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Family - Family
Last updated April 2021

Five ways benevolent charities have supported individuals and families through lockdown

Since the beginning of the pandemic, benevolent/grant-giving charities have supported individuals and families through the lockdowns in many ways. Not only have they been providing grants to those struggling financially to pay for daily essentials, but they have also offered a range of mental health and wellbeing services to help people cope with the challenges lockdown has brought.

As restrictions ease and we hope to move to a new normal way of life, we wanted to celebrate five ways benevolent charities such as our members have been helping people through the pandemic, some of which you might not have known of.

Helping families with home-schooling costs

For those that cannot afford laptops, computers, internet access or other equipment necessary to study from home, digital exclusion has presented huge additional challenges for those trying to home-school their children.

Many benevolent charities have been offering grants towards the costs of IT equipment for families and students. Last year Family Fund awarded 12,000 grants for computers and tablets to families with disabled children, and also provided free online training and instructional videos in their Digital Skills Programme to help families and carers get the most out of these devices for their children.

Preventing loneliness and isolation

Loneliness and isolation from not being able to see others socially during lockdown has had a huge impact on our mental health, but more so for older people who may be living alone or shielding.

Several charities have put measures in place to ensure their beneficiaries have stayed connected and supported during lockdown, such as creating peer-to-peer support networks and online communities. The racing industry’s charity Racing Welfare created a Facebook community for their retired racing professionals who would previously meet in person for coffee mornings, allowing them to chat and stay connected in lockdown.

Supporting employees

Lockdown has presented new challenges for those working in different industries during lockdown, whether that is coping with additional worries if continuing to work in a public facing role or managing working from home for an extended period.

Many occupational charities, supporting those working in a specific industry, launched substantial online resource hubs on their websites and introduced new services to help their colleagues. Hospitality Action launched an online career support hub CareerScope to help those in hospitality who could not work or were on furlough learn career skills, get help with CV writing or access resources and webinars on topics such as health/wellbeing assistance to redundancy advice.

Other examples of support include ABTA LifeLine, the travel industry’s charity, who launched an online career transition support service to help former travel employees use their skills to transition into a different career. Several charities, including engineer’s charity Foothold, have also started offering sleep therapy services to help their colleagues face the restless nights lockdown has caused us.

Helping cope with loss

For those that sadly lost a loved one during lockdown, having to worry about affording funeral costs should be something no one grieving should have to face. Most benevolent charities can award grants towards funeral costs to help those who might otherwise struggle to afford these costs.  

Older person’s charity Independent Age also launched a Grief Chat service during lockdown, allowing older people who had lost someone close during lockdown to share their feelings and get further help from counsellors via an online web chat on the charity’s website.

Support with debt

Unfortunately, we anticipate more people will turn to credit to help pay for living costs if they have lost their jobs or are struggling financially during the pandemic.

For those struggling with debt, benevolent charities can give grants towards bankruptcy and insolvency fees to help people make a new start. They can also help put people in touch with free debt advice services to help manage their debt.

 

For more information on where grant-giving charities can provide support and how to find support, visit our Here to Help Campaign page or to search for a grant today visit the Turn2us’ Grants Search.