April 29, 2020

The challenge for health charities during COVID-19

Rachel Phillips, Director in Research, Insight and Consulting
Two fifths (39%) of disabled adults who have applied for jobs in the previous five years said they have felt discriminated against because of their disability.

In a time of crisis, charities are more needed than ever— but how can they adapt under increased financial strain as well as higher demand from those seeking help?

Charities are under increasing financial pressure due to the closure of shops and lack of fundraising during the current lockdown. Cancer Research UK, one of the country’s most-loved charity brands, predicts fundraising income to drop by 20 -25% this year.

Charities have been responding to the crisis by setting up the 2.6 Challenge, to encourage and support ideas for fundraising during lockdown. After successfully raising the issue of reduced funds, the Government has offered a £750m bailout to charities, but is this enough? Especially as we know that demand for charities’ services will only increase in the future.

Recent economic research predicts prevalence of chronic conditions in the working-age population will rise by somewhere between 7% and 10% (because of the impact of coronavirus). This increase translates into around 900,000 more people of working age who will suffer from at least one chronic condition.

We know that those with long term conditions face significant challenges across multiple spheres – employment, access to care and other essential services.

  • Research for IPPR showed a majority (57%) of those with a longstanding condition or disability say that haven’t received any support or assistance that could have been offered to them (e.g. a longer appointment, a personalised care plan, access to additional technology).
  • In addition, our work with Leonard Cheshire Disability indicated two fifths (39%) of disabled adults who have applied for jobs in the previous five years said they have felt discriminated against because of their disability.

How can charities stay afloat in turbulent times?

In this climate, it is vital that charities find effective ways to understand and highlight the challenges their beneficiaries are facing, as, for example, those representing the vulnerable and elderly have done. By joining together, these charities demonstrated that those in care homes who had died from COVID-19 were not being counted in official figures. This shows the work of charities is vital to our society, in providing a voice for those who are not able to speak for themselves. It is a voice that must not be lost.

The health team at Savanta ComRes works regularly with organisations championing the causes of those living with long term conditions including Scope, CRUK and Diabetes UK. Get in touch below to learn more.



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