Animal welfare and other charities miss out on government support packages *H&H Plus*

  • When chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750m government support package for frontline organisations last week, animal welfare charities were not mentioned. H&H finds out what impact this is likely to have on equestrian organisations in the voluntary sector...

    Equine and animal welfare charities struggling during the coronavirus pandemic do not appear to be included in emergency government funding.

    H&H has reported that charities have been hit hard by movement restrictions, as visitor centres close and open days and other events have had to be cancelled, as are the shows at which the charities often had trade stands.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750m government support package for frontline organisations last week, but animal charities were not mentioned.

    The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), which has set up an emergency appeal to support its groups that have lost all income from activities, said it understands the government’s focus, essentially on charities delivering immediate and frontline support during this crisis.

    “But it means thousands of community groups like RDA groups are at risk of closing permanently before the crisis is over,” a spokesman told H&H.

    The RSPCA told H&H its staff have continued to work, and thousands of animals are still being cared for.

    “But our resources are strained and our fundraising has taken a huge hit,” she said.

    “Times like these show just how crucial charities are to support the most needy in society and although this package is a start, it is just not enough to safeguard the voluntary sector to ensure we will continue to be there for the most vulnerable, whether human or animal, into the future.

    “We are keen to see the detail of the aid package but we have been designated essential workers by the government with a crucial role to play rescuing animals and supporting owners through these tough times. We believe that our services are vital and that we should be able to access the available aid to make sure we can continue to provide these services.”

    A Treasury spokesman said: “Our £750m of funding will support charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. All charities have access to support including the coronavirus job retention scheme, which enables them to furlough staff.”

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