Covid-19 charity publishes first annual report but warns its future is under threat

A national charity set up to support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic has warned that its ability to continue is under threat. 

Covid Aid said in its first annual report, published today, that it had helped more than 107,000 UK people and their families since it was launched in May 2021. 

The charity said it wanted to raise £250,000 to support 250,000 people affected by the virus over the next year but needed at least £100,000 to maintain and build on its existing services. 

It said it needed “positive word” by the end of June so it could continue operating as it had been. 

The charity, which has four paid part-time members of staff plus founder Michael MacLennan, who acts as chief executive but works on a voluntary basis alongside a paid non-charity position, had an income of almost £42,000 in the year to the end of March 2022. 

It spent almost £31,000 over the same period so built up reserves of almost £11,000, which the charity said was equivalent to six months of core running costs. 

“With hundreds of people still dying from Covid-19 in the UK each week and around 1.8 million people now suffering with long Covid, the role of Covid Aid is expected to grow and the charity is launching its first ever annual appeal to be able to grow its support services, the report says. 

“With public fundraising recently significantly hit due to attention shifting away from the pandemic alongside the cost-of-living crisis, the charity’s ability to provide vital support to hundreds of thousands of people is under threat.”

MacLennan said: “Although the government is saying we now need to live with Covid-19, there is a real lack of support for patients and their families, and we are seeing demand for our services grow month on month.

"With under £31,000 – less than a single full-time UK average salary – we have set up the charity and supported more than 107,000 people whose lives have been changed by Covid-19.

“It is vital we secure more funding to build on this success and ensure that all people can easily find and access the vital support they require to deal with the traumatic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is especially true when the amount of people with long Covid in the UK increased to 1.8 million people in June, with hundreds of families losing loved ones to Covid-19 every week.”

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