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Cost of living crisis appeal

Britain is facing a devastating cost-of-living crisis, and the effects are being felt by us all. However, for people who are older, living with long-term health conditions, or are already vulnerable, the situation is becoming dire.

Our teams on the frontline are seeing significantly higher cases of people living in food and fuel poverty and struggling to cope. They are witnessing first-hand the impact on those who are having to make tough decisions about what basic life-sustaining provisions they can afford.

These impossible choices are already affecting their welfare, and the situation is only going to get worse as we move into winter. Figures recently released by the Food Foundation show in April, 7.3 million adults were living in households that said they had gone without food or could not physically get it in the past month, which is an alarming 57% jump in the number of households cutting back or missing meals altogether since January.

Each day we are seeing the repercussions of soaring food costs on the people we help, and we are preparing for the situation to get worse in the winter months as people can’t afford to heat their homes.

On top of this there is a growing concern around increased loneliness and isolation as a direct outcome of people not having the money to leave the house. Following so quickly from the enforced isolation that many of our clients faced during the pandemic, the long-term effects of this could be devastating. Inevitably there will be increased hospital admissions, further pressure on our NHS, and higher demand for our services.

 

Demand for our services is rising

By the end of this year, we are anticipating we will need to support 360,000 people. And with an increased need for our services, there is a demand to recruit, train and mobilise 50,000 volunteers. As well as our increased recruitment needs, our running costs have also risen dramatically. It will cost us significantly more to run our services this year than it did last year, and it is imperative that we minimise any impact that this could have on people who are already struggling to cope.

Last year, our volunteers drove over 1 million miles delivering our services to older and vulnerable people in Britain, but the recent hike in fuel prices will mean that some people can no longer afford to volunteer. This will have devastating consequences on those who are desperately dependent on our services, at a time when demand is growing.

How your support can help

Support from you will mean we can continue to support people through the crisis by:

  • increasing the number of our lunch and social clubs so that people can enjoy a hot, nutritious meal in the company of others
  • providing safe and secure transport to our clubs, and to and from essential medical appointments
  • supporting patients as they return home from hospital alone, helping them to get back on their feet. This includes providing clients with warm clothing - dressing gowns, slippers, blankets, and hot water bottles – essential as we move into the colder months
  • making companionship calls and welfare checks
  • providing food packs that contain essential items
  • working with local food banks and helping people to access other support services, such as fuel vouchers.

This latest crisis is already having an impact on physical and mental health

“I have had to start skipping meals. I am hungry, but I’m saving money on my food bills and by not cooking, I don’t have to worry about how much the oven would cost me to use. Come the winter when I need to have my heating on too, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how I’m going to survive.”
Royal Voluntary Service Client

Support Royal Voluntary Service

For more information, please contact Ellen Birchenough on 07785 925414 or email ellen.birchenough@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

Companies, Foundations and Philanthopists

Talk to us...

Our partnerships and philanthropy team are on hand to discuss how your support can deliver the biggest impact for vulnerable individuals and provide a lifeline to those in need.

Companies: Contact Kate Rooks on 07714 898606 or email kate.rooks@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

Trusts, foundations & philanthropists: Contact Sarah Jones on 07793 795768 or email sarah.jones@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk