeting the immediate emergency needs such as food poverty, to tackling the longer term legacy of COVID-19 on our young people, such as rising youth unemployment.
The most disadvantaged young Londoners before this pandemic will be much worse off after it. They will need their trusted youth workers and local youth organisations more than ever to help them navigate through the aftermath. To ensure the youth sector is able to provide this vital, ongoing support for our young people, London Youth hopes this will be the first, but not the only Government intervention to sustain the charity sector through these times ahead.
– Rosemary Watt-Wyness, Chief Executive