Tetra Pak couple pledge £10million 'lifeline' to bailout charities

Tetra Pak couple pledge £10million ‘lifeline’ to bailout charities during the coronavirus crisis in addition to £16.5million already donated by the philanthropists to battle the disease

  • Mr Rausing, 57, is the grandson of the founder of food packaging firm Tetra Pak
  • His wife Julia, an art expert, said they wanted to provide extra support for charity
  • The couple have already given £16.5million to causes linked to war on Covid-19 
  • This includes a £1million donation from them to Daily Mail’s PPE drive MailForce 

Philanthropists Hans and Julia Rausing have given an astonishing £10million ‘lifeline’ to help charities survive the coronavirus crisis.

The Charity Survival Fund is aimed at bridging a funding gap that has left hundreds of voluntary organisations under threat.

One in ten UK charities is facing bankruptcy by the end of the year because of falling income and rising demand for services, according to a recent study.

Organisations warned they were on a financial ‘cliff edge’ as the lockdown forced them to cancel fundraising events and close high street shops.

Mr and Mrs Rausing have already donated £16.5million to causes linked to the fight against coronavirus this year, including a £1million donation to the Daily Mail’s drive to supply more PPE to the NHS frontline.

Philanthropists Hans and Julia Rausing (pictured) have given an astonishing £10million ‘lifeline’ to help charities survive the coronavirus crisis

Mr Rausing, 57, whose Swedish grandfather Ruben founded the food packaging firm Tetra Pak, and his wife Julia, an art expert, said they wanted to provide extra support for the charity sector.

The couple has donated £210million since launching the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, making them among Britain’s most generous philanthropists.

They said: ‘The last few months have proven very difficult for individuals and organisations across the country, and in particular for charities who have seen their regular sources of funding dry up.

‘The Charity Survival Fund is designed to provide financial aid for many small and medium-sized charities that are facing financial hardship. Their work is needed now more than ever, and we hope this new fund helps bridge the financial gap until usual sources of income return to the sector.’

A study last month found one in ten UK charities will face bankruptcy by the end of the year due to a £10billion funding shortfall. 

The analysis by Pro Bono Economics said they would suffer a £6.4billion loss of income over the next six months.

Food banks and community groups offering support for older people and those with underlying health conditions have seen a massive increase in demand for their services.

Food banks and community groups offering support for older people and those with underlying health conditions have seen a massive increase in demand for their services

Research by the Charities Aid Foundation found that almost a third of charities believed they would have to shut within 12 months if the crisis continued.

The National Trust, the RSPCA and St John Ambulance have already announced they will need to make redundancies.

The Government announced a £750million bailout fund for the voluntary sector in April.

But it faced criticism that it was not enough, and that it had been slow to hand out money.

Caroline Mallan, of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: ‘We have seen first-hand just how many charities are at risk of closing their doors and not being there for the people and causes that they support.

‘This fresh source of funds from the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust is a desperately needed lifeline for charities to get them through the recovery phase so that they can deliver vital services and be there for communities across the country.’

Karl Wilding, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said its research found charities had suffered a 29 per cent fall in income.

He said: ‘The reserves of many charities are now depleted.

‘The Charity Survival Fund is very welcome. Additional support such as this fund is essential if charities are to play a full role in supporting the nation’s recovery and renewal.’

Mr and Mrs Rausing have already donated £16.5million to causes linked to the fight against coronavirus this year, including a £1million donation to MailForce – the Daily Mail’s drive to supply more PPE to the NHS frontline (pictured)

The Charity Survival Fund will offer grants ranging from £1,000 up to £250,000 and aims to support up to 200 charities. It is open to UK charities with an annual income of less than £5million.

Almost two-thirds of smaller charities say they have already made ‘significant’ cuts to services, and could not furlough staff because they would not be able to operate without them.

Rita Chadha, chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said: ‘The Charity Survival Fund could be a lifeline for our members. These are charities that are keeping neighbourhood food banks going or helping older people in the community.’

The Charity Survival Fund opened for applications today and has a deadline of July 27.

More information about eligibility and how to apply is available online at www.juliahansrausingtrust.org

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