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Charity Covid-19 support ‘not coming quick enough’ for Camden charities who say children are pandemic’s ‘hidden victims’

PUBLISHED: 16:51 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:26 03 September 2020

Children at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The Winch

Children at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The Winch

Archant

Charities and community groups in Camden have warned the government its support for the third sector hasn’t come quickly enough – saying children are “hidden victims” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Children at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The WinchChildren at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The Winch

The management of the Winch, in Swiss Cottage, and the Somali Youth Development Resource Centre (SYDRC), in Kentish Town, have both spoken out about the impact on “social infrastructure” in the borough of lockdown.

Both have received emergency support from the grant-giving John Lyon’s Charity via the London Community Response Fund, co-ordinated by the London Funders group.

The government announced a £750m fund in April to help charitable organisations, but charities don’t believe the money has been distributed quickly enough.

Dr Lynne Guyton, the charity’s chief exec, said: “Covid-19 has exacerbated existing poverty. Domestic abuse, knife crime and mental health were all issues before Covid-19, but this has exacerbated those issues too.”

Children at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The WinchChildren at the Winch in Swiss Cottage. Picture: The Winch

Rashid Iqbal, who runs the Winch, said there was “disquiet in the social sector” at the speed of government support and that Whitehall needs to “invest in social infrastructure for the long term”.

He added: “Charities of all sizes, serving a range of communities, are also very worried about the risks to critical local, social infrastructure in the new year and as the impact of the pandemic continues to ripple and wash back across the country.”

Yusuf Deerow, of the SYDRC, said “What Covid-19 has effectively done is highlight the deprivation and structural inequality that was always there and all it’s done is basically aggravated it.

“There has been funding but it hasn’t trickled down quick enough.”

Dr Guyton said the government needs to “step up distributing finance within the next four to six weeks or else much needed charities will go under”.

The government said it is “providing at pace an unprecedented multi-billion-pound package” to support charities and is and added that the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) had already awarded £97.3m to small and medium charities.


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