Grant-giving organisations including The Insurance Charities face increased demand for financial and non-financial aid within the insurance sector.
With January intensifying the difficulties people face financially and emotionally, new research has revealed nearly half a million people turned to charities for help in just one year. In 2018/19 The Insurance Charities made 836 awards totalling £1.7million, the highest amount awarded in a single year.
National data from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) shows the number of people seeking help from charities and benevolent funds because they have nowhere else to turn following an unexpected change in circumstances has risen over the last four years. The Insurance Charities has helped with day-to-day hardship, specialist equipment, and therapies and educational grants.
The ACO represents more than 120 charities, including The Insurance Charities, who provide financial support in the form of grants, to help thousands of people across the UK. A recent survey of members* showed more than 100,000 people applied for financial help in the last financial year. When extrapolated across its entire membership base, it is estimated ACO member charities will have supported at least 400,000 people in need. In 2015, the charities distributed more than £56million in grants. In comparison, this rose to more than £60million last year – £216million when applied to its entire membership base.
The Insurance Charities supported more than 460 beneficiaries in the 2018/19 financial year alone, with another 144 further insurance employees who benefitted from practical advice delivered by the organisation.
The ACO is highlighting the work done by its member charities across the UK on 22 January 2020 by sharing the stories of people whose lives were turned around thanks to the support they received.
Its campaign, One Day Changes Lives, supported by The Insurance Charities, will show how an individual act of support granted by a charity one day can have a huge impact on improving someone’s life. Together, individual acts by ACO charities amount to a colossal positive impact on society.
Donal Watkin, Chief Executive at ACO, said: “These figures show the increasing levels of support needed by people with nowhere else to turn. Today we’re highlighting the big difference our members make to people’s lives through financial and non-financial help, and the role charities continue to play in the UK.”
Those supported by the charities were driven into a crisis for reasons including them or a family member facing sudden illness or disability, incurring costs for unexpected household repairs or bills, being unable to pay the high costs associated with a health condition, poor mental health, being involved in an accident, family breakdown, or redundancy.
Trustee and Board member of The Insurance Charities Josh Brekenfeld based at Aspen Insurance said: “We are the only charity in the UK and Ireland solely supporting those working across the whole insurance sector and have done so for over a century. We can help transform insurance people’s lives for the better and provide a lifeline to support them with whatever difficulties they and their families are experiencing.”
Whilst ACO members are predominantly grant-making organisations, they also provide practical assistance, employment support, befriending services, and mental health and wellbeing support. Members are seeing an increase in supporting applicants with non-financial aid, rising from 60,584 people helped in 2015 to 93,308 in 2018.
Help can include the purchasing of fridges, clothes, and food, and support with the costs of childcare, healthcare, and household bills. Some of the people supported needed help to buy wheelchairs, hearing aids, medical equipment, and respite care.
Amy Green, designer and implementer of corporate insurance programs with A J Gallagher, approached the charity for help when her hearing loss deteriorated, following the birth of her second child. Working in a busy office meant that regular communication was extremely difficult – particularly when contending with different accents and voice tones.
A compatible hearing aid was not readily available on the NHS and, as a working parent with young children, the one-off purchase of a suitable aid was not immediately manageable.
“It was a really easy application process. The aid has really given me a lease of life and confidence that I never thought I’d have.”
“My partner and I both work but it would have taken a long period to save the amount needed for the hearing aid and I would have suffered hardship without it. If there is a need, everyone should get in touch.”
The Insurance Charities is encouraging those who have been helped by them to take part today and share examples of support on social media using the hashtag #OneDayChangesLives
Find out more about the campaign and ACO charity members.
For more information, or to get involved, please contact Victoria Sutton, Marketing & Communications Manager, 020 7606 3763.
Notes to editors:
- *Survey carried out by the Association of Charitable Organisations, June 2019, with 33 respondents across a membership base of 120 using data from their statements of the last financial year.
- The Insurance Charities is the charity for the UK and Irish insurance industry, providing support for current and former insurance employees and their dependants since 1902. The Charity gives £1.7 million of help each year to insurance people in need.
- The Insurance Charities can help with one-off payments such as the replacement of an appliance or essential property maintenance. It also provides ongoing payments where income is restricted or insufficient to meet costs due to, for example, health conditions. It can signpost individuals to specialist advice to help with difficult life events such as depression or loneliness as well as giving practical support to those needing help with money management or who are faced with difficult health or housing concerns.
- Established in the City of London in 1902 as The Insurance Clerks Orphanage, The Insurance Charities now provides help and support to past and present employees of the UK and Irish insurance sector and their dependents.