Harrogate district charities' plea for support as lockdown leaves them in 'financial crisis'

Charities across the district have said they need as much help as possible to get through the struggles they are facing during the lockdown.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 11:09 am

It comes as the Government has said charities could be in line for extra support to cope with the financial hit they have taken from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Chancellor Rishi Sunak had acknowledged the pressure the sector is under and it is something the Government is “very actively” looking at.

Horticap has launched a fundraising appeal to help through these difficult times.

The acknowledgement follows Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman's plea last week, urging the Government to make use of, and support charities, after the closing of their shops and cancelling of fundraising events had stemmed their income.

And charities throughout our area have now launched urgent fundraising appeals to keep them afloat during the current pandemic.

Martin House children’s hospice said it is facing a ‘financial crisis’ in light of the lockdown situation and is urging people across the district to offer their support on its Justgiving page. The hospice has been forced to cancel or postpone the majority of its fundraising events and close all its charity shops as a result of the outbreak.

It has also meant hundreds of events around the region organised by Martin House supporters cannot take place.

Beckie Wynne, director of income generation at Martin House, said: “We don’t have the deep pockets and resources of national charities, so we rely on the goodwill of our amazing supporters and volunteers to raise the money we need to provide our care.

“We appreciate how hard the situation is for everyone, with many people facing their own financial uncertainty because of this crisis, but if they are able, there are still ways to support us.”

Local charity Horticap has said any Government support would be welcomed with open arms as it struggles to stay on its feet during this testing time.

Horticap has also launched a fundraising appeal and says it has been inundated with messages of support.

It is hoping to launch a plant delivery service in the coming weeks as a temporary source of income.

Phil Airey, operations manager, said: “We were really looking forward to this year, with our new cafe and tea room, and that has now had to be postponed. We are doing everything we can to make sure we are still here for our students and the community we serve.

“But we urgently need a cash injection to keep us going or we could go under.”

Police issue stark warning to 'deeply irresponsibly' people who ignore lockdown rules to socialise at The Stray in HarrogateSupporting Older People is one of many local charities which has written to our MP, Andrew Jones, highlighting the difficulties they are facing.

It comes after 249 MPs have petitioned the Government for more robust support measures.

Kate Rogata, director, said: “I would like to see the Government recognising the key role which charities and voluntary sector organisations are giving to vulnerable people.”

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