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22 January 2020

#OneDayChangesLives: ACO shows nearly half a million turn to charities for support, including basic essentials

With January intensifying the difficulties people face financially and emotionally, new research has revealed nearly half a million people turned to charities for help in just one year, with Racing Welfare supporting more than 2,500 last year alone.

National data from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) shows the number of people seeking help from charities and benevolent funds because they have nowhere else to turn following an unexpected change in circumstances has risen over the last four years.

The ACO represents more than 120 charities, including Racing Welfare, that provide financial support in the form of grants, which help thousands of people across the UK. A recent survey of members* showed more than 100,000 people applied for financial help in the last financial year. When extrapolated across its entire membership base, it is estimated ACO member charities will have supported at least 400,000 people in need. In 2015, the charities distributed more than £56million in grants. In comparison, this rose to more than £60million last year – £216million when applied to its entire membership base.

Racing Welfare awarded almost £695k in financial assistance to pay for goods and services over the period 2015-2018, with the figure paid out in 2019 predicted to have risen again from 2018’s total of £227,428.

The ACO is highlighting the work done by its member charities across the UK today, 22 January 2020, by sharing the stories of people whose lives were turned around thanks to the support they received.

Its campaign, One Day Changes Lives, supported by Racing Welfare shows how an individual act of support granted by a charity one day can have a huge impact in improving someone’s life. Together, individual acts by ACO charities amount to a colossal positive impact on society.

We are proud to be an organisation that makes a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis

Dawn Goodfellow

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare said: “We are proud to be an organisation that makes a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis.  One Day Changes Lives is about showing how the provision of support from a charity can change someone’s life for the better and we are delighted to be part of the ACO’s campaign to highlight the impact of charities around the UK on society as a whole.”

Donal Watkin, Chief Executive at ACO, said:

These figures show the increasing levels of support needed by people with nowhere else to turn. 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.

Whilst ACO members are predominantly grant-making organisations, many – like Racing Welfare – also provide practical assistance. Racing Welfare’s services include occupational health, careers advice, befriending services and mental health and wellbeing support. In line with the charity’s own findings, ACO members are seeing an increase in supporting applicants with non-financial aid, rising from a total of 60,584 people helped in 2015 to 93,308 in 2018.

Racing Welfare is encouraging members of the public who have ever been helped by grant-giving charities to take part today and share examples of support on social media using the hashtag #OneDayChangesLives.

If you are in need of support, please visit racingwelfare.co.uk or call Racing’s Support Line on 0800 6300 443.

*Survey carried out by the Association of Charitable Organisations, June 2019, with 33 respondents across a membership base of 120 using data from their statements of the last financial year.