Published: 06:00, 23 March 2020
| Updated: 09:06, 23 March 2020
A funding organisation is urging charities to reach out for help as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to significantly damage fundraising across Kent.
The Kent Community Foundation (KCF) has more than £360,000 of grants to award to charities as part of their coronavirus emergency fund.
Josephine McCartney, chief executive of the Kent Community Foundation, told KentOnline the fund is vital to protect charities as the impact of the coronavirus continues to ripple across the county.
She said: "There's a recognition that small charities across Kent and Medway are going to be really badly affected by the coronavirus."
As the government continues to roll out its policy of social distancing, Mrs McCartney said usual fundraising activities for charities will not be able to go ahead.
She said: "Most of those fundraising activities would be face to face - the summer fetes and the bake sales and the shaking cans and the supermarkets, none of that is going to be happening.
"So for those small organisations don't actually have an easy way to replenish that energy, it could be really devastating for them.
"Part of this is about trying to help to replenish some of that lost fundraising income."
Charities with an income of less than £200,000 are able to apply for up to £10,000 to support the business.
According to the foundation, of the 5,413 registered in Kent and Medway, 1,566 work with the elderly.
With over-70s being told to self isolate to reduce the risk of them catching Covid-19, it puts these charities in an even more precarious position.
To try and alleviate this pressure, the fund will initially give priority to applications from charities supporting both the elderly and vulnerable.
"It could be really devastating for them..."
Mrs McCartney added: "I imagine a lot of the independent food banks are going to be more heavily relied on than they are at the moment.
"Children that received free school meals that were they aren't going to school.
There are lots and lots of social issues that that will be impacted by coronavirus.
"Obviously our resources are not endless and we are a small team, but we will absolutely do everything we possibly can to to help as many people as we possibly can."
Last year, Mrs McCartney told the KM Community Podcast that without charities the county 'would be on its knees.'
Listen to Josephine McCartney on the KM Community Podcast
More by this authorOliver Kemp