Young people missing out amid surge in demand for charity services

A survey had found that young people are more likely than the elderly to miss out on support due to Covid-19 related service disruption, closures, postponements and financial pressures.

It found that 7% (3.7m people) of those who used charity services pre-health crisis were no longer able to use them during the pandemic. This was often because they had closed to meet social distancing guidelines or due to financial problems.

The worst affected were young people. The survey, by James Hambro and Partners, found that 17% of under-25s charity users were no longer able to use services.

Meanwhile, the least impacted were the elderly, with only 1% of over-65s citing service closures as an issue.

The findings also show the extent of the surge in demand, which charities were successfully able to meet, despite having to close some services and swiftly pivot support online.

Of those surveyed, 9% used charity services more, which is the equivalent of almost five million people (4.73m)

Meanwhile, 3% were using charity services for the first time, the equivalent of 1.58m people.

“In normal times charities play an important role and that has increased during the pandemic with the economic problems meaning more people have needed support,” said James Hambro and Partners portfolio manager Patrick Trueman.

“People who would not normally use charity services have been very grateful for the help they have received particularly as lockdown restrictions have made it difficult for many to leave their homes.

“Increased demand for services has however come at a price for charities who are also under financial strain themselves.”

The latest findings come amid fears pressures on charity services could escalate post-Covid, especially when the £20 uplift to Universal Credit brought in during the pandemic, ends in October.

This is leading to fears of burnout and a recruitment crisis in the sector.

Earlier this month it emerged that the number of applicants applying for the average charity job had slumped by more than three quarters.

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