Muscular Dystrophy UK has signed an open letter calling for the government to create an Emergency Support Fund amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
What does the letter ask for?
The open letter says an Emergency Support Fund is needed so that the burden of the pandemic doesn’t fall on the shoulders of those who are most disadvantaged.
It warns Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “resources are running dangerously low and services are getting stretched to breaking point”.
A range of services relied upon by people in the MDUK community were brought to a standstill last year. Without these services, many who were forced to stay home and shield saw either their own mobility and physical health deteriorate, or else parents saw it in their children.
And while our services were in higher demand because of the pandemic, with a 40% increase in the volume of people coming to us for help and information in the early stage of the pandemic, these same factors also badly affected our fundraising activities. Like so many other charities, MDUK suffered a huge funding gap, owing in part to factors such as large fundraising events being cancelled.
Our ability to fundraise is still drastically reduced and we need all the help we can get to fund research and the vital support that we provide to individuals and families affected by muscle-wasting conditions. You can read more about this in our CEO appeal here.
What would the Fund help with?
An Emergency Support Fund would enable voluntary sector organisations experiencing significant financial hardship to continue delivering their charitable aims now and in the future. It would also ensure support can be delivered to people directly or indirectly impacted by the pandemic.
It is proposed that the Fund would distribute core, unrestricted grants through the National Lottery Community Foundation, with charity eligibility based on financial need.
What do we think?
Robert Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at MDUK, said: “MDUK fully supports the call for the creation of an Emergency Support Fund. Providing further financial support to charities and the wider voluntary sector can only be a good thing and will ensure that organisations can continue providing essential services.
“Income loss affects a charity at every level, but most importantly it directly impacts the people that charities serve. It is with this in mind that the government should act now to create an Emergency Support Fund that would help mitigate further income losses for the sector.”