Public trust in charities has reached the highest level since 2013, says the latest research.
A survey of 1,000 nationally representative UK adults carried out by the research company nfpSynergy in October found that 60 per cent of respondents said they trusted charities "quite a lot" or a "great deal", the highest level since May 2013.
The figure fell to a low of 47 per cent in October 2015 but has risen in each of the three subsequent waves of research carried out by nfpSynergy.
The latest figures mean charities climbed to fourth in the list of most trusted institutions, behind the NHS, which was first, the armed forces and schools. Charities were twelfth a year ago.
The proportion of those aged over 65 who said they trusted charities "a great deal" or "quite a lot" was 70 per cent, a rise of 42 percentage points since October 2015.
But overall trust levels are still lower than the high of 70 per cent recorded by nfpSynergy in January 2010. The lowest level recorded was 42 per cent in 2007.
Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said the results should be treated with caution because there was no evidence in its research that a change in trust levels had any impact on levels of giving or volunteering.
Participants in the research were asked to rate the level of trust they had in a list of 24 public bodies or institutions, including the BBC, the Royal Mail, the legal system and supermarkets. Political parties came out as the least trusted of all those rated.