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Never More Needed

Woodcraft Folk joined over 1,000 organisations adding their name to an open letter to Number 10. The letter demands greater support to the voluntary or community sector as we support communities to recover from COVID.

The open letter now has nearly 1000 signatures, #RightNow was trending on Twitter yesterday, and the campaign was covered in the GuardianCivil Society and Third Sector. #RightNow has received public support from Rachael Maskell, the shadow minister of civil society and Baroness Barker, the Liberal Democrat Lords spokesperson. For the next stage of the campaign, we would like to grow political support for the inclusion of an Emergency Support Fund at the Budget on 3 March.

Please add your voice by emailing your MP, please do link to the letter on the campaign page which is regularly updated with new signatures. I appreciate many of you already have strong relationships with local politicians but if you don’t know who to contact then you can find out here.

The letter reads:

Right now, food banks are giving out 2,600 parcels to children every day.

Right now, helplines are answering thousands of calls from people dealing with everything from domestic abuse to bereavement and mental health issues.

Right now, millions of people around the country are generously responding to fundraising asks from causes they care about.

Right now, volunteers in every community are supporting those shielding at home and over 50,000 are helping to vaccinate those most at risk from COVID.

Right now, millions of people and thousands of charities are doing everything they can to tackle the urgent problems we face. At the same time, those same organisations are looking to the future and trying to ensure they can continue to be there in the tough years of recovery ahead.

They are stepping up because the need has never been greater, but they are doing so while staring at an estimated £10bn hole in their income. Right now, many charities are eating into their reserves, selling whatever assets they have and making staff redundant.

That means tomorrow they won’t be able to fund life-saving research, feed struggling families, bring hope to people most at risk isolating at home, tackle existing inequalities made worse by this pandemic. People and communities will go without vital support.

Charities make our communities stronger. In the toughest times, they  provide support no-one else can.

The public are giving their time and money and companies, trusts and foundations have stepped up their support. We are hugely grateful that your government has helped to keep emergency charity services running – but resources are running dangerously low and services are getting stretched to breaking point.

We are asking you to set up an Emergency Support Fund right now, so the burden of this pandemic doesn’t fall on the shoulders of those who are most disadvantaged.

With that fund, more people can receive the help they desperately need, and more charities can deliver vital services to help our communities recover from this crisis. Without it, many in those communities face a bleak future.

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