Requests for non-financial aid from grant-makers up by half in four years

The Association of Charitable Organisations says the number of people approaching its members for support such as befriending services rose from 60,584 in 12015 to 93,308 last year

The number of people approaching grant-making bodies for non-financial aid has risen by more than 50 per cent over the past four years, new figures show.

Data from the Association of Charitable Organisations, which represents grant-makers and benevolent funds, shows that the number of people who approached its members for non-financial support such as befriending services and mental health and wellbeing support rose from 60,584 in 2015 to 93,308 last year.

The umbrella body, which has 120 members, released the data to coincide with today’s One Day Changes Lives day, established to raise awareness of the ACO’s members and the services they provide.

Research conducted among members showed that they supported more than 400,000 people in need last year and gave out grants totalling £216m.

The One Day Changes lives campaign aims to show how one act of support given by a charity on one day can have play a huge role in improving someone’s life.

Donal Watkin, chief executive of the ACO, said: “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.

“Some of the people helped never expected to face tough times. Perhaps they’ve been made redundant and their savings have run out as they’ve struggled to find employment. Perhaps they’re receiving cancer treatment and are off work with no pay while the bills keep coming in and mount up.

“On a single day, our members help hundreds of people across the country, and collectively they have a real societal impact.”

The umbrella body is encouraging members of the public who have been helped by grant-giving charities to share examples of support on social media using the hashtag #OneDayChangesLives.

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