The Somerset Guardian, 18th November 2020

This week, the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, wrote to me outlining the Government’s Covid-19 funding for charities, including several in North East Somerset.

The multi-million-pound package adds on £150 million that has been released from the Government’s Dormant Assets Scheme. This is capital that has remained unused in dormant accounts and will now be spent on charities, communities and individuals affected by the pandemic.

In a year of unprecedented disruption, people have relied upon charities more than ever which is why, as a crucial part of the Government’s response to Coronavirus, £750 million is being given by to charitable organisations, by far the most generous in Europe. This money will support over 13,000 larger bodies that operate on a national basis with local branches such as St. John Ambulance, NSPCC and the British Red Cross as well as smaller, constituency-based charities.

From the £200million Coronavirus Community Support Fund, I am pleased to announce that thirteen charities in North East Somerset have, so far, received £288,527. These include: the Royal Osteoporosis Society (£100,000), Leonard Cheshire Disability (£80,895) and Swan Advice Network (£22,580). This is, undoubtedly, a welcome boon in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, enabling charities and social enterprise schemes to continue their vital activity.

The Government is working at pace to distribute the funds whilst ensuring that taxpayers’ money is spent effectively and reaches those who need it. I am delighted that the Government is taking a step further by giving this additional financial assistance to the most vulnerable during these trying times.


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