Growing Demand For Charity Services As Cuts To Welfare And Public Services Hit Britain’s Most Vulnerable

We are continuously hearing about tax rises and public sector cuts and this week we are once again reminded of the reality that we are facing. According to a report published by Oxfam, the spending cuts mean the UK could return to inequality levels not seen since Victorian times. From increasing unemployment, rising cost of living and falling incomes as well as cuts to welfare and public services, those in and out of work are vulnerable. This report emphasises that the 13.5 million people living in poverty are being hit the hardest by the government’s deficit reduction strategy.

Whilst we are seeing tax rises of £29 billion, public sector cuts are as high as £99 billion. Since the start of the recession, the number of people unable to find full time employment has risen by 73 per cent. As a result, the number of people who are in work but having to claim Housing Benefit has more than doubled.

The underlying message here is that whilst more working people are forced to turn to the welfare system, the cuts to benefits is causing increased distress. The number of people contacting charities for support is continuously on an increase – thousands more each year are relying on food banks.

There is also a growing demand for advice and guidance from charity helplines on issues such as money and employment as well as emotional support for those experiencing stress or anxiety.

By offering a 24/7 helpline, charities are able to reach those who are most vulnerable and provide them with the advice, guidance and support that they need to overcome difficult circumstances.

Connect Assist is already helping a number of charities reach those in need. For further information, go to http://www.connectassist.co.uk/third-sector/

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Case Study

Case Study: Grocery Aid

1.1.          Grocery Aid

1.1.1.      About our customer

Grocery Aid, the trading name of the National Grocers' Benevolent Fund, is the charity for the grocery industry. Grocery Aid helps people all over the UK who have worked, or are working, in the grocery industry and have now found that they need some extra support to get by. The help that Grocery Aid provides can make a very real difference and it provides not only monetary support, but also appliances and everyday items that many take for granted.

1.1.2.      The service we provide

The helpline was a new service for Grocery Aid. We set about improving the reach of their valuable service and sought to reach out to the people needing the help and support that they provide. In early 2010, Connect Assist successfully helped Grocery Aid launch their first helpline via our 24/7 Contact Centre. Today we offer multi-channel solutions via phone, e-mail, knowledgebase, ask a question and live chat.   The multi-channel helpline provides information and support to people and business owners working in the trade – from large supermarkets to corner shops. This includes an innovative ‘incident support’ service following attacks, arson and other incidents that are prevalent within the industry.

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