Recession fuels surge in demand for charities' services, says report

Demand for services offered by third sector organisations has increased sharply due to the recession, according to a report out today.

The report, published by third sector umbrella body the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, says that in some cases demand has risen sharply – up to 50 per cent in a year in some areas.

It says that charities providing information, advice and guidance sector have reported a particularly large increase in demand for their services.

But the report also says that charities’ income has been hit by the economic downturn. "Donations, sponsorship, earned income, grants from trusts and foundations and investment income are all reported as drying up, or very hard to obtain," the report said.

The report adds that the recession has led to an increase in numbers of volunteers and those seeking placements. "In one case, a 266 per cent increase in those seeking placements was reported," the report said.

Navca chief executive Kevin Curley said: "This report provides hard evidence from over 900 third sector organisations in 20 areas of England and shows the recession is not affecting everyone in the same way.

"This means third sector organisations need to avoid just asking the Government for compensation for a loss of income or funding. Instead, we need to show how our work protects and strengthens communities, helping people worst hit by the recession."

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