Member Article

Age Concern Central Lancashire Warns Of “Devastating” Impact of Covid-19 On Charities

Age Concern Central Lancashire has today warned of the “devastating” impact which the Covid-19 pandemic is having on charities.

The warning comes as the charity has again been forced to close all of its retail outlets – resulting in a loss, to date, of 50% of its retail income. And the charity predicts that by the end of this financial year, (end of March 2021) it will have lost more than half a million pounds with income levels across the entire charity being affected.

Suzanne Carr, CEO, has today spoken out about her fears for the future of the charity if more help is not forthcoming for the sector.

The closures of the seven charity shops has resulted in losses totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds during the pandemic!

Suzanne said: “Our shops are a vital resource and are projected to provide around a third of our annual income within the next financial year.

“This is vital income which directly translates into essential services for the most needy and most vulnerable people across our county.

“The situation which we find ourselves in is just not sustainable in the medium-term and poses a real threat to the vital services which we are delivering.

“We want people to understand the situation we are now facing in our 40th year as we desperately want to ensure we can continue to deliver and continue to support our most vulnerable for at least the next 40 years!

“We are a self-sufficient local charity, supporting local people. Any income which we receive from the public sector is put directly back into society in the form of contracts which we are delivering to support those most in need.”

During lockdown1 Age Concern Central Lancashire supported almost 2,000 of the county’s most vulnerable older people and their carers, delivering:

• 3,449 welfare bags/food parcels • 227 fresh food meals • 9,796 frozen food meals • 993 shopping trips • 483 dementia packs

In addition to the above, more than 11,000 check in and welfare calls were made and more than 4,000 hours of befriending services were delivered.

The award-winning charity, which officially marks its milestone 40th birthday this year, was set up in 1981.

Age Concern Central Lancashire is dedicated to supporting vulnerable people across the county, specialising in dementia care and offering access to essential help at home and community activities.

It is now striving to provide the same level of support as we enter lockdown3 but with ever-increasing challenges – challenges they are not alone in facing.

According to a study by Pro Bono Economics, an independent charity, the pandemic is something which is having a serious impact on all charities.

The study found that one in 10 UK charities will face bankruptcy by the end of the year as they struggle to cope with a funding shortfall caused by the soaring demand for their services, together with the loss in fund-raising income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And it highlighted that smaller, locally based charities are more exposed to the crisis with almost two thirds reporting that they have already been forced to make “significant” cuts to services and one in eight saying they expect to go under within months.

Age Concern Central Lancashire has already furloughed many staff members and re-deployed others to ensure their vital services – and services which are hugely relied upon by thousands of people – can continue.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Jones .

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