Study examines growing demands on charities

The London Voluntary Service Council is gathering evidence for policy makers with survey on effects of downturn

Voluntary organisations in the capital are being asked to contribute to a survey on how the economic downturn is affecting them.

The London Voluntary Service Council, the regional umbrella group for not-for-profit organisations, is asking charities to respond to its Big Squeeze campaign so it can gather evidence for policy makers.

"We are already hearing that our members across London are seeing an increase in demand for their services, particularly in critical areas such as dealing with debt, housing, mental health and employment," said Peter Lewis, interim chief executive of LVSC.

"We want to gather as much evidence as possible in the coming months. The danger is that if short-sighted decisions are made now, the longer-term impact of the recession could have much graver consequences for London's most vulnerable communities in the years to come."

According to charity information service GuideStar UK, London is home to 26,634 registered charities and there is an estimated additional 5,000 social enterprises and 20,000 unregistered community groups.

Charities can participate in the survey at www.lvsc.org.uk/bigsqueeze.

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