Coronavirus: Charities face 'existential threat', warns Navca chief

Jane Ide says the sector could face long-term damage from the current pandemic

Jane Ide
Jane Ide

The Covid-19 crisis is “potentially existential” for the charity sector, the chief executive of the local infrastructure umbrella body Navca has warned. 

Speaking to Third Sector, Jane Ide said there were “really serious” concerns that the sector might not be able to survive the current crisis.

She said it was “absolutely right” for the government to ask the sector to do what it could to respond to the crisis, but on the other hand the lack of financial support from government was making the sector’s position more precarious.

“There are really serious concerns within the sector about what impact this is having on the sector’s ability to survive,” said Ide.

She said the issue was not confined to small charities and larger charities were also likely to be struggling.

“Whether they’re organisations on the front line or not, this is going to be a longer process than people were thinking a couple of weeks ago,” she said.

“I do think that, not to put too fine a point on it, this is potentially existential for the sector, because of the risks of financial collapse in the sector and the damage that could do long term.”

She warned that the long-term impact on communities was “potentially horrendous”.

Ide added: “The landscape for the sector could look completely different in six months’ time, and not in a good way.”

The National Emergencies Trust has launched a major appeal to raise funds for UK charities amid the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, sector umbrella bodies have called for charities to be explicitly included in economic measures set out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this week. 

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