In further support for the VCSE sector, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has backed the #EveryDayCounts campaign, calling on the government to provide an urgent funding package for them.
Greater Manchester is home to nearly 16,000 voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises working to tackle inequalities and improve the lives of local people. The sector employs around 42,500 people and has a turnover of £1.3bn. The sector is a key partner in the response to the COVID-19 crisis and many have been working around the clock to provide frontline support to help those who need it. However, their fundraising and trading income has dried up just as the need for their support has increased.
VCSE sector bodies have made initial estimates that nationally, the sector will miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income over the coming 12 weeks, though the figure could be far higher. Many will also face increased costs as part of their role in tackling the outbreak.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership have produced a joint statement for the VCSE sector, valuing its importance and pledging to do everything they can to support them. This includes supporting their financial situations through, for example, more regular or upfront payment of existing grants where they can and ‘rolling over’ recurrent grants for next year without the need for formal applications.
Alex Whinnom, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO), said: “The sector is crying out for help to keep afloat so we can keep doing what we can when we are needed the most. There are many charities and voluntary groups in Greater Manchester having to furlough staff because they don’t have the income they need to keep going, yet they are overwhelmed with demand for their services and can’t meet everyone’s needs. I urge the government to give us the funding we desperately need".
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