Cost of living crisis
The rise of the cost of living means more people are in need of help, and charities are finding themselves overwhelmed with enquiries. People who have managed without support in the past are worried about putting food on the table, being able to afford transportation to get to work or send their children to school as they face a financially uncertain future. Those who struggled previously are at risk of quite literally having to make the choice of “heat or eat”.
Our local response:
The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham is working with the local VCS and businesses to explore how we can work collaborate to support each other and our residents during this difficult time.
An initial event was held on 7th October 2022. Click here for the presentation from the event.
The next Cost of Living event is on Wednesday 30th November, you can find the invitation from Cllr Rebecca Harvey here, or follow this link to book your place. Hammersmith & Fulham Cost of Living Crisis Workshop 2022 Tickets, Wed 30 Nov 2022 at 09:30 | Eventbrite
Support for local residents
You can find a wealth of information about what local support is available for Hammersmith & Fulham resident’s on the council’s website: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/cost-living-crisis-find-help-here
There is a wealth of information available online for people to get advice and tips on managing the cost of living crisis. A few links to some of these are below:
- Citizens’ Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/get-help-with-the-cost-of-living/
- Government: https://www.gov.uk/cost-of-living
- Hammersmith & Fulham : Help with the Cost of Living Winter booklet 2022
- Sobus has also created a couple of helpful guides which you can find here: Cost of living and the impact on the VCS
The impact on and support for local VCS organisations
Paying for gas, fuel and electricity can be a struggle for many people and a lot of them have to make difficult choices on what costs to leave behind. Charity giving is one of the costs many people can no longer afford. Research published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) showed that between January and April 2022, an estimated 4.9M fewer people said they donated to charity, when compared to the same months in 2019.
The rise of the cost of living also means more people are in need of help and charities are finding themselves overwhelmed with enquiries. According to CAF’s Research, 86% of charitable organisations are worrying about the effect the cost of living will have on those that depend on their services, and 71% expressed concern over managing increased demand for their services.
COVID-19 had a huge impact on the income of charities and now, this national crisis is making organisations worried they will be able to keep providing their services and 35% believe their charity will struggle to survive the crisis, according to CAF research.
Charity Excellence produce an informative monthly charity sector cost of living crisis update and forecast. Their November 2022 summary is as follows:
What we know: Sector resilience has been falling since late 2021 and we entered the cost of living crisis less resilient than we did Covid. In October, sector resilience fell to the same level as it was at the height of Covid.
What we think will happen: It seems very unlikely that anything on the scale of the Covid funding will be made available, and, this time, inflation will eat into the ‘real’ value of income. This will be made worse by an even greater surge in demand that we have already and increasing cost and staffing challenges. Collectively, this has created a toxic cocktail of risk. It will be a very bleak winter, with a high risk of t significant number of permanent charity closures in 2023.
Our forecast indicates that the impact of this crisis will be deeper, and recovery will take much longer than it did with Covid. We see little likelihood of the forecast improving and there is a risk it could deteriorate significantly.
When it will happen: the impact will be at its worst in the first quarter of 2023. The UK is now in recession and the Bank of England has predicted it will be the longest (but not deepest) recession on record, to end 2024. We like to be optimistic, so remain hopeful that we may see the first signs of sector recovery mid 2023, but we do not now expect any significant recovery until 2024.
Find out more by visiting: https://www.charityexcellence.co.uk