The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today pledged £1 million to a new emergency support fund to help London’s community and voluntary organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus.
The Mayor has joined City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, and London Funders, a network of investors of London’s civil society, to launch the new fund – with an initial £1 million provided by City Hall and £1 million from City Bridge Trust.
He is also making a plea to other funding organisations – and calling on central Government – to contribute to the £2m fund.
The emergency scheme, which will be coordinated by London Funders, will be available to organisations facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of the coronavirus. These include increasing demands for services, higher staff absences, fewer volunteers and lower donations.
A variety of funders from across London will pool their resources and expertise to help these organisations. Many have small teams and rely on the support of volunteers to help vulnerable Londoners, such as those on low incomes and victims of domestic violence.
The announcement was made ahead of Sadiq holding a telephone meeting with voluntary and community organisations across the capital to hear about the problems they are facing because of coronavirus and what can be done to support them.
The Mayor will be working with boroughs, London Funders and London Plus to provide information to these organisations so that they have the very latest public health, safeguarding and volunteer management advice.
Sadiq has also announced a special section of the London.gov.uk website will be created to help link organisations in need of volunteers with individuals wanting to sign up to help.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s community and voluntary organisations show our capital at its very best. They support our communities and provide much-needed help to the most vulnerable, so in these challenging times their work is more important than ever.
“It’s vital that we unite to do what we can to support these organisations and I’m proud to be able to provide funding to help their ongoing work.
“I urge other groups and central Government to join this fund and hope individuals can step forward and do what they can to help others at this time.”
David Farnsworth, The City of London Corporation’s Chief Grants Officer of City Bridge Trust, said: “In this extraordinary and unprecedented week, we have been inspired by the countless stories of people going the extra mile to support those most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
“This continued goodwill and commitment of the voluntary sector, the backbone of our communities, will be needed more than ever as the weeks unfold and this fund will be critical in enabling the sector to continue to provide and adapt vital services for London’s communities. We encourage others to get on board.”
Monica Needs, Vice Chair of London Funders, said: “Our members fund thousands of voluntary and community organisations across the capital, and know how vital their work is in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“From speaking to these groups we know how much additional pressure they’re under as they respond to the Covid-19 outbreak, and welcome this investment from the Mayor of London and City Bridge Trust – we hope many more funders will come on board in the coming days as part of this collaborative effort to boost resources for our vital community groups.”