As a supporter of Elizabeth Finn Care we’ re delighted to welcome you to our first e -mail newsletter. These updates will include news and stories of all sorts – we hope you’ll find
lots to interest you. We’d love to hear what you think.
In 2012, Turn2us commissioned a team of policy experts co-ordinated by the University of Kent team to carry out a major research study assessing the impact of stigma and other social influences on applying for benefits.
This study found that the public vastly overestimated the numbers of people ‘claiming falsely’ or ‘committing fraud’ while the Government’s own statistics indicate an actual fraud rate of around 1%.
As part of the Stigma in Britain report, we have also launched a smaller report, Read between the lines to help campaigners tackle the inaccuracies that have for too long dominated the discussion around benefits.
In July 2012 the Government consulted key stakeholders about its proposal to discontinue the publication of Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take-up. This would mean that statistics highlighting the numbers of people claiming means-tested benefits would no longer be available.
We responded to the consultation as it affects the Charity and our Turn2us service users.
Turn2us worked with YouGove and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (now StepChange Debt Charity) to investigate the use of payday loans. The results revealed that people are turning to payday loans to bridge a financial gap in their household income before checking out other easier and less-costly ways to maximise their income.
By carrying out this survey, we hope to highlight the issues around payday borrowing and recommend that people who are thinking of taking out a payday loan should first check their entitlement to benefits/tax credits and eligibility for charitable grants.
Elizabeth Finn Care jointly hosted a conference with other leaders in the sector (Association of Charitable Organisations, Directory of Social Change and nfpSynergy) entitled Shaping the Future of Benevolence in October 2011. The event was chaired by Dame Diana Brittan, Chairman of Independent Age.
In September 2010, nfpSynergy were commissioned to complete an analysis of the state of the benevolent sector. This looked at the current issues and challenges faced by many grant-giving charities as well as the potential for sharing resources and developing strategic partnerships.
This research found that communication between benevolent organisations and providing regular forums for the sharing of ideas and best practices are key to charities working together to face the mounting challenges that the sector currently faces.
In light of this, Elizabeth Finn Care jointly hosted a conference with other leaders in the sector (Association of Charitable Organisations, Directory of Social Change and nfpSynergy) entitled ‘Shaping the future of benevolence’ in October 2011. This event was chaired by Dame Diana Brittan, Chairman of Independent Age.
The Policy and Research team commissioned think tank International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) to research and analyse the potential impact of the 2010 Spending Review in the context of intergenerational fairness (whether the changes suggested in the review affect different age groups fairly).
Our Work Foundation report details the findings of a qualitative interview study with 20 low-earning employees to explore the currently under-researched and inter-related issues of personal finances, wellbeing and work.
The study aimed to explore employees’ experiences of dealing with their finances, the challenges they face and the types of support available through the workplace that they would find useful in relation to money.
As a way forward we argue that the broad range of support services offered by charities needs to be communicated to employees. The workplace could be a valuable arena in which to do this. Providing information on charitable support services would be particularly beneficial when employers are unable to provide any other forms of support.
More effective communication about the role of charitable support between employers, employees and charities could help to break down the stigma and misconceptions about people who receive help from charities
The Policy and Research team commissioned Roehampton University to carry out a study looking at the link between mental health and the recession. The results highlighted a staggering rise in mental health conditions among UK workers, directly related to worries related to the UK’s current economic situation.
Some 53% of people have experienced symptoms such as anxiety, stress and/or depression during the recession – that’s four-to-five times higher than the levels recorded among the general population before the onset of the recession.
In December 2009, the Policy and Research team commissioned YouGov to look into the provisions that professionals of working age were making for their retirement. The study revealed that significant numbers of individuals are relying on an inheritance to fund them when they are older. However the research also showed that their parents’ generation were intending to leave their children less than expected.
These are worrying statistics. In the long-run, unless more is done to encourage people to think about their futures, it is our children and grandchildren who will bear the brunt of this woeful under-provision through increased taxation.