The Wokingham Paper

Thames Valley charities fear for post-Covid future

Nick Burrows
Nick Burrows from Blandy & Blandy

MORE THAN half of Thames Valley charities consider their future to be under threat according to a recent survey conducted by Blandy & Blandy.

The law firm, which has offices in Reading, surveyed more than 100 local and national charities based in the region, to assess the short term and longer-term impacts of the pandemic on the sector.

The results show that 75% of charities do not feel that the Government had done enough to support the sector during the crisis, with the Institute of Fundraising recently suggesting that charities could see their incomes fall by up to half in 2020.

Meanwhile, 72% of those charities reported an income drop in the past three months, and 75% revealed they had placed up to half of their staff on furlough since March.

Head of Blandy & Blandy’s specialist charities and education team, Nick Burrows, said: “At the beginning of the pandemic, our clients’ initial enquiries focused on their contractual position with either commissioners or sub-contractors (particularly breach of contract and force majeure), but we have also been advising them on the furloughing of their staff, incorporation of their charities to give trustees protection, and in relation to the potential insolvency of charities”.

And the pandemic has led to growing concerns within teams, particularly in terms of the support they are able to offer their beneficiaries.

Structural, governance and property-related issues were also highlighted in the responses.

Mr Burrows added: “We have seen an increase in enquiries from charities as a result of the pandemic, with clients keen to explore and understand their options as they look to protect their charities’ future viability given often substantially reduced incomes.”

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