The future of Coeliac UK is in the balance as the coronavirus crisis takes its toll on charity funding.

Receiving no government funding, Coeliac UK depends on sources including membership, sponsorship and commercial income through food safety schemes. It also relies on fundraising through events such as the London Marathon, which has been postponed.

“It won’t be a surprise to hear that all of these income streams are under threat due to the coronavirus crisis and at a time we are seeing a surge in demand for our services, which are more vital than ever,” said Coeliac UK chief executive Hilary Croft.

“We are working hard with our network of health and food professionals to collaborate, share knowledge and find the answers to support our community at a time when they need us most.”

The charity said that, because of coronavirus, people with coeliac disease are relying on Coeliac UK more than ever, bringing a big increase in demand for its services. 

Croft explained it costs £33.40 for each enquiry the charity receives, with it receiving more than 10,000 in a fortnight from social media alone. The charity’s helpline costs £500 a day or £62.50 an hour to run.

“For over 50 years Coeliac UK has provided information and support to thousands of people diagnosed or suffering with symptoms. We’re now worried about the outlook, and how we can stay around to keep helping people now and in the future. We need support more than ever to sustain our work.”

The charity is launching an appeal asking people to donate – for further information see the Coeliac UK website.