£22M for health charities during COVID-19

May 22, 2020

Over £22m in cash grants will be awarded to health charities in response to COVID-19, Health Minister Nadine Dorries has announced today.

Mental health, ambulance, social care, learning disabilities, autism and dementia charities are among those set to receive Government funding to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of COVID-19, while continuing their day-to-day activities to help those in need.

Coming as the nation marks Mental Health Awareness Week, a total of £4.2m will be awarded to mental health charities, such as Samaritans, Young Minds and Bipolar UK, to continue to support people experiencing mental health challenges throughout the outbreak. This builds on the £5m already made available to Mind and the Mental Health Consortia.

Nadine Dorries, Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, said, 'Mental health, learning disabilities and autism charities are providing vital support and advice during this public health crisis, working tirelessly alongside NHS and social care services to help people affected in many different ways.

'This epidemic has had huge consequences for us all, but for some it has been especially difficult, leading to loneliness, anxiety and other mental health challenges.

'The funding we are providing today – alongside £5m already awarded to mental health charities – will help to give these organisations a much-needed boost during this outbreak so that they can keep doing what they do best.'

St John’s Ambulance and Air Ambulances UK will each receive over £6m to continue to provide life-saving services throughout the outbreak.

The funding will also provide cash grants to charities supporting people with cancer and dementia, carers and to support the adult social care and community healthcare systems.

Ed Argar, Minister of State for Health, said, 'Every day, charities perform amazing work for our communities – whether that’s providing air ambulances during accidents and emergencies, or much-needed support and advice to people suffering from illness or just needing help and a friendly ear. During this COVID-19 pandemic, these services are more important than ever to many people.

'Therefore, I am pleased that today’s funding awards to health and social care charities will help these fantastic organisations to continue with their vital work.'

Other recipients of the funding include charities supporting unpaid carers, people with learning disability and autism, pregnant women, those affected by stillbirth or neonatal death and older people.

The £22m for health charities is part of a UK-wide £750m package of support for the voluntary sector announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in April in response to COVID-19. £360m of this will be directly allocated by Government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

The Department of Health and Social Care reports that it is working to ensure that funding reaches where it is needed most as soon as possible, with the aim for charities to receive money later this month.

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