New study reveals 1.25 million people are destitute in the UK

Friday, May 6th, 2016 | Posted in Blog

JRF image

Image source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

This week, Joseph Rowntree Foundation published the first comprehensive study into destitution in the UK. The report revealed that 1.25 million people, including over 300,000 children, are destitute.

As defined by the report, “Destitution is the most severe form of poverty in the UK and means someone can’t afford the basic essentials they need to eat, keep clean and stay warm and dry.”

The report was commissioned by JRF in response to perceptions that extreme poverty had risen in recent years.

In total, researchers found that:

  • 1,252,000 people, including 312,000 children, were destitute at some point in 2015
  • 4/5 were born in the UK
  • Around a third had a complex need
  • Young, single people, particularly men, are more likely to be destitute, but there are considerable numbers of families living in destitution.

There is no single cause, but most people had been living in poverty for a considerable period of time before tipping into destitution. The most common causes are:

  • the extra costs of ill health and disability
  • the high costs of housing and other essential bills
  • unemployment
  • a financial shock like a benefit sanction or delay

Many people named the extra expenses caused by disability and illness and the high cost of rent and household energy bills as triggers for destitution.

Destitute parents often went without things themselves so that they could provide more for their children.

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“There are a shocking number of people in the UK living in destitution. It is simply unacceptable to see such levels of severe poverty in our country in the 21st Century.”

“Tackling the many causes of destitution is difficult. Many people affected are living on a very low income before they are no longer able to make their incomes stretch, or a financial shock like a benefit delay or family breakdown pushes them over the edge into destitution.”

JRF is calling on the Office of National Statistics to begin officially tracking the number of destitute people in the UK.  Government, businesses, communities and individuals need to work together to provide better support for people in crisis, as well as reducing the costs of housing and basic essentials as well as creating better jobs that pay sufficiently.

You can read the full report here>

Here at FTCT, we want to ensure families within the UK fashion and textile industry who are experiencing these issues, access our support. Please pass our information on to any friends, family or colleagues who you think may be affected.

Grants start at £250 and can pay for essential items like clothing, bedding or shoes.

Small grants promo Jan 2016

To apply, families must work or have recently worked in the UK fashion and textile industry.

This covers people in a wide range of businesses including, supermarkets, high street clothes shops, as well as distribution centres, factories and offices of companies selling products ranging from clothing to footwear and soft furnishings.

We are a small and friendly team, so you don’t need to explain your situation a hundreds of times to different people.

With just one simple form to fill in, getting help from FTCT is quick and easy. In most cases grants are turned around in just 14 days, (once all evidence has been received).

If you know a family experiencing these issues, please give them our details. To find out more, call Dora on 0300 123 9002.
Or fill in our online enquiry form>

Related reading:

What is a grant and how can it help my family?
Who can apply?
Application process

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