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Charities communicating about the cost of living crisis

29 April 2022

Charities exist to help people in times of need. Unfortunately, the current cost of living crisis is increasing this level of need. From worries about heating homes and feeding children, to paying rent and dealing with financial pressures due to health issues, people need more support than ever.

Here are some of the ways charities are helping communicate the cost of living crisis right now and how they are offering their support…

Highlighting the impact on children and families – The Children’s Society

The Children’s Society works alongside young people helping them to overcome their challenges and face the future with hope.

Their CEO, Mark Russell has spoken frankly about how the cost of living crisis is impacting the youth of today. He said: “It’s a stain on our nation that nearly a third of children, around 3.9 million, were living in poverty last year. As the cost of living crisis deepens, some families are having to choose between heating or eating.”

The charity had already been working with young people to address inequalities in society before the current crisis and their 7 Year campaign successfully changed the law . This success means all schools in England will now have to make sure uniforms are affordable for families, but they still need the public’s help. So with the cost of living soaring, they have been communicating how this September, millions of families will struggle to afford the basics — let alone expensive uniforms: How you can help.

Adeela Warley, CEO

Casting a spotlight on food poverty – FoodCycle

FoodCycle nourish the hungry and lonely with delicious meals and great conversation, using food that would otherwise go to waste. They run Community Meals in towns and cities nationwide, where volunteers turn surplus food into wholesome, nutritious meals. Anyone, from any walk of life is welcome, no questions asked. 

Sky News recently visited their Wandsworth Road Project to chat with guests and volunteers about the rising cost of living, food waste and just how important FoodCycle’s service is. It was also great to then see FoodCycle use this coverage on their social media. Effectively using it to appeal for more volunteers to help them run their projects across the UK, as demand is soaring with the cost of living crisis.

Vanessa Weddell, Head of events

Fighting for economic justice – Young Women’s Trust

The Young Women’s Trust works to achieve economic justice for young women through coaching, support and campaigning. Overall, one fifth of women are paid below the Living Wage. More than that, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report found that the gender gap grew by 36 years in just 12 months due to COVID 19. With the cost of living crisis now reinforcing these existing inequalities, their work to champion young women on low or no pay is more vital than ever. 

Sarah Clarke, Head of membership

Breaking the stats down – Joseph Rowntree Foundation

An independent social change organisation the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is working to solve UK poverty. Right now, they are also helping break down the stats around the cost of living crisis. For instance, they have shown what the reality the latest benefit cuts is in real terms compared to previous years in graph form on Twitter. And they have been talking on the news about how the crisis impacts people on a day to day basis. Both of which have helped put the issues at hand in perspective.

As Associate Director, Helen Barnard says: “We are going to see people in very serious hardship, we are going to see debt build up and we are going to see the health impacts [of people going without essentials].”

Christine Fleming, Head of digital content

Helping support those already under additional financial strain – Macmillan

Those living with cancer face increased financial pressure with extra expenses, and may also suffer from a loss of income. The rise in costs of living has only added to this strain.

Recognising the financial challenges ahead, Macmillan Cancer has taken action. They have made an extra £3.5 million in grants available to help people living with cancer face the soaring living costs across the UK. This is so they can maintain a decent standard of living. They also have a dedicated page to provide advice and support on the cost of living, along with a financial guidance team to help those worried about money. No one can predict the hardships ahead, but Macmillan Cancer’s message is simple – they are always here ready to support you.

Mandy Cheng, Events manager

Addressing the stark realities of rising costs – Crisis

The rising cost of living is an issue we can all relate to in some regard and the help charities can provide only reaches so far. A charity tirelessly campaigning for change is Crisis, who are championing action to end homelessness and supporting those affected by it. The cost of living crisis sadly affects their mission, putting even more people at risk of losing their homes.

Their clear and compelling comms really stand out, centring around the stark realities of rising costs and the urgency for the government to take action immediately. When reading their messaging it’s easy to also feel their frustration.

Adel Hanily, Digital content officer

Providing emergency grants – Young Lives vs Cancer

Young Lives vs Cancer is a charity that helps children and young people (0-25) and their families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them and that includes financial pressures. The charity recently extended their ‘Winter emergency grant’ scheme until the end of May in reaction to the cost of living crisis. Helping families cover extra costs the scheme consists of a one-off payment of up to £350.

The extension was vital as countless families shared their stories about struggling with rising costs of living, having to choose whether to heat their homes or afford to fill up their car with petrol for trips to the hospital. So far, this extension, has enabled the charity to support more than 700 grants on top of existing grants. But they want to do a lot more because facing cancer is hard enough, without the stress and worries of affording food, fuel or energy bills.  

Lauren Obeng-Owusu, Events and membership assistant

Communicating how charities are plugging societal gaps – Bloody Good Period

Bloody Good Period is a small charity fighting for menstrual equality, and the right of people who bleed. As part of its mission, it provides period products to those who are unable to buy their own. But it’s also brilliant at publicly shining a spotlight on the social issues affecting its audiences.

Recently the charity has been talking about how small charities are plugging the gap caused by the cost-of-living crisis. According to Bloody Good Period, demand for them to provide more period products has risen by 78% during the first quarter of 2022. With articles in the Guardian and Stylist magazine and a flurry of social activity, the charity is once again championing the needs of its core audience at the heart of its comms.

Emma Wickenden, Senior events producer

Of course, there are many more charities helping the public deal with the cost of living crisis right now too. If there are any you want to give a shout out to then get in touch and let us know.

Banner Image: engin akyurt on Unsplash

CharityComms team

CharityComms team, CharityComms