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Coronavirus updates: Third Sector live blog

Keep up to date with all the latest coronavirus-related news affecting the charity sector. Please refresh for the latest updates

Medical detection dog being retrained to help identify Covid-19 (Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Medical detection dog being retrained to help identify Covid-19 (Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

2 April

17:50 – We are clocking off for the evening; reports will resume on Monday

17:05: Calm's first Friday Night Lock-In will raise money to support helplines

The Guardian reports that the mental health charity Calm’s first Friday Night Lock-In will launch this week with performances from Years And Years, Kurupt FM and Declan McKenna.

The event, hosted on Instagram Live by Vick Hope, will raise money to support the charity’s helplines, which have seen an increase of 37 per cent in daily call demand in the last week, according to The Guardian.

The newspaper says that Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes, stars of Love Island, will lead a pub quiz, and there will be a cooking section with comedians Ed Gamble and Phil Wang.

The virtual event will run from 5pm until midnight on each performer’s own Instagram accounts, mirroring the hours Calm’s suicide prevention helpline is open each day.

17:00: Cumbria charities benefit from first £82k from coronavirus response fund

According to the News & Star, the fund was established by the Cumbria Community Foundation and is focused on extending the capacity of charitable organisations that are providing support to those who are most vulnerable, specifically the elderly and people who have self-isolated.

The news outlet says the charities to benefit from the first round of funding are Age UK West Cumbria, the Northern Fells Group, the Appleby Emergency Response Group, the Birchall Trust and Carer Support South Lakes.

16:50: NCVO issues free advice on involving volunteers during the pandemic

A page of the website of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations gives advice on making a difference, redirecting volunteers if you can't use any more, expenses, the effect of the lockdown, key worker roles, paying for goods and services, data protection and recognising scams.

The resource is free to access and can be found by clicking here.

16:35: East Anglia hospice charity appeals for urgent donations

The East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, which provides hospice care for children and support for families, says it has suffered a devastating drop in income because all its fundraising activities have had to be cancelled, according to The Hunts Post.

The news outlet reports that the charity's 43 shops, eBay and Amazon operations are now closed, and the normal take of £100,000 each week is down to zero.

Tracy Rennie, EACH acting chief executive, said: “We are not alone. Nearly every children’s hospice in the UK is in the same position. Unlike hospitals, we all rely on the generosity of our donors to fund our services. We receive a tiny amount from the NHS.”

To donate to the EACH emergency appeal, click here.

16:05: National Trust to furlough more than 11,000 staff

The charity said in a statement that 80 per cent of its approximately 14,000 staff would be furloughed because of a loss of revenue caused by the charity’s closure of its attractions amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Because of the outbreak, the trust has closed all of its properties, including shops and cafés, and its parks and gardens, which account for much of the charity’s annual income.

Read the full story here

15:30: Scottish broadcaster STV launches Local Lifeline to support businesses and charities

The iniative provides £1m worth of free advertising to groups affected by the pandemic. STV is producing the adverts free of charge and they appear on TV, on the STV Player and on stv.tv.

Each 30-second commercial is bespoke to the business or charity’s region, with multiple organisations featuring across the country. Adverts are being placed across the STV schedule throughout the day to maximise their impact and reach. The campaign went live on 31 March.

The first couple of adverts can be watched here and here.

15:15: CharityComms to run first virtual conference on engagement strategies on 30 April

The organisation says there will live content, peer-to-peer learning and pre-recorded talks that you can watch at any time.

The first half of the event will feature two live panels with charity leaders and a series of peer-to peer breakout discussions, giving participants the opportunity to explore together the new Covid-19 reality as charity comms professionals.

The second half of consists of pre-recorded presentations exploring ways in which charities can develop their engagement strategies. The event is free for all CharityComms members, £20 plus VAT for non-members.

For more information, click here.

15:00: Islington music venue now a drop-off centre for local charities

Union Chapel, the award-winning venue in north London, says that non-perishable foods and hygiene products such as hand sanitiser are particularly welcome. Donations should be brought to the back door on Compton Avenue, N1 2UN.

Donations can be made from Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 12pm. Any questions should be addressed by email to community@unionchapel.org.uk. If you want to make a financial donation online, click here.

14:50: Ford Motor Company Fund sets up Covid-19 donation match programme

The fund says this gives employees and others the opportunity to support non-profit organisations and community groups in more than 20 countries as they cope with coronavirus-related issues.

In the UK, the Ford Fund is partnering with the homelessness charity St Mungo's, and around Europe with organisations in Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and Turkey. The programme will match up to $500,000 of donations, making the potential take $1m.

Managed by GlobalGiving, Ford's disaster relief and global grant-making partner, the programme aims to support community projects in locations that have both a significant level of emergency need and a substantial Ford employee presence. Projects focus on addressing hunger, shelter and mobility needs, providing educational resources, or delivering critical medical supplies and services to communities in need.

To find out more and donate, click here.

14:40: 250-plus funders sign pledge to support civil society groups affected by the pandemic

The funders from all sectors that have signed the commitment, coordinated by London Funders, have recognised that Covid-19 is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups and the communities they serve, and want to offer reassurance that they stand with the sector at this time.

To support organisations affected by the outbreak, grant funders have committed to four main ways of working: adapting activities, acknowledging that agreed outcomes might not be achieved in the original timeframes; discussing dates so they don't add pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines; financial flexibility, thereby allowing organisations to use money differently; and listening, to encourage frank conversations between funders and grantees, with funders being supportive of their needs.

The statement is not only for members or funders in London, says London Funders. Funders can continue to sign up to the statement here.

12:50: Cheshire Community Foundation involved in appeal for £2m to help the vulnerable

The appeal for £1m is a partnership that also involves the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, the new High Sheriff of Cheshire, Nick Hopkinson, and the Steve Morgan Foundation, which will match-fund all monies raised, bringing the potential take to £2m.

David Briggs, Nick Hopkinson and the outgoing High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mark Mitchell, have made an initial donation of £50,000, which will be matched by the Steve Morgan Foundation to make a total of £100,000.

The Cheshire Community Foundation will be responsible for managing the fund and ensuring that the money reaches the organisations that most need it. Funding will be made available to charities that are seeking grants to support individuals and families affected by the coronavirus crisis.

To donate, go to www.cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk and click the donate button, email office@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk or call 01606 330 607.

12:40: SCVO offers help on its Coronavirus Community Assistance Directory

The searchable web page collates information about organisations that can offer non-medical help to people. It stresses that the information is provided by users and is not verified, and warns people not to give personal or financial details online to someone they don't know.

It is also asking organisations that can offer non-medical help to get in touch.

To find out more, click here.

12:25: Stay active during the health crisis, says Scottish walking charity

Paths for All has launched new online guidance and links to resources that can help people to stay active indoors, connect with nature outside and encourage those working from home to move around more.

The organisation says exercising once a day is one of only four reasons people are allowed to leave their homes and argues that those not experiencing symptoms and not in high-risk groups should go out for short, local walks as long as they minimise social contact.

Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All, said: “If you are unable to go outside for a walk, then there are many ways you can keep moving at home. Browse online for demonstration videos and resources and remember to take regular breaks from sitting down to get up and move around.”

12:20: Plan International UK appeals for donations to continue its global work

The charity says it is deeply concerned about the effects of the pandemic on children, especially girls, in the world’s poorest communities, where the impact of the virus could be catastrophic. Many children and their families are living without access to soap and running water, with scarcely enough food to survive from day to day, says Plan.

It says its work in previous health crises such as Ebola shows children are likely to suffer severe long-term effects: economic stress on families can lead children to be at great risk of exploitation and child labour, funds are often diverted from routine health services that are already difficult to access, and children who lose access to school might never return.

To make a donation, visit here.

12:15: National Lottery Heritage fund opens £50m emergency funding scheme

The funder’s past and current grantees, or those still under contract from previous grants, can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.

The cash for the fund would be diverted from planned new grants, with all new grant applications halted with immediate effect, the grant-maker said.

Read the full story here

12:00: Age UK continues efforts to raise £10m

The charity for older people says donations will help it reach the older people who need it most by providing: expert advice through its free advice line; comfort and reassurance through crucial friendship services, including its 24-hour helpline; and funding to more than 130 local Age UKs so they can support their communities.

Age UK says calls to its advice line have increased by 55 per cent during the pandemic, and calls to its Silver Line have gone up by 30 per cent. It expects those numbers to rise.

To help out, click here.

11:55: Islamic Relief appeals for more donations to its coronavirus emergency fund

The charity says people can donate to its UK fund or its global fund, or both. The UK fund provides food parcels to families that contain fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, cereal, tinned beans, tinned vegetables, tinned fish, lentils, long-life milk, pasta, tinned fruit, toiletries, nappies and baby milk (if required).

It is also distributing hygiene kits including gloves, masks, toilet rolls, disinfectants and hand sanitisers, and awareness-raising leaflets on how to keep safe.

Globally, it says, getting access to food and hygiene is incredibly challenging at this time, especially for vulnerable communities, including displaced families in Myanmar, people in Yemen and for those recovering from the effects of natural disasters across Africa and Asia.

To donate, visit here.

11:15: National Business Response Network launched by Business in the Community

The 750-strong membership body says the network has been set up in response to the pandemic to connect businesses that can provide support of any kind with local organisations and charities that urgently need it.

It says the network will meet the following needs: food, technology, social care, tools and advice for small businesses, and business continuity.

Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “We know what local communities need as they battle the impact of Covid-19 on their towns and cities, and we’re calling on businesses that want to offer support to contact us to make sure their support gets to the right place at the right time.”

Community organisations can log requests on a 24-hour hotline (0141 285 3821), email localresiliencesupport@bitc.org.uk or post on an online board

Companies that want to offer support can also post their offers on the online board or they can find out more by emailing: businessresponse@bitc.org.uk.

10:40: Clothworkers' Foundation announces new capital grants for charities

The funder says it is offering grants of up to £5,000 for charities with beneficiaries based outside London for non-profit organisations with incomes of up to £2m, with a quick turnaround promised.

It says: "We recognise that many of our grantees are facing increased and unprecedented difficulties due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We understand that your capital project may now face delays, and/or you may not be able to submit reports on time, and we wish to be as flexible and supportive as possible. If you would like to discuss your current situation or your capital grant, please do not hesitate to contact your grants officer by email or via our online form.

London-specific funding will be available soon, it says. The Clothworkers’ Foundation was set up in 1977 to be the primary vehicle of charitable giving for the Clothworkers’ Company.

10:30: Marie Curie says loved ones should be with dying coronavirus patients

According to a report in The Guardian, the end-of-life charity said families should be allowed to visit dying coronavirus patients in their final moments and be provided with personal protective equipment to help them do so.

The daily newspaper reported that the charity made the comment after 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died in London’s King’s College hospital on Monday without his family by his side.

A statement on a fundraiser web page for Ismail’s funeral, which had raised nearly £60,000 by Wednesday afternoon, said: “Sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19.”

Marie Curie said the wishes of the dying should be factored in when considering whether visits were possible, The Guardian wrote.

Simon Jones, director of policy at the charity, told the newspaper: “We need to get through to the people making these decisions that we understand the complexity of the situation and the dilemma they are in. But take a moment to think about what is achievable. Is it achievable to isolate the individual in a room? Is it possible to give a small group of people close to them the full personal protective equipment they need to be with them in their last hours?”

10:20: Lancashire Muslim charity fears its initiative to help the homeless can't continue

The Hajjah Naziha Charitable Organisation, based in Nelson, has been handing out food packages and coronavirus hygiene kits to homeless people in Burnley and Manchester, according to the online news resources LancsLive.

It says the charity is being hampered in its efforts by the requirements of the lockdown. The charity, founded by the retired teacher Hajjah Naziah, a prominent advocate of women’s rights and education in Libya, says it will keep going as long as it can.

To support the charity donate here.

10:10: Charity Bank busy updating its coronavirus information hub

The bank says it's trying to bring all the relevant resources together on one page and will be updating it regularly. Information available includes government measures that will help charities and social enterprises, news from around the world about Covid-19, guidance on the situation from the four nations of the UK and free business support for charities.

There is also information about governance, the law, fraud, data protection, human resources and finance.

The resource hub is available here.

09:40: Paymaster General backs calls for sector emergency support package

In a video shared on her Twitter account, Penny Mordaunt said she had been “lobbying the Treasury” for a bespoke scheme to help charities weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which is having a catastrophic impact on the income of many organisations.

The MP for Portsmouth North said she had “been talking to the Treasury and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport about a larger package of support for the voluntary sector”.

Read the full story here

1 April

17:35 – We are clocking off for the evening; reports will resume tomorrow

16:50: Down's Syndrome Association offers fitness and health resources during lockdown

The charity's DSActive team has put together some videos of exercises people can do at home with everyday objects, including a chair, cartons and some tins.

To watch the videos, please click here.

16:35: Crystal Palace players donate to Age UK Croydon

The charity says the "large donation" will allow it to continue to stock its food and essentials hub, where it provides local, vulnerable people with essential items, delivered by a team of volunteers across the borough.

For further information and to donate, please visit here.

16:25: Bookmakers to gift profits from Virtual Grand National to NHS Charities Together

A report in the horseracing paper Sporting Life says that, with racing suspended during the coronavirus crisis, ITV is to air a "virtual" version, using CGI technology and algorithms, in a special programme on Saturday, with the race taking place at 5.15pm, replicating the start time of the real thing.

The initiative has the backing of the Betting and Gaming Council and its members, Sporting Life reports. Stakes will be limited to £10 per horse, per customer for the event or £10 each way per horse. The Tote will also be providing a pool on the race and donating profits to charity.

NHS Charities Together is the membership organisation for all NHS charities.

16:10: As street sales are paused, Big Issue will be sold in shops for the first time

According to a report in The Guardian, the magazine that is normally sold on the streets by homeless people will be sold in selected branches of McColl's and Sainsbury's after street sales were stopped on 22 March.

John Bird, who set up The Big Issue 29 years ago, told the newspaper: “The future of the magazine is at risk if we don’t get £60,000 through subscriptions for the magazine or digital issues. If we don’t get that within a month or two we will have nothing, as all our income comes from the street sellers. We have never built up large banks of money, and all the money raised has gone back to the product.”

Bird said the plan was still to give 50 per cent of the profit to the vendors. He said the organisation had already been in touch with 1,000 of them, and was trying to track down a further 500.

15:25: Charity Finance Group provides online toolkit to campaign for #EveryDayCounts

The CFG says "we need to provide evidence of the size, scale and impact of our sector’s challenges", and encourages charities to take campaigning action.

It says charities should: use the #EveryDayCounts campaign badge on their websites, emails and social media; encourage celebrity patrons and ambassadors to support the campaign by emailing them a briefing note; write to their MPs using this template letter; mobilise their supporters by asking them to write to their MPs using the template letter; share their stories; and use local media and social media using the hashtag #EveryDayCounts.

Find the toolkit here.

15:15: Fund established to help vulnerable communities in low-income countries

A global network of aid agencies has launched a new Covid-19 aid fund to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries. The fund is being kickstarted with a donation from the IKEA Foundation for €1.5m, and other donors are being sought.

The initiative is being led by the Start Network, which has 50 members, many with expertise in the prevention and control of infectious diseases across the globe.

It says Start Fund Covid-19 will be part of the network’s existing funding mechanism, the Start Fund, enabling it to get the fund set up quickly. The fund will provide rapid funding for small to medium responses at the local level and for early and anticipatory humanitarian action, needed before the virus spreads to vulnerable communities.

15:05: Charity Tax Group sets up coronavirus information hub

An online resource that the CTG says will be updated regularly will collate guidance and announcements to inform charities throughout the pandemic.

It says content will include: the latest news and updates; lobbying efforts to secure the financial future of charities; financial support packages and guidance for businesses; and guidance, support and updates for charity tax and finance professionals, including: government updates and guidance, tax and finance announcements and guidance, and charity-specific announcements and guidance.

The hub can be found here.

15:00: Social Enterprise UK offers health and social care advice during pandemic

In a frequently updated web page, SEUK is offering support "and the latest updates on policy and action for social enterprises delivering health and social care services during this time".

SEUK says it would like to provide as much support as possible, so qny questions or suggestions should go to nancy.towers@socialenterprise.org.uk or jo.pritchard@socialenterprise.org.uk.

A list of the key issues facing social enterprises delivering health and care services can be found here.

13:05: Voluntary Voice established as space for sector people to offer support and ideas

As the health crisis continues, the website is urging more voluntary sector people to join in order to share ideas and learning, and simply to offer support. Membership is free, it says, and profiles can be deleted at any time.

To find out more, click here.

12:55: Giving Tuesday announces day of global action in response to pandemic

It has announced that #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, will take place on 5 May as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by Covid-19.

It says #GivingTuesdayNow will mobilize GivingTuesday’s global network of leaders, partners, communities and generous individuals. It is also committing $200,000 to launch the Starling Fund, designed to support its existing network of official community and country leaders. Priority will go to leaders in the regions of greatest crisis or lowest resource in order to strengthen their #GivingTuesdayNow initiatives, it says.

Full story to come.

12:50: Digital marketing outfit Thyngs unveils remote fundraising tool

The organisation has teamed up with the Charities Trust to create a free tool through which businesses and other organisations can raise funds for charities of their choice, writes finextra.com.

It reports that participants receive a pack of interactive images with QR codes and NFC capabilities that can be applied to products, packaging, magazines and signage, creating branded donation points. It says consumers scan or tap the image with their phones to find out more about the cause and then, if they choose to, donate through Apple Pay, Google Pay or by card.

The Charities Trust will then use its existing service and network to distribute funds and claim Gift Aid on behalf of the charities.

12:40: Building society's foundation launches £100k charity support fund

The Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation has launched a Coronavirus Response Fund to support smaller charities during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The fund will make donations of between £250 and £2,000 to charities that are helping UK communities to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Charities can apply for support with running costs, staff and travel costs as well as volunteer expenses.

Gordon Rogers, chair of trustees, said: “We will be prioritising smaller charities that have incomes of £100,000 or less and are, for example, helping vulnerable people who are self-isolating, supplying items for food banks or alleviating the impact of children no longer receiving free school meals due to school closures.”

To apply, visit www.ybs.co.uk/charitablefoundation.

12:10: After August, we have to borrow, says St John Ambulance chief executive

Martin Houghton-Brown told a virtual meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee yesterday that the charity had sufficient reserves to last until August, but would need money to keep running if the crisis continued until then.

St John Ambulance’s most recent accounts for the year to 31 December 2018 show the charity had £13.6m in free reserves, against spending of £102m.

“I think we have money until August,” Houghton-Brown told MPs via videolink. “If the current situation was to go beyond August it would require heavy borrowing.”

Read the full story here

12:05: CRUK to put 40 per cent of workforce on furlough

The charity says 1,800 staff from its retail operation will be put on furlough, and staff from other parts of the organisation could take a similar route later in the year.

All of the charity’s 600 shops in the UK have been closed since 20 March.

CRUK warned earlier this week that its fundraising income, including trading, could fall by about £100m in the current year because of the knock-on effects of the outbreak on its fundraising activities.

Read the full story here

11:25: Charity in crowdfunding appeal to support older people suffering from isolation

South London Cares, which helps older people to connect with the local community, hopes to raise £20,000, and donations are being match-funded by a supporter, according to LondonNewsOnline.

The online news provider writes that the charity has already piloted online social clubs, telephone calls between younger and older neighbours and intensive outreach efforts to help older people stay connected. It has also encouraged younger people to share poems, stories, messages, drawings and games with older neighbours, and older neighbours to write back to their friends in return, says LondonNewsOnline.

To donate, click here.

11:20: Magpas Air Ambulance says it is 'humbled' by response to plea for support

According to BBC News, the charity, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, asked for urgent donations of personal protective equipment because it had less than a month's supply left.

Since making the plea, says BBC News, it has received more than 700 masks, suits and respirators within 10 days. The BBC writes that Magpas is one of three air ambulance services serving the east of England, alongside Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. It is funded entirely by public donations.

People and businesses from across the east of England donated 725 items, including specialist surgical masks and white suits, as well as hundreds of spare filters and dozens of bottles of sanitiser, according to the BBC.

11:10: Glasgow Kiltwalk raises £1.4m for 500 charities hit by pandemic

Although the event was postponed this year because of the lockdown, Kiltwalkers still raised £720,000, which was topped up by 100 per cent by the Hunter Foundation, which had originally agreed to give 50 per cent.

Kiltwalk chief executive Paul Cooney said: “The coronavirus outbreak has brought hundreds of charities all over the country to their knees because fundraising has virtually ground to a halt. That means many of the most vulnerable people in our society are suffering enormous hardships, so we really want to thank every one of our fundraisers for stepping into the breach.”

Kirsten Sinclair, chief operating officer of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “For many charities, the £1.4m raised by the Kiltwalkers and the Hunter Foundation will be the difference between shutting their doors and keeping going."

10:50: Revitalise offers its facilities in show of support for disabled people

The charity, which creates holidays for disabled people and their carers, is offering its facilities, care and nursing teams to support disabled people who can no longer get the care they need at home during the health crisis.

The charity can offer long or short stays with full care support in place at centres including Chigwell in Essex, Southport in Lancashire and Waterside House in Hampshire.

The actor Dame Judi Dench (right), the charity’s vice president, said: “Our wonderful NHS is under a great deal of strain, and during this difficult time kindness and support will help it to fight the crisis. That is exactly what Revitalise is doing. I know how valuable the work it does for disabled people and their carers is, and I am thrilled to see it is supporting both disabled people and the NHS during such a critical time.”

10:40: Care provider representatives urge law change to increase staff numbers

An independent group representing care providers who support more than 1.2 million vulnerable people across all forms of social care in the UK, have sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pointing out the urgent need for more staff to cover increased demand for their services and to cover staff shortages caused by sickness and self-isolation during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The letter requests that a clarification be made in legislation so that anyone who wants to work in the provision of care will be permitted to take up paid employment in the NHS and with social care providers, even if they are currently furloughed in other industries and receiving 80 per cent of their wages.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, a membership organisation that represents more than 3,700 social care providers throughout England, said: “We ask that an amendment is added to allow the NHS and social care providers, in homes or in the community, to provide paid employment to staff furloughed from other industries.

“This action would have a significant positive impact on our staffing and our ability to maintain the high level of care we currently provide. It would help us support our existing workforce’s health and wellbeing and provide cover for the inevitable loss of staff to sickness and self-isolation."

10:30: Wildlife Trusts creates online nature activities to tide people through hard times

The concept is to encourage everyone to tune in to wildlife at home this spring and to help people find solace during the coronavirus crisis. Its online nature activities and wildlife webcams have been put onto one easy-to-find webpage at www.wildlifetrusts.org/looking-after-yourself-and-nature.

The charity is also launching a weekly wildlife programme on YouTube for kids and parents: a new video will be uploaded to Wildlife Watch UK every Wednesday at 10am. The channel will feature wildlife experts, home-school help and seasonal species to spot at wtru.st/Wildlife-Watch-YouTube.

10:20: Housebuilder to give away £1m to support young people

Persimmon Homes' Building Futures scheme has been established to support community groups working with under-18s in three areas: education and the arts, health and sport.

Building Futures is delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Team GB, and the company enlisted the help of World Championship silver medallist and Tokyo Olympic Games and Team GB hopeful Laviai Nielsen (left), a 400-metre runner, to launch the scheme.

A total of 128 grants of £1,000 will be awarded across Persimmon’s 32 regional businesses to improve local facilities and the delivery of vital community projects. Three initiatives will go on to win £100,000 each through a national online public vote. The winners will be named at a gala dinner for finalists in October.

10:10: Charity acts to provide period products during Covid-19 emergency

Bloody Good Period is providing supplies of tampons and pads from a collection point in Alexandra Palace, north London, at a time when panic buying and stockpiling have led to many women having trouble finding the items.

Regionally, it says it will continue to deliver items in bulk to non-London partners wherever possible, including services in Southampton, Hull, Newcastle and Cardiff.

Gabby Edlin, founder and chief executive of Bloody Good Period, said: “Vulnerable groups, including asylum seekers, are already struggling to access what they need. And we’re hearing of NHS workers also not being able to get the products they need.

"We’re already helping get supplies delivered to refuges, homeless shelters, food banks and vital NHS staff. We will need to replenish supplies frequently, so if people can, we are asking them to donate via our website.”

09:40: Scottish charity to send out 30,000 free packed lunches a week during pandemic

According to the Daily Record, Social Bite intends to double the number it sends out, having provided 15,000 to homeless people and struggling families in Scotland last week.

The newspaper says the charity had to close its five social enterprise cafés earlier this month, with its staff switching roles to provide free meals for struggling families. It has apparently raised more than £115,000 for the initiative through a crowdfunding page.

In order to donate, visit here.

31 March

17:40 – We are clocking off for the evening; reports will resume tomorrow

17:35: Directory of Social Change outlines ten ways to support your furloughed staff

A blog by Bronwen Edwards, the DSC's executive office manager, points out that the rules are strict: furloughed staff are not allowed to work for anyone in a paid capacity, and can't volunteer for their own organisations, so they're likely to feel frustrated.

The ten pointers include: setting up a minimum weekly visual catch-up via Zoom or whatever app you are using; suggesting they each get a Twitter account to follow the organisation’s tweets; and encouraging "virtual" after-work drinks parties via HouseParty or Zoom so that they can have informal chats with each other. Above all, says the blog, staff will need to feel valued.

Read the blog here.

17:25: Children's Commissioner for England calls for army of volunteer social workers

According to The Guardian, Anne Longfield plans to recruit retired staff to help vulnerable children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The newspaper says Longfield would like to see retired social workers and school, nursery and care staff who have been furloughed as a result of the health crisis join forces to help keep at-risk children safe.

The aim is to recruit about 200 volunteers in each local authority, says The Guardian, creating an army of 30,000 in total, all of whom will already have the necessary DBS checks, and relevant experience in the education and children’s care sector.

17:06: Government treating sector's financial crisis as 'academic exercise' says NCVO chief

Speaking in a virtual meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee yesterday, Karl Wilding (left) said that although the government had last week promised a rescue package for the charity sector, he had not been told any details, despite colleagues providing the government with ample evidence of the sector’s need for financial support.

Read the full story here

17:05: Legacy income might fall by 9 per cent this year, says Legacy Foresight

Legacy Foresight’s updated legacy market forecasts estimate a likely fall of between 3 and 9 per cent over the next year, although it still expects legacy income to grow over the next five years.

The pandemic will have an impact on the value of bequests, the forecast says, because bequest values are driven by economic factors such as house prices, share prices and GDP growth rates, all of which have been pushed down by coronavirus.

Read the full story here

15:55: National Emergencies Trust says it has raised £14m so far from its Coronavirus Appeal

The NET says it has already distributed £2.5m to those front-line charities most in need and another allocation of funds will be going out in the next few days.

For further information and to donate, click here.

15:45: Morrisons to distribute £10m worth of goods to food banks

Having already said it will take on at least 500 charity staff put on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic, The Guardian writes, the supermarket retailer now says it will help food banks by producing more fresh items from its own sites and boosting deliveries from its outlets.

The newspaper says the Covid-19 crisis has led to an estimated reduction of 40 per cent in donations to community food banks across the country, when most are seeing demand for their services soar.

The Guardian reports that Morrisons is the only British supermarket to have its own sites supplying meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, bakery and other products, which help to make more than half of the fresh food sold in its 495 stores. There are 14 Morrison production sites across the UK.

15:30: Deadline for consultation on expanding the dormant assets scheme extended

Because of the continuing pandemic, the deadline has been extended to 16 July. If you have any questions on the issue, email: dormantassets@culture.gov.uk.

The consultation is inviting views on expanding the scheme to include new financial assets. More information can be found here.

15:25: Acton food charity launches GoFundMe campaign to cope with pandemic

City Harvest redistributes food to charities across London who in turn make healthy and nutritious food for some of the city's most vulnerable people.

It says that since 17 March it has been getting 20 tonnes of food a day: normally it gets 35 tonnes a week. The main suppliers are usually Innocent, Bookers and Fruitful Office, as well as smaller retailers, but these have been eclipsed by the sheer number of restaurants, caterers and companies donating food because they're not open.

The van drivers usually distribute 70 van-loads of food a week, but this has now doubled more than 140. The charity still needs donations, volunteers and food. To donate, click here.

15:15: Sport England makes £195m available to help the physical activity sector

Sport England says the package consists of four elements:

  • A £20m Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into, with grants of between £300 and £10,000 available.
  • A £5m pot for existing partners to bid into if they're facing specific financial difficulty.
  • An additional £55m to support the sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment.
  • A £115m rollover of existing funding into 2021/22 to give long-term certainty to more than 100 well-established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Sport England has also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50 per cent of awards) to its partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

Find out more here.

13:15: Wellcome Trust urges global powers to engage in unified research effort

The medical research charity has called upon organisations such as the G7 and the G20 to support a coordinated research effort to develop treatments for Covid-19.

It says that although the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have moved rapidly to commit up to $12bn and $50bn respectively to address the?economic and fiscal impact of the pandemic, "critical gaps remain".

In the short term, it says, at least $8bn is needed to fund research, development and supply of treatments for all, and support for public health measures in countries with the weakest health systems.

To find out more, click here.

13:05: Union calls for financial support package for the sector

Unite, the country's largest union, which represents tens of thousands of staff in the sector, has joined the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in calling for emergency funding for the sector.

Unite and the NCVO are making three main demands: emergency mobilisation funding for front-line charities and volunteers; a "stabilisation fund" for all charities to help them stay afloat, pay staff and continue operating during the course of the pandemic; and confirmation that charities should be eligible for business interruption measures similar to those announced by the Chancellor for businesses and access to government rescue schemes.

Siobhan Endean, national officer for the not-for-profit sector at Unite, said: “We need urgent action from the government to ensure that the voluntary sector and those employed in it are protected amid the current crisis."

12:50: Children's Society emergency appeal

To meet rising demand for its services during the pandemic, the charity says it urgently needs donations to help its front-line staff deliver vital care packages to children in need, provide urgent support and advice and arrange emergency response for children in imminent danger.

Mark Russell, chief executive of the society, said: "The coronavirus is a threat to our health and normal way of life, but it is also an indirect threat to children who are already vulnerable. It’s vitally important that these children aren’t forgotten and our practitioners are able to give them as much support as possible.

“We are facing a significant drop in income as we’ve had to cancel fundraising events and temporarily close our shops. We need the public to support our emergency appeal so that we can continue to support children who are in desperate need."

To donate, visit here.

12:30: Coronavirus 'could close nearly half of London's child poverty charities'

The Childhood Trust says the pandemic could leave more than 100,000 vulnerable children without vital support such as healthy meals and mental health care.

It claims that 40 per cent of London charities that support children could be forced to close within six months if they cannot raise the funds they were due to do so before the pandemic hit the world.

According to a survey of 65 child poverty charities in London, collectively supporting 184,000 children and young people, nearly 90 per cent of them are certain that vulnerable children will go hungry due to the loss of free school meals, a shortage of staple foods and the loss of parental earnings. Fifty-one per cent of the charities surveyed say they will need financial support to ensure that an adequate supply of food can continue to go to the poverty stricken children who were already at risk of hunger in the UK’s worst affected city.

The trust wants the government to provide support before the damage goes beyond repair.

12:10: Scottish regulator issues Covid-19 guidance for charities

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator says the pandemic has changed the way many charities operate, and the guidance brings together information charities need to know during this time and highlights other organisations that might be able to offer support.

The guide is for charity trustees, people working in or with charities and professionals who advise charities, says the OSCR. It says the guidance is based on the most common queries it has received during the pandemic and the information will be regularly updated as the situation develops.

For more information, click here.

11:50: Keep It Local councils urge government to give more support to the sector

Members of the Keep it Local Network, a group of councils committed to unlocking power in communities by building strong local partnerships, sharing power and maximising local strengths, have written to both the communities and the culture secretary to demand an emergency grant package for voluntary sector organisations.

The letter says the job-retention scheme has been an important first step, but clearer guidance is needed "on how the scheme affects staff who might be furloughed, but want to remain working as volunteers to keep essential services going. Currently there isn’t guidance on whether organisations will be allowed to take this approach – and we need clear guarantees from government that charities are legally able to do this."

It adds: "The wage bill is not the only expenditure community organisations face. NCVO calculates that, across the whole sector, wages account for approximately 44 per cent of expenditure. So while the ability to furlough staff will have a huge impact, we still need an emergency grant package to support VCSE organisations with cash-flow to continue delivery during this crisis.

"So we are calling on government to do whatever it takes to support our local community organisations so we can work together to overcome the immediate crisis and begin to build our way out the other side."

Keep It Local is convened by Locality, the national membership network for local community organisations.

Read the full story here

11:35: Edinburgh charity launches new helplines to maintain vital local work

Big Hearts, the charity of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, supports more than 150 vulnerable adults and children through a range of programmes, including an after-school club and a football memories project for people aged over 65.

The new helplines have been established to provide regular support over the phone and by digital means to address urgent needs, while ensuring the safety of staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.

Craig Wilson, general manager of Big Hearts, said: “On 13 March we decided to suspend all our face-to-dface activity to ensure everyone’s safety. Our staff team has been working remotely, completing hundreds of calls to families, isolated adults and older people to assess their immediate needs and offer some guidance and support. After a couple of weeks working in this new setting, we are delighted to announce a new series of landline numbers that people can call for a confidential chat and some targeted support.”

For more information and to access the helpline numbers, click here.

11:25: Think tank urges more philanthropists to give during the Covid-19 crisis

In an open letter signed by representatives of a number of sector bodies, NPC says many philanthropists and foundations have already responded "brilliantly" to the situation, but more need to join in.

The letter says: "Charities need to be able to provide for people hit hardest by this crisis, and to expand their services to those who have suddenly become vulnerable. But we must also remember the wonderful work done by other charities unrelated to coronavirus. Who will help their beneficiaries if these charities go under? So philanthropists need to think broadly, be clear and straightforward in their giving, and encourage charities they fund to be open about where the challenges are.

"We want to work with government to help unlock the generosity of potential philanthropists across the country. We also believe strongly that the government’s rescue package needs to recognise the central place of charities in keeping communities thriving through coronavirus, and in the life of our civil society more broadly."

The letter has been signed by: Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC; Carol Mack, chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations; Cath Dovey, co-founder of Beacon Collaborative; Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation; John Pepin, chief executive of Philanthropy Impact; Anna Josse, co-founder and chief executive of Prism the Gift Fund; and Rosemary Macdonald, interim chief executive of UK Community Foundations.

11:05: Children's charity reports 1,100% increase in requests for emergency cash

The Midlands regional newspaper the Express & Star reports that the Scottish children's charity the Aberlour Child Care Trust has experienced a massive increase in applications to its urgent assistance fund because of the Covid-19 emergency.

It says that an urgent appeal launched on March 18 has brought in £88,000 from members of the public. The report says the charity has also experienced an increase in the number of requests related to domestic abuse.

Liz Nolan, deputy director at the trust, told the newspaper: “We’ve received applications from all over Scotland from struggling families telling us that they can’t afford to stock up on essentials, and when they go to the shops there is nothing there because of other people panic buying.”

To donate to the fund, click here.

11:00: Scottish SPCA needs help urgently after closing its nine rescue and rehoming centres

According to the Daily Record, the animal welfare charity's animal inspectors are still on the ground rescuing creatures and it need funds to look after them, despite closing its centres to the public.

The charity's helpline is still operating, so animals are still coming into the centres, it says. What the charity most needs is food and hand sanitiser, according to the report, but it is asking people to donate through its Amazon wishlists.

If you want to help, visit here.

10:50: Tooting hospital raises £40k in one week to provide safety kits for medics

The St George's Hospital Charity's Coronavirus Appeal in south-west London is also using the money to pay for food and blood pressure machines for maternity staff, according to the South London Press.

It hopes to collect tens of thousands of pounds more to meet the needs of 9,000 staff, who are under unprecedented pressure and working round-the-clock to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive of the local NHS trust, told the South London Press: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the public for the amazing support they have shown our staff by donating food or sending messages of gratitude.

“The coming weeks will be incredibly challenging for our front-line staff as they care for an increasing number of patients with coronavirus. The money raised by donating to this ‘thank you’ appeal will provide support to our staff at a difficult time, in an organised way.”

To donate, click here.

10:35: London Community Response funding now available

Coordinated by London Funders, the fund has a pot of more than £5m so far in an easy-to-access form for organisations across London to receive emergency financial support.

The first wave of funding consists of grants of up to £5,000 for food and essentials. A second wave of funding will consist of larger grants for service transformation costs and continuing work to support communities.

For more information and to apply, visit here.

10:20: Clic Sargent sets up emergency call for funds

The children and young people’s cancer charity has launched an emergency fundraising appeal after it estimated it could lose 60 per cent of its fundraised income in the next six months.

The charity has given out more than £45,000 in hardship grants to families affected by cancer since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and said it had seen a “drastic increase” in the number of calls to its social workers, at the same time as facing a fall of up to 60 per cent in donations.

The charity, which brought in £29.5m in the year to 31 March 2019, is funded entirely by voluntary income.

Read the full story here

10:15: City farm begins Covid-19 fundraising appeal

Deen City Farm in Merton, south-west London, which has had to close because of the coronavirus lockdown, has already raised £21,000 from its appeal, which was launched last week.

The farm has 40 animals, which of course need to be fed and cared for. Nick Golson, manager of the farm, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the amazing response to our fundraising appeal. Thank you to everyone who has donated so we can go on looking after the animals. It has made us even more determined to make sure we can get through this difficult time and welcome everyone back to the farm as soon as we can.”

To donate, click here.

17:30 – We are clocking off for the evening; reports will resume tomorrow

17:05: Hackney Giving launches coronavirus response fund

The north-east London organisation, run by Hackney CVS, says it is offering grants to the small, local organisations that care for Hackney’s communities every day during the coronavirus crisis.

It is offering grants of up to £3,000 to groups that are working with older people and vulnerable groups that will be disproportionately affected by the outbreak, homeless people and refugees, and residents with mental health needs, as well as to organisations that are supporting residents, particularly those on low incomes, to access the supplies they need.

It aims to raise £30,000 by the end of April. A donation of almost £4,000 pounds from Burberry in Hackney means the fund now stands at just over £7,000.

For more information and to make a donation, go to www.hackneygiving.org.uk.

16:50: Barnardo's chief says the charity could furlough up to 3,000 of its 8,000 staff

Javed Khan told the Today programme on Radio 4 that the children's charity had overnight lost £8m of its £25m monthly income, leaving it with no option but to adopt the government's furlough scheme.

Khan said the charity would top up staff wages so they would continue to receive 100 per cent of their salaries.

He said that between 600 and 700 staff would continue providing face-to-face services while adopting safety requirements.

Read the full story here

16:15: Rainbow Trust starts the latest emergency appeal for the coronavirus crisis

The children's charity, which supports vulnerable families with life-threatened children, says it has seen its income drop overnight, fundraising events cancelled and its two shops close temporarily.

The trust receives no government funding and is facing the very real concern that it will not be able to continue supporting the 2,500 vulnerable families it currently helps.

Zillah Bingley, chief executive of the trust, said: “Among the most vulnerable families we help are those with children undergoing cancer treatment, organ transplant patients and many with compromised immune systems. Many are classed as the most at-risk people, who have now been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks to shield themselves from being exposed to the virus.

“These families have nowhere else to turn.We are giving emergency practical, mental, and emotional health support 24 hours a day. With outpatient and routine appointments being cancelled, we are the bridge between hospital and home, relieving pressure on vital NHS staff by giving support to worried parents. We will continue to be there for them, wherever, whenever and however they need us, but we won’t be able to do this without funds.”

The charity says just £26 is enough to pay for an hour’s support. Donations can be made here.

16:10: Social Investment Scotland's free webinar for charities on Wednesday

The sector financial support body is joining with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in a webinar at which Jude Turbyne, head of engagement at the OSCR, will offer guidance to charities during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

You can attend by clicking here.

On Thursday it will host another free webinar covering the challenges of procurement and supply chains. It will be joined by Veronica Daly, chief procurement officer for Kings College London. You can join this webinar here.

15:40: Northern Ireland education department seeks volunteers to keep schools open

According to BBC News, the education minister has appealed for volunteers to work alongside existing staff. 

The BBC reports that Peter Weir has sent out a letter called “Covid-19: Our Schools Need You”, in which he says: “The teaching and non-teaching workforce has already been assisting greatly, but we need more people who are willing and able to be of assistance, even if their normal school is not open, to offer their services.”

Volunteers should not be pregnant, over 70, have any symptoms or suffer from any long-term health conditions. They will have to be cleared by Access NI before they can be deployed, bu Weir said his department was working with the Department of Justice to fast-track clearance.

Read the BBC story here

15:30: Trust begins £500k emergency fund for the sight-loss sector

The Thomas Pocklington Trust says the money will help sector organisations to continue providing services supporting the physical and emotional wellbeing of blind and partially sighted people.

It says the grants will be for up to £10,000 pounds or the equivalent of two months’ running costs, whichever is less, for use over the next six months.

The trust has suspended its normal grant-funding activities, postponed the launch of its revised grant programme and will use funds previously allocated to its normal grant programme to provide this support to partners in the sight-loss sector.

Further information can be found at the trust's emergency fund web page.

15:10: Health spending in poor countries must double to avoid 40 million deaths, Oxfam warns

Quoting figures produced by Imperial College London, the international charity says rich countries have managed to unlock trillions to combat coronavirus, while poor nations with weak health systems are drowing in debt.

It says: "Oxfam is calling today for a package of nearly $160bn to avert the kind of loss of life Imperial College London have now warned us all about. This would be enough to double the health spending of the world’s 85 poorest countries, home to 3.7 billion people.

"We are calling for immediate debt cancellation of poor countries, and massively increasing aid to them. A Global Public Health Plan and Emergency Response, we believe, can help stop coronavirus from killing millions of people."

Read Oxfam's full report here.

14:40: Scottish national volunteering plan for coronavirus launched

The Scottish government has begun a "Scotland Cares" campaign to encourage people to volunteer during the pandemic.

It says those who want to volunteer have three options: returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland; people wishing to offer their support to public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site coordinated by the British Red Cross; and those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their areas will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information.

More information can be found on the Ready Scotland website.

12:50: St John Ambulance volunteers to support NHS at new Nightingale hospital

The first-aid charity had put out a call for up to 200 volunteers from its ranks to head to the hospital being established at the ExCel Centre in London. In the event more then 750 stepped forward to volunteer there and at other facilities around the country.

They are now being selected and given further training, ready to start work caring for coronavirus patients at the temporary hospital from Wednesday 1 April.

Richard Lee, the charity's chief operating officer, said: “The dedication of St John Ambulance volunteers inspires me every day, but our people’s response to this national emergency is extraordinary.

“The clinical skills, resilience and compassion of St John volunteers really matter in a challenging situation like this and we are grateful for their commitment."

The St John volunteers will work day and night in shifts of 100 people at a time, supporting nurses, looking after Covid-19 patients as they undergo treatment and rehabilitation, and during their recovery.

12:30: Disability Benefits Consortium writes to government urging changes to benefits system

The DBC, which represents more than 100 organisations, has written to Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, saying the changes are needed urgently to protect disabled and seriously unwell people from further physical and financial harm during the covid-19 emergency.

The letter says the government should give high priority to resolving urgently the technical and capacity issues involved in dealing with the surge in demand, that there should be an uplift in levels of benefits and that the benefit cap and the “two-child policy” should be suspended.

To read the letter, visit here.

12:20: Cats Protection answers some FAQs about coronavirus and your feline friends

The charity has been asked if cats can catch the virus and what people should do with their pets if they have to self-isolate.

The FAQs can be found here.

12:15: Small Charities Coalition running webinar for overseas aid charities during the health crisis

Its latest coronavirus Zoom meeting will occur on Tuesday 31 March between 1pm and 2pm. It will cover the impact of Covid-19 on beneficiaries and the delivery of services, specific sector support including fundraising and IT needs, and the post-coronavirus world.

Another sector-themed webinar will take place on 1 April at 2pm, covering sport and recreation.

For full details and information on other SCC webinars, click here.

11:45: Brathay Trust launches appeal for post-virus world

The young people and families development charity has established its ACE (After Coronavirus Ends) Appeal to support vulnerable children, young people and their families in the aftermath of the health crisis.

Brathay says thousands of children and young people will need the services of Brathay and charities like it to recover and build a positive future, and donating now to its ACE appeal will mean it is able to provide that support as soon as it’s needed.

To donate, click here.

11:35: Cancer Research UK says fundraised income likely to drop by 25% this year

The fundraising giant, which had a fundraised income of £430.8m in the year to 31 March 2019, has warned that it expects to be hit hard by the crisis. It closed its 600 shops two weeks ago and has reviewed the feasibility of its 2020 fundraising events.

Read the full story here

11:30: Legacy values should continue to rise in long term despite virus, says law firm

The Midlands law company Thursfields Solicitors says the value of gifts in wills should continue to go up in the next five years, according to predictions by Legacy Foresight.

Katherine Ellis, a senior associate solicitor in the charities and communities department at Thursfields, said: “The Legacy Foresight report says the pandemic is likely to have a ‘significant negative impact on the UK economy’, with a fall in all the major indicators and prices, but it’s important to note that it’s anticipated this will only be for the short term.

“What Legacy Foresight has done is to consider legacy giving over a five-year period and, even factoring in Covid-19 and its likely impact on the economy, it anticipates that house prices and share prices will still show positive growth by 2025.

“It  concludes that average legacies are therefore also likely to continue to increase over the forecast period overall.”

10:55: Ricky Gervais backs emergency appeal by RSPCA

The appeal has been established by the animal charity to help keep its rescue teams out on the front line saving animals while the coronavirus crisis continues.

Although its rescuers have been designated key workers, they still need the resources to operate, the charity says. RSPCA centres have been closed to the public, but the charity continues to provide care to thousands of animals across England and Wales. It is expecting even more to come into their care in the coming weeks. 

The RSPCA is also facing a huge financial strain because of the effect of the health crisis on its fundraising income.

Gervais said: “It is really important for us all to pull together to help each other at this difficult time and someone needs to be there for animals too. I would urge people to give whatever they can spare at this really difficult time to support the RSPCA so they can stay out on the front line rescuing the animals that need them most."

To donate, click here.

10:40: Devon Air Ambulance stands down its aircraft

The charity says it will temporarily be responding to patients solely by critical care car, but that its critical care paramedics will still be able to respond to patients with their specialist skills and equipment.

Chief executive Heléna Holt said: “The paramedics wear personal protective equipment when treating and conveying patients, but our pilots cannot operate the aircraft wearing PPE, nor can they maintain a distance of two metres from all patients. We have no way of knowing whether a patient has coronavirus, so this leaves them completely exposed within a small confined space.

"This is a temporary measure and subject to continual review. We will be working with colleagues in the NHS to identify other ways in which we can support the pandemic response as it develops.

10:35: Artistic director of Serpentine Galleries calls for public art project in response to virus

According to The Guardian, Hans-Ulrich Obrist says a multimillion-pound project is needed to support arts bodies during the health crisis and to create a new generation of artists.

Obrist likened his idea to the Public Works of Art Project and Works Progress Administration, both established in the US under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the depression of the 1930s.

Obrist said: “With the WPA, they went out into the community: artists got salaries and were able to research and create work during the New Deal era. It gave many people their first real jobs and commissions."

10:15: CAF sets up emergency fund to help charities through health crisis

The Charities Aid Foundation's Coronavirus Emergency Fund will offer one-time grants of up to £10,000 to small charities, organisations and social enterprises that are struggling to survive because of the coronavirus crisis.

Trustees have allocated £5m to fund an emergency grant programme to support local front-line charities and expect further contributions to be added.

The fund is open to registered charities, community groups, social enterprises and other organisations with charitable purposes that had turnovers of less than £1m last year.

Sir John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “Some of the charities and small organisations we rely on are facing very difficult times. They are telling us they face financial difficulties, with fundraising events cancelled or postponed and volunteers rightly staying at home. These are the people who are delivering support in so many ways in every corner of the UK and we need them to be there during and after this crisis.

“We aim to get this money to charities within days.”

Read the full story here

09:40: Harrison's Fund sets up emergency campaign as fundraising dries up

According to SurreyLive, the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charity, founded by Alex Smith because his son has the condition, could lose as much as £20,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic, threatening its future.

Two of the charity's biggest sources of income, the Brighton Marathon and the Ride London cycling event, have been cancelled, along with other key fundraising events.

The charity has set up an emergency fund to help replace the money that they are expected to lose out on as a result of events being cancelled.

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