MORE county charities have welcomed the recent announcement from the chancellor that there will be a funding boost for the charity sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We previously reported that Worcester Community Trust, St Richard’s Hospice, RSPCA Worcester and Headway Worcestershire have been among the charities that were pleased to see Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announce a £750 million support package for charities.

The chancellor has also said £370 million of it will support smaller charities who look after vulnerable people.

Magda Praill, chief operating officer for Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire said: “It will of course be a help and we are very pleased that the government has responded to our grave concerns about the future. We also appreciate the National Lottery moving forward so quickly in establishing an application process for their half of the funding.

“The overall impact of the pandemic on the charitable sector will be enormous and in reality threaten the ability of many charities to be able to pick up again after the restrictions are relaxed.”

Clare Thomas, chief executive officer of Age UK Worcester and District, and Age UK Malvern and District said: “Of course the chancellor’s announcement of an aid package for charities is very welcome news.

"Age UK Worcester and District is a small, independent charity with limited reserves and facing a huge current reduction in funding.

“At the same time we are facing unprecedented demands for help and our staff and volunteers are working their socks off to help older people through this crisis.

“My concern is how this aid package will be accessed and how quickly we will be able to receive any funding, if at all.

"It sounds a huge amount of money but given that there are thousands of charities across the UK doing excellent work – the pot can’t be enough to go around.

"My even bigger concern is the longer term.

"Due to the effects of the pandemic on the whole population, and in particular the most vulnerable we will inevitably face a surge in demand for our services for months if not years to come. At the same time the country is facing a major economic downturn which will understandably hit charitable income.”

READ MORE: Zoo fears it could be forced to close if the Covid-19 situation continues for months

READ MORE: Charities welcome funding pledge

Toby Porter, Acorns chief executive, added: “Everyone at Acorns Children’s Hospice is deeply grateful for this announcement of support from central government for the charitable sector, and the significant contribution promised specifically towards the country’s hospices, in recognition of the vital services we provide.

“The pandemic has greatly reduced our income at Acorns both from fundraising and from our shops, as it has for all charities.

“We are reassured by this major announcement and look forward to finding out how this government support will be allocated.

“Hospices such as Acorns have been facing an impossible situation, with our care needed more than ever because of the nature of this emergency, but seeing our charitable income dropping away so suddenly and so sharply. Warnings over the past month about the risk to services provided by charities and to the future of the charities themselves were not exaggerated.

“Like all the many fantastic organisations in the hospice sector nationally, Acorns is providing critical support in the response to this pandemic.

“This announcement from the government should also inspire people to continue to support their local charities, if they are in a position to do so. We are all in this together, and your generosity along with this vital government support will allow hospices like Acorns continue to provide our vital care during this emergency, and long after this virus has been defeated.”