A new campaign has been launched to help the public understand the importance of charities to the national effort to manage the coronavirus pandemic.
The #NeverMoreNeeded campaign has been set up to make sure charities’ voices are heard and raise awareness of the work they are doing to help the country come through the crisis and recover.
The campaign is phase two of the #EveryDayCounts campaign, which called on the government to provide an emergency financial support package for charities after the National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimated that the sector would lose out on more than £4bn as a result of coronavirus.
Although the government did eventually announce a support package of £750m for the sector on 8 April, many charities and umbrella bodies have warned this will not be enough to keep vital services open.
Adeela Warley, chief executive of the voluntary sector communications network CharityComms, which is one of the organisations developing the campaign, told Third Sector she believed it was important to gain public support and awareness of how valuable charities are.
“We felt there was a need for a campaign to highlight how charity really is the thread that holds our society together,” she said. “Many people might not realise how much it affects almost everyone’s lives.”
She warned that the government could not afford to overlook or undervalue the not-for-profit sector, given how many people across the country were relying on charities and the essential support they provide.
The campaign hashtag has been launched to coincide with the BBC’s Big Night In, a live charity television fundraising event that took place yesterday.
Guidance to help ensure a single clear narrative for the campaign is available on the CharityComms website, but Warley said more materials to help charities join in the campaign would be released in the next few weeks.
Jane Ide, chief executive of the local infrastructure umbrella body Navca, who has also been involved with the campaign, told Third Sector she hoped The Big Night In would boost the campaign.
“The one piece that is missing in the jigsaw of all the campaigning we’ve done so far is having that public acknowledgement and support,” she said.
“I think it’s really interesting that in the last couple of weeks there’s quite rightly been this wave of public support for NHS workers, for shop workers, for refuse collectors, all of whom have caught the public imagination, but there is no sense of a public awareness about what the charity and voluntary sector is doing right now and will need to carry on doing.
“I’m hopeful that The Big Night In will start to change all that, because it will tell the story of what charities are doing right now. We know that when people know what charities are doing they are enormously supportive, but it’s just a bit of a hidden story,
“It’s that classic thing that charities are far too busy doing the doing to actually tell the story.”