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Government saw charities as ‘an irrelevance’ early in pandemic, says Karl Wilding

By September 10, 2020National News

From Civil Society

The government viewed the charity sector as “an irrelevance” during the Covid-19 crisis, according to NCVO chief executive Karl Wilding.

Speaking on a panel this morning at the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research online conference, Wilding also said that he had sometimes been “a bit embarrassed” by the speed with which businesses had been able to respond to the impact of the pandemic compared to charities.

Wilding, who was involved in negotiations with officials about financial support for the charity sector at the start of the coronavirus crisis, argued that the relationship between government and charities went beyond the “falling out” described by other commentators.

He said: “I think it’s possibly worse than that.

“I think it was a perception in government that we were basically an irrelevance, that we weren’t part of the solution when it came to solving society’s problems.”

Wilding also outlined a series of difficulties facing the sector, saying that charities will be confronted with “significant financial challenges” for many years to come.

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