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Vulnerable people miss out most: Budget update

Research released by In Kind Direct just prior to the budget announcement already documented a trend of charities under pressure to deliver services to an increasing network of beneficiaries, whilst at the same time coping with greater volatility in the funding environment, with reductions in local and central government grants. For many charities this means a “double whammy” of less funding at a time when demand for their services is dramatically increasing.

In Kind Direct estimates the new budget measures could affect up to 50% of its network of charities supporting some of the most vulnerable groups in the UK. The implications are significant for three core groups within In Kind Direct’s network of charity partners:

Organisations working with young people and homelessness

  • Removal of automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds
  • A four year freeze to Local Housing Allowance

Voluntary groups within the In Kind Direct network are concerned for the future of the young people they support. Many have also commented that because they receive income from service users’ benefits to fund their work, they are facing a reduction in their organisation’s cash resources.

Miriam Morris, Director, Church Housing Trust, explains:

“Young people can be without a home for many reasons: Maybe their parents have died, moved, remarried, or simply don’t have room. Maybe they have been neglected or abused. Housing is too expensive for young people on low wages. Housing benefit only covers a room in a shared house. Furthermore there are very few rooms available, and they often cost more than housing benefit pays.”

“Young people under 21 will no longer receive any housing benefit at all, if they cannot live at home for whatever reason, they are at risk of being homeless. Most young homeless people are not eligible for any help at all. To be eligible for help you need be under 18, or to have been in care, or to have a child – so there is no safety net for most young people.”

Organisations supporting those with disabilities and mental health issues

  • Reductions to employment and support allowance

Groups in In Kind Direct’s network have expressed concern over the difficulty many people with mental health issues and disabilities already face in accessing benefits, and feel these new measures are likely to place further strain on these vulnerable individuals.

Neil Kelly, Chair of Mental Health North East, comments:

“Mental Health North East is extremely concerned about the detrimental impact the budget will have on people suffering poor mental health and dependant on low incomes. The extra pressure the government has placed on these individuals and their families is likely to worsen their conditions. Currently MHNE and our member organisations are managing to support these individuals often utilising the support of other charities such as In Kind Direct.”

Organisations supporting families with young children

  • Cuts to child tax credits

Groups supporting families on low incomes can expect many of their beneficiaries to be affected by further reductions in income putting additional strain on organisations already supporting them with basic essentials.

In Kind Direct distributes a wide range of new donated goods to charities across the UK including laundry supplies, health products, toys, office supplies, clothing and footwear and baby items.

The budget measures announced are likely to result in more people turning to charities for support. The role of organisations like In Kind Direct becomes even more critical, enabling small charities and community groups to rise to the challenges they face in surviving additional financial strain.

--- Notes to Editors ---

For further information please contact Rachel Butler, Marketing & Communications Manager, 0300 30 20 200, rachel@inkinddirect.org

The following contacts are available for interview:

In Kind Direct: Robin Boles, CEO and Laura Hales, Head of Charity Partnerships – 0300 30 20 200.
Additional contacts across the UK at In Kind Direct charity partners are available on request.
Please phone In Kind Direct to discuss.

Interview footage from both charity and donor partners can be made available on request.

  • The results of the latest impact study show that by re-distributing goods In Kind Direct is able to alleviate poverty, improve self-esteem and is a vital support for charities working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. A press summary of the research is included in the link below. Full findings are available on request.
  • To date, almost 7,500 charities have received products from In Kind Direct, helping them save money on their operational costs, enabling them to spend more on their essential services.
  • In Kind Direct has made a powerful impact on communities through the redistribution of £140 million worth of surplus goods from over 1,000 companies.
  • In Kind Direct is one of The Prince’s Charities, which is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the UK.
  • Click here to view the press summary of the impact research released 29 June 2015