Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Tuesday 2 June

Ramadan

How the sector is responding to the pandemic 

2nd June 2020 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Ramadan sees public dig deep

Ramadan fundraising appeals have raised more than expected for some charities, although those with less of an online presence have suffered, according to the Muslim Charities Forum.  Despite charities being unable to carry out in-person fundraising activities in mosques, fundraising during Ramadan performed better than expected, according to Fadi Itani, chief executive of the Muslim Charities Forum. “In 2018, our research found that £130m was raised for charities during Ramadan. We are not sure yet whether this will be matched this year, but so far results are good. “From big charities to medium-sized charities, most are reporting that their income during Ramadan was OK, and some are doing as well as last year,” he said. Muslim Relief, one of the largest Muslim charities in the UK, said this year's appeal has already raised £9.2m. The appeal is open until later this month and the charity is confident of reaching its target. 

Regulator addresses spike in evictions

CIH Scotland, the housing regulator, has published new proposals as part of an urgent call to action to avoid a potentially disastrous spike in evictions once the current coronavirus protections end. Following measures from the Scottish and UK governments to help tenants keep their homes during the pandemic, the housing charity has developed a detailed set of asks for both governments to avoid a crisis that could leave thousands homeless and cost housing providers millions. CIH Scotland national director, Callum Chomczuk, said: “While the measures put in place by government and landlords are helping we have to think about what comes next. Simply ending all these measures without a plan to cope with the arrears built up throughout the outbreak risks pushing families into homelessness and landlords into bankruptcy, just at a time when a stable housing sector is needed to help rebuild our economy. The burden cannot simply be put onto landlords. That could lead to defaults on mortgages and enforced sales, which could deplete the sector just when that capacity is most needed. This needs government action too.”

Oxfam shops reopen in England this month

Oxfam will begin reopening its high-street stores from 15 June, the charity has announced. The charity closed its near 600 UK stores on 21 March because of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequently furloughed about two-thirds of its 2,100-strong UK workforce. Most of the furloughed staff worked in the charity’s trading arm, which raised £17.3m in the year to the end of March 2019. The government announced last week that non-essential shops in England would be able to reopen from 15 June as it eased lockdown measures imposed because of the pandemic. Oxfam said today that it would begin opening “a number” of shops in England in two weeks’ time with the aim of having “as many as possible” open by the end of July. It is unable to provide precise figures at this stage because it is unsure how many will be able to open safely on 15 June. Its stores in Scotland and Wales will remain closed: stricter lockdown rules apply in both countries.

Eviction exposes loophole

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland has exposed a risk to bereaved renters’ homes in cases where people who have moved in with a partner or family member who was a social tenant. Without proof that they have lived there as their only or permanent home for 12 months, and that the landlord was informed about it, they face being asked to leave shortly after the death of the official tenant. Peter O’ Rourke from Glasgow is facing homelessness just two months after the death from covid-19 of his partner Shirley in April. He moved in to her housing association home three years ago but the landlord says it has no record of that and has told him to leave despite the remaining risk from coronavirus. Alison Watson, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This is a heart-breaking story and exposes the brutal reality of our housing emergency where the shortage of social homes leads to tough policies like the rules on succession. Over the last two months our services have seen several cases where a bereaved family member has been told to leave by a social landlord. It is only right that the housing association is considering extra time in Peter’s case. We really don’t want to see a man who’s just lost a partner moved into unsuitable temporary accommodation.”

Pressure to impose global wildlife trade ban

Appeals for Boris Johnson to call for a global wildlife trade ban at the G20 meeting of global leaders in November to help prevent a future coronavirus would be backed by 86% of Brits, according to new research by Campaign to End Wildlife Trade. With covi-19 widely thought to have emerged at a wet market in Wuhan, where wildlife was sold alongside fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, and 70% of emerging infectious diseases coming from wild animals, it is critical everything is done to help prevent a future global pandemic. Campaign to End Wildlife Trade is supported by 16 leading animal protection and wildlife conservation groups including World Animal Protection, Compassion in World Farming, Four Paws UK and Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. Sonul Badiani-Hamment from World Animal Protection, said: “Covid is a wakeup call for the world – and the case for a global wildlife trade ban has never been more urgent. SARS, Ebola and now covid-19 are all believed to have passed from wildlife to humans. Boris Johnson and the UK government must provide global leadership in this public health and wildlife crisis and call for a wildlife trade ban at the G20 meeting of global leaders in November to help prevent future pandemics.”

2nd June 2020 by Howard Williams

Lovely idea that banning world trade in wildlife will have an effect on future pandemics. It's rubbish, but it is a nice idea. Hundreds of thousands of deer, rabbits, feral pigs, pheasants and other wild creatures are traded and eaten every year in the UK. We eat millions of wild fish. And that's just the UK. In Africa, over two million tons of bushmeat are eaten every year, and in South Africa alone, farmers raise over 100,000 tons of venison a year. We and our pets come into contact with wild creatures or their poo or urine every day. Our farm animals and crops are visited by wild creatures every day. We are all in. direct or indirect contact with wild creatures and pandemics will always be with us.