It was business as usual for most UK charities in early 2020 before COVID-19 struck the world. In its wake, this deadly virus has left a devastating humanitarian crisis in all countries, especially the UK. Those infected with it face a severe threat to their lives. At the same time, it also puts extreme pressure on the health workers at the frontline of providing care to people while being exposed to these risks. From self-isolation and social distancing to initiating lockdown measures, countries are scrambling to develop the best methods to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
We all see the effects these measures have had on businesses, schools, and even individuals as they struggle through a mental health crisis. However, one sector that has mostly gone unnoticed in the coverage of its struggles with the pandemic is UK charities. With extensive restrictions on movement and prevention of gatherings, charities have been immensely affected by COVID-19, as it is a threat to their safety and fundraising abilities. However, this is only the tip of what these organizations are facing. Here are some ways that COVID has changed the world for UK charities.
- Prevention in the delivery of their mission
Many UK charities are struggling to deliver their mission due to the measures put in place to combat COVID-19. Over the years, charities have adopted unique methods of providing services to the populace. One of them is Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity organization that focuses on bringing people of mixed abilities together using voyages. These people are taken through inclusive adventures at sea, where they learn to appreciate their abilities and that of others. Of course, this would mean being in an enclosed place for an extended period, something the pandemic frowns out. Therefore, this UK charity has had to stop all its activities. This is only one of the many UK charities that have been forced to halt operations due to social distancing measures, meaning that they can’t raise funds to carry out their services to humanity.
- High demand for services
While some UK charities have had to shut down operations due to COVID restrictions, others have had a higher demand for their services due to the surge in mental health issues. People are losing their jobs all around the country, experiencing reduced income, and being forced to stay away from people due to isolation regulations. These are all factors that are likely to cause mental health issues. Usually, events and meetings have been important in the past as a strategy by charities to provide support on these issues. This was also supplemented with telephone and online resources. Physical gatherings have reduced drastically, which has put pressure on these charities to fully move online. While this means reduced costs, there is a barrier between charities and patients.
- Reduction in fundraising opportunities
The spring and summer months are usually the peak periods in the UK, where charity organizations organize several events to raise funds for their social work. However, community fundraising has faced serious challenges with the rise of COVID. This pandemic has changed how UK charities can get the vital funding they need to run their organizations. Self-isolation and lockdown have stopped volunteers from going out into the streets to raise public awareness about their work.
There have been cancellations and postponements of significant events like the London Marathon as the lockdown has stopped these activities from taking place. One of the UK charities hit by COVID is Marie Curie. This large organization provides end-of-life care in the community usually holds its “Great Daffodil Appeal” in March as a significant form of income generation. However, we all know that it couldn’t happen as people struggled with a viral disease that seemingly came out of nowhere. Apart from hampering community fundraising efforts, this has also affected investors that have experienced a fall in the value of their property and investments.
No doubt, COVID has changed the world of UK charities as they face challenges in delivering their services. However, more challenging times lie ahead. While the government has brought about initiatives to support businesses and charities, many of them are launching emergency appeals for donations to help them meet their financial obligations.