Children’s charities were struggling way before coronavirus – now they’re drowning

Without significant government investment now, we risk putting more young people on the cusp of crisis, writes Alison Body

Sunday 03 May 2020 16:52
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Covid-19 bitterly exposes the inequalities that already impact our children and families’ lives, argues Alison Body
Covid-19 bitterly exposes the inequalities that already impact our children and families’ lives, argues Alison Body

Children’s charities are in the midst of a funding crisis due to Covid-19. However, let’s not be fooled into thinking they were in a strong position before the pandemic – a decade of policy changes and decreased state funding has left children’s services dangerously vulnerable. For many, coronavirus is just the tipping point.

Charities across the spectrum have been impacted heavily by the coronavirus pandemic, with many services being postponed or moved online, fundraising events being cancelled, and efforts scaled back. Early research suggests charities are predicting a projected loss of a third of their overall income, with over half reducing their levels of service.

With 59 per cent of voluntary sector organisations aiming to benefit children and young people, it is unsurprising that children’s support services have been heavily hit. Indeed, the Childhood Trust reported that over one-third of London’s child poverty charities are at risk of closure due to Covid-19, while one of the largest leading children’s charities, Barnardo’s, has already furloughed over 3,000 of its staff due to funding pressures. And while the chancellor has promised a £750m support package for charities, this goes little way in addressing the estimated £4bn shortfall.

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