Cover image: PA.
Forces Charities

Coronavirus: One In 10 Military Charities Believe They Will Close 'Within Next Year'

Cover image: PA.

One in 10 Armed Forces charities believe they will have to close within the next 12 months as a result of the coronavirus crisis, research shows.

According to an anonymous survey carried out by the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), three in 10 of its members were also concerned their cash reserves would run out. 

The confederation, which represents service charities, warned last month that the Armed Forces charity sector could lose around £390 million over a six month period as a result of the pandemic.

General Sir John McColl, COBSEO chairman, told Forces News that charities are "probably okay for the next three or months" but warned financial reserves could begin to run out "between the four and sixth month period".

“That is only a prediction at the moment, but it is a concern," he said.

"It will be happening just at the time when we think that people are going to be coming forward and asking for support."

Gen McColl also warned charities that "primarily rely" on fundraising events are most at risk of closure.

Earlier this week, Julie McCarthy, director of volunteer operations SSAFA - The Armed Forces Charity, told Forces News it was looking at “new funding streams” after many fundraisers were cancelled.

WATCH: Laura Makin-Isherwood reports on COBSEO's study.

She added it was “inevitable” some charities may not survive the crisis but said SSAFA was still managing to offer the bulk of its services.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said it has "produced guidance to help charities during this ongoing crisis".

"We have set out some specific guidance for trustees, especially those at smaller charities, who may need help facing difficult situations or decisions," the spokesperson added.

The study by COBSEO also found the pandemic has forced 13% of Armed Forces charities to reduce the services they offer, with another 33% thinking they will follow suit within a year.

Last month, Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer announced an extra £6 million of emergency funding to support Armed Forces charities.

Cover image: PA.

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