The Wokingham Paper

Reading East MP calls on chancellor to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises hit by coronavirus

Matt Rodda
Reading East MP Matt Rodda

READING EAST MP is one of nearly 250 parliamentarians who have written to the chancellor calling for emergency funding for the charity and voluntary sector. 

The letter was organised by Stephen Doughty and, to date, Matt Rodda is the only one of our four local MPs to have signed it.  

As this story was published current 176 MPs from all 10 parties represented in the Commons, and 72 Peers have co-signed the letter. 

The letter says that the UK’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises are delivering vital services during the coronavirus pandemic, while facing billions in lost income.

It warns the chancellor that funds are running out, “many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close” and the sector faces a £4.3billion shortfall over the next quarter.

The MPs are calling for a stabilisation fund to be set up to help charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to continue operating. 

They also want a similar 80% salary guarantee scheme in place and to “clarify the situation for the differing governance models of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises – including CICs”. 

A grant fund should also be set and charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises should also be eligible for loan guarantees, the business interruption loan scheme; and whether additional business rates measures include premises that are not retail charity shops? 

It is suggested that some of this funding could come from philanthropic organisations and foundations and the National Lottery. 

The letter in full

Dear Chancellor, 

Coronavirus – Support for Charities, Voluntary Organisations and Social Enterprises 

We are writing to you as a cross party group of MPs and peers to ask for urgent action to be taken on supporting charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, given the unprecedented situation, and their ability to play a crucial role in the national response to Coronavirus. 

Charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises offer crucial support to many parts of our society every day, and in the coming months will be vital in tackling the spread and impact of Coronavirus / COVID-19. Many can help alleviate the pressure on our NHS and social care services and provide support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of the pandemic, as well as helping with everything from mental health impacts to support for vulnerable families. 

But without an immediate injection of money, many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close. Funds are running out. 

Crucially, the NCVO predicts that there will be a loss in the sector of £4.3bn in income over the coming 12 weeks. The figure could be far higher. 

Your announcement of further financial support for employers, businesses, and people – including that these should apply to charities – is welcome, but charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises require detailed clarification of where they are eligible for such support. 

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), and the Charity Finance Group have issued their own urgent calls, and we endorse these and call on you to take the following urgent actions, working directly with the Devolved Administrations, to protect the charity, voluntary and social enterprise sector at this crucial time: 

• Provide immediate emergency funding for frontline charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises supporting the response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, especially where they are alleviating pressure on the health service or providing support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of COVID-19 

• Provide a ‘stabilisation fund’ for all charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to help them stay afloat and continue operating during the course of the pandemic. 

• Provide confirmation that all charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises as employers will be eligible for the Government action to cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, and clarify the situation for the differing governance models of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises – including CICs. 

• Establish an emergency grant fund – NCVO have recommended that the mechanism most effective for this would be the National Emergencies Trust (NET) – which has established links with Community Foundations. 

• Confirm that charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises are eligible for the other business interruption measures announced for business. Particularly can you urgently confirm how the following measures will be available to charities: the £330bn loan guarantees; the criteria for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises being eligible for the business interruption loan scheme; and whether additional business rates measures include premises that are not retail charity shops? 

• Work with the UK’s largest philanthropic organisations and foundations, the National Lottery and others to identify grant funding which can be drawn down early over the coming days, or in addition from their reserves and existing grant programmes to help fill the growing gaps in the sector. 

I am copying this letter to the Prime Minister, and the Minister for Civil Society. 

We look forward to hearing your urgent response. 

Stephen Doughty MP


Julian Lewis MP

Ian Blackford MP

Wendy Chamberlain MP

Colum Eastwood MP

Liz Saville-Roberts MP 

Gary Streeter MP 

Vicky Foxcroft MP

Alistair Carmichael MP

Debbie Abrahams MP 

Rushanara Ali MP

Mike Amesbury MP

David Amess MP 

Fleur Anderson MP

Tonia Antoniazzi MP 

Orfhlaith Begley MP 

Apsana Begum MP 

Hilary Benn MP

Clive Betts MP

Paul Blomfield MP 

Peter Bottomley MP 

Tracy Brabin MP 

Mickey Brady MP 

Alan Brown MP

Lyn Brown MP

Chris Bryant MP 

Karen Buck MP 

Dawn Butler MP 

Ian Byrne MP 

Liam Byrne MP 

Ruth Cadbury MP

Wendy Chamberlain MP 

Sarah Champion MP 

Bambos Charalambous MP

Joanna Cherry MP

Daisy Cooper MP 

Rosie Cooper MP 

Yvette Cooper MP 

Neil Coyle MP 

Stella Creasy MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Janet Daby MP 

Edward Davey MP 

Wayne David MP 

Geraint Davies MP 

Alex Davies-Jones MP

Marsha de Cordova MP 

Anneliese Dodds MP 

Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Allan Dorans MP

Jack Dromey MP 

Rosie Duffield MP

Angela Eagle MP 

Maria Eagle MP 

Colum Eastwood MP

Jonathan Edwards MP

Chris Elmore MP 

Florence Eshalomi MP 

Bill Esterson MP

Chris Evans MP

Stephen Farry MP 

Margaret Ferrier MP 

John Finucane MP 

Colleen Fletcher MP 

Yvonne Fovargue MP 

Mary Foy MP

Barry Gardiner MP 

Michelle Gildernew MP 

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Mary Glindon MP 

Kate Green MP

Lilian Greenwood MP

Andrew Gwynne MP 

Louise Haigh MP 

Claire Hanna MP 

Neale Hanvey MP 

Emma Hardy MP 

Carolyn Harris MP 

Helen Hayes MP 

Chris Hazzard MP 

Mark Hendrick MP 

Mike Hill MP 

Margaret Hodge MP 

Sharon Hodgson MP 

Kevin Hollinrake MP 

Rachel Hopkins MP 

Stewart Hosie MP 

George Howarth MP 

Christine Jardine MP 

Diana Johnson MP 

Darren Jones MP 

Gerald Jones MP 

Ruth Jones MP

Sarah Jones MP

Barbara Keeley MP 

Liz Kendall MP 

Stephen Kinnock MP 

Peter Kyle MP

Ben Lake MP

David Lammy MP

Emma Lewell-Buck MP 

Clive Lewis MP

Tony Lloyd MP 

Caroline Lucas MP 

Holly Lynch MP 

Kenny MacAskill MP 

Angus MacNeil MP 

Seema Malhotra MP 

Paul Maskey MP 

Chris Matheson MP 

Kerry McCarthy MP

Siobhain McDonagh MP 

Andy McDonald MP 

Stewart McDonald MP 

Conor McGinn MP 

Catherine McKinnell MP 

Anna McMorrin MP

Ian Mearns MP

Stephen Metcalfe MP 

Navendu Mishra MP 

Francie Molloy MP 

Carol Monaghan MP 

Layla Moran MP 

Jessica Morden MP 

Stephen Morgan MP 

Grahame Morris MP 

Ian Murray MP

James Murray MP 

John Nicolson MP

Abena Oppong-Asare MP

Kate Osamor MP 

Kate Osborne MP 

Taiwo Owatemi MP 

Sarah Owen MP

Ian Paisley MP

Matthew Pennycook MP 

Toby Perkins MP

Jess Phillips MP

Lucy Powell MP 

Yasmin Qureshi MP 

Angela Rayner MP 

Steve Reed MP 

Christina Rees MP 

Rachel Reeves MP 

Jonathan Reynolds MP 

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP 

Marie Rimmer MP 

Matt Rodda MP

Gavin Robinson MP

Andrew Rosindell MP

Naz Shah MP

Virendra Sharma MP 

Barry Sheerman MP 

Tulip Siddiq MP

Alyn Smith MP 

Cat Smith MP 

Jeff Smith MP 

Alex Sobel MP 

Keir Starmer MP

Jo Stevens MP 

Jamie Stone MP

Wes Streeting MP 

Zarah Sultana MP 

Mark Tami MP 

Sam Tarry MP

Alison Thewliss MP 

Gareth Thomas MP

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP 

Owen Thompson MP

Stephen Timms MP

Karl Turner MP 

Derek Twigg MP 

Martin Vickers MP 

Claudia Webbe MP 

Catherine West MP

Matt Western MP 

Philippa Whitford MP 

Munira Wilson MP 

Beth Winter MP 

Mohammad Yasin MP 

Lord Adonis

Baroness Andrews

Baroness Armstrong

Lord Bach

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Lord Bradley

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Lord Browne of Ladyton 

Lord Collins of Highbury 

Baroness Corston

Baroness Crawley 

Lord Desai 

Baroness Donaghy 

Baroness Drake

Lord Drayson

Lord Faulkner of Worcester

Lord Filkin

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Lord Goldsmith

Baroness Goudie

Lord Griffiths of Burry Port

Lord Hain

Lord Harris of Haringey

Lord Haskel

Baroness Hatyer of Kentish town

Lord Howarth 

Baroness Hughes of Stretford

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath 

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws

Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Kingsmill 

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Lord Kinnock 

Lord Lennie 

Lord Levy

Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke Lord 

Liddle Baroness 

Lister of Burtersett

Baroness Mallalieu

Baroness Massey of Darwen

Lord McAvoy Baroness 

McIntosh Lord McNicol of West Kilbride

Lord Mendelsohn 

Lord Monks 

Baroness Morgan of Huyton

Baroness Morris of Yardley 

Lord Murphy of Torfaen 

Baroness Nye

Baroness Primarolo 

Baroness Prosser 

Baroness Quin 

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon 

Baroness Smith of Basildon 

Lord Snape

Lord Soley

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara

Baroness Taylor of Bolton

Baroness Thornton

Lord Triesman 

Lord Tunnicliffe 

Baroness Warwick 

Lord Watson of Invergowrie

Lord West of Spithead

Lord Wood of Anfield 

Lord Woolmer of Leeds 

Baroness Wilcox of Newport

Baroness Young of Scone 

Lord Young of Norwood Green

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