Grant-giving organisations including CABA face increased demand for financial and non-financial aid within the accountancy 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, with CABA -the wellbeing charity for chartered accountants and their families - supporting more than 25,000 people alone.

National data from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO), which represents over 120 charities in the UK, shows the number of people seeking help from charities and benevolent funds has risen over the last four years. CABA has helped with support including emotional and financial support, as well as legal and debt advice.

A recent survey of members* showed more than 100,000 people applied for financial help in the last fiscal 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. CABA alone distributed £696,135 in grants and £644,258 in donations.

To highlight the work done by its member charities, on 22 January 2020 ACO will be sharing the stories of the people whose lives were turned around thanks to the support they received. 
The campaign, One Day Changes Lives, supported by CABA, will show how an individual act of support granted by a charity one day can have a huge impact in improving someone’s life. Together, individual acts by ACO charities amount to a colossal positive impact on society.

Jodie Gill, Engagement and Communications Director at CABA and ACO Board Member said: “The ACO and its member charities are a vital pillar of support for thousands of people across the UK. 
“In 2018, CABA invested £3.8 million across our wellbeing support services. This helped us to deliver tailored advice and support to almost 3,000 people throughout the year, and personal and professional courses, workshops and seminars to over 6,000 people. In addition, our online self-help guides and articles were accessed by over 138,000 people worldwide.

“One Day Changes Lives is a true celebration of the lives ACO member charities have been able to change for the better through the commitment and diligence of our staff, volunteers and supporters. CABA is proud to pledge its support to the campaign and we encourage members of the public who have ever been helped by grant-giving charities to take part today and share examples of support on social media using the hashtag #OneDayChangesLives.”

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.

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. The charities also provide legal, debt and/or employment advice.

For more information about the campaign and ACO charity members visit www.aco.uk.net/page/One-Day-Changes-Lives.