Government announces easing of coronavirus restrictions for charity fundraising

Public fundraising will be permitted to return from Monday 12 April, as part of the next phase of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

  • Door-to-door, street and private site fundraising, in line with Government guidance, can resume from 12 April as part of step 2 of roadmap
  • Announcement comes a year on since unprecedented £750 million package of financial support for charities and civil society groups
  • Minister for Civil Society and Youth visits Mentoring Plus to see funding at work

Civil Society Minister Baroness Barran has hailed the “invaluable” role of Britain’s charities in the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and urged the public to “support them however they can”, as she announced that public fundraising will be permitted to return from Monday 12 April, as part of the next phase of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The move will mean that fundraisers across the country will be able to connect with people through door-to-door, street and private site fundraising, in line with Government guidance.

Whilst charities have been able to raise funds throughout the pandemic by finding ways to connect with people during lockdown, this will act as an important income stream.

Today marks one year on since the Government announced an unprecedented £750 million package of financial support for charities and social enterprises, enabling them to continue their vital work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past year, the Government’s package has supported vulnerable people and provided key services to over 15,000 organisations.

Grants have been awarded to larger charities such as St Johns Ambulance, NSPCC, Age UK, Barnardo’s and the British Red Cross, as well as thousands of smaller organisations helping vulnerable people up and down the country, including those with disabilities, young people and victims of domestic abuse.

Baroness Barran marked the milestone with a visit to Mentoring Plus, a Bath-based charity which supports vulnerable young people aged 7 to 21 facing challenges through mentoring schemes via trained volunteers, youth clubs, projects and inspiring activities programmes. Many of the young people there have been impacted by physical isolation during the pandemic.

Over £10,000 in Government funding is helping to meet increased demand for its 1:1 mentoring services, ensuring no-one is left behind as a result of the pandemic, as well as adapting its ongoing services.

Minister for Civil Society and Youth, Baroness Barran, said:

“Our charities have played an invaluable role in the national effort against coronavirus. From supporting those suffering with poor mental health, to providing activities for young people and tackling loneliness, they have responded to the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable people and continue to relieve the pressure on our NHS.

“That’s why we have provided unprecedented financial support, which has helped tens of thousands of people across the country, and we continue to work closely with the sector to understand where pressures are being felt.

“As we move out of lockdown and public fundraising is permitted from next week, it’s important to remember that many people still rely on the vital work our charities do. I’d like to thank the public for their continued generosity in supporting charitable causes both with time and donations.”

Mentoring Plus Chief Executive Ruth Keily said:

“We were fortunate to receive funding from the National Lottery Community Covid Funding last year – a challenging year when our work was in high demand and our funding unpredictable. This funding enabled us to continue to support young people and deliver ‘recovery mentoring’ when their lives were disrupted.

“We are proud to have been able to provide consistent support to local young people during challenging times and giving them their best chance of hope and happiness. We are delighted to host the Minister, Baroness Barran during our Easter holiday activities – where young people can come together and have fun, something they have missed out on and is key to our values.”

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said:

“The generosity of the British public in giving to charities large and small to maintain vital services through the pandemic has been simply astonishing. However many forms of fundraising, as well as opportunities to give, take part in fundraising events, and participate in the work of charities, have had to be put on hold due to the lockdown.

“We are delighted that from 12th April charities in England will once again be able to have conversations on the doorstep or the street about your favourite cause. As further stages of lockdown ease we look forward to charities being able to plan further fundraising events, bringing people together safely and offering opportunities to once again join coffee mornings and fetes, as well as concerts and larger participation events, which all contribute to making the world a better place.”

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The announcement that public fundraising activities can resume as we enter step 2 of the Coronavirus roadmap will be welcomed by the charity fundraising sector. Door-to-door, street and private site fundraising are all essential means of generating vital funds for so many organisations that support our communities across the UK.

“On 12 April, the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising will be publishing updated guidance to support fundraising organisations as they resume public fundraising activities. The updated guidance will provide information in line with the latest Government advice. Fundraising organisations are strongly advised to review and follow this updated guidance when planning their public fundraising activities.

“It is important that public fundraising activities should only take place once a thorough risk assessment has been carried out, so that the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and members of the public are protected. All fundraising should continue to follow the standards as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.”

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