Coronavirus: Portsmouth MP wants 'large package of support' for struggling charities

CHARITIES struggling in the lockdown have been told society will not get through the coronavirus crisis without them.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 1:35 pm

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said she was in discussions about a ‘large package of support’ for the charitable sector as organisations see a sharp decline in income.

Several emergency appeals have been launched by those struggling, including the RSPCA which runs the Stubbington Ark animal shelter.

The remains of Henry VIII's flagship the Mary Rose are in ‘mortal peril’ after the museum in the Historic Dockyard closed its doors to visitors. Its chief executive Helen Bonser-Wilton said the ‘clock is ticking’ on its survival.

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Charities’ collection points, including textile banks run by the Salvation Army, are closed in the pandemic.

In a video posted on Twitter, Ms Mordaunt said she was talking to the Treasury and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about ‘a large package of support for the voluntary sector’.

She said: ‘I know that many of you are having increased demands on your services right at the moment when your fundraising options are being cut.

‘I know many of you have had to cancel events, and obviously people don’t have cash to give away and support you as they want to.’

The closed Salvation Army textiles bank outside Co-op in Devonshire Square, Southsea. Picture: Ben Fishwick

She added: ‘Without you, we aren’t going to get through this, and there are things you are going to need to do in the recovery. So we want to help you through this.

‘I know many of you are making use of some of the schemes that have been announced by the Treasury, but we need something bespoke for the additional things and the services that you need to provide now, and so I have been lobbying the Treasury on that, and hopefully we will have news on that soon.’

Ms Mordaunt holds the position of paymaster general, and is tasked with leading a team to combat the spread of false information related to the coronavirus.