Funding falls by 55% as charities struggle to survive21 Apr 2020
A survey conducted by the Jersey Community Partnership has found that local charities have seen a 22% increase in demand for their services whilst funding has fallen by 55%. With no sign of the funding situation improving, many charities are facing a bleak future at a time when their services are needed the most.
Whilst a number of emergency funds have been launched, such as the Jersey Funders group and The Bailiff’s Fund, the survey has also revealed that most respondents to the survey are ineligible for this emergency funding as the service they provide or the projects they run are not in direct response to the coronavirus outbreak. Furthermore, charities are prevented from applying for Government support if they have already received a grant in support of their service (pre-outbreak) or they fall outside of the industries approved to receive support.
Rachel French, CEO of the Jersey Community Partnership commented: “There is a fundamental lack of support for the charity sector to weather this storm, particularly those who are unable to provide their services at the current time but whose support will be called upon even more when the restrictions are lifted. Where is the financial aid for those charities who may not be front-line services today but will be vital to the recovery of the island in the aftermath? We must look towards the time when we are in recovery phase, the current outlook is simply too short-termist. We urge the Government to take a longer-term view and release funding for the sector before we see critical services collapse.”
Jayne Gruchy, Office Manager of Jersey Action Against Rape is one such charity that has been impacted. “Jersey Action Against Rape have provided over 2,350 "free" specialised counselling hours to both men and women since it open five years ago. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have seen an increase in people contacting the charity. We anticipate that our survivors’ needs will be even more acute when the restrictions are lifted and we want to be there for them, there is no one else in Jersey providing this support service. We simply will not be able to provide this specialist level of care at a time they need it most, if we do not have the funds now to ensure we’re still in existence in three months’ time.”