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Spag Bol Project asks pandemic’s ‘accidental savers’ to support Covid-19 vulnerable

Spag Bol Project asks pandemic’s ‘accidental savers’ to support Covid-19 vulnerable

With a number of charities asking people to donate what they save on transport and coffees during the pandemic, The Spag Bol Project is now asking the nation’s “accidental savers” to donate and support people who are struggling to feed themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spag Bol Project launched last year and encourages people to reduce their spend and consumption of food and drink and then donate the savings to help those without a home. It has now developed an algorithm to identify and contact up to 1 million households that have been highlighted in a poll of consumers’ changing financial situations since the pandemic began.

Its aim is to persuade people to make a donation from money they save to help its partner organisations, which include The Salvation Army and Centrepoint, and support those most in need.

The poll by Money Mail & Consumer Intelligence shows that while many are finding it harder to make ends meet as a result of the pandemic, others are managing to save money. These “accidental savers” are benefitting from having lower monthly outgoings on the likes of leisure and entertainment activities, and paying for holidays.

Figures from the Bank of England also show that the nation saved £16.2 billion in April. Four in five families told the Mail they have more money to spend since lockdown began, while around 1 in 6 overall declare themselves financially better off. In some cases, individuals say they have up to £500 more disposable income available per month.

Meanwhile, a YouGov survey has also discovered that households are ordering fewer takeaways, with 40% of consumers saying their spend in this area has declined since March 23rd, compared to only 16% who say it has increased.

Bill Portlock, founder of The Spag Bol Project and CEO of London-based data science consultancy Marketing Metrix, said:

“During the pandemic our partner charities are at the forefront of dealing with the most vulnerable, including those affected by homelessness and other groups who desperately need help.

“We know a certain segment of the population is unexpectedly saving money and the algorithm we’ve built will help identify these households so we can ask them to consider a donation.

“This is where the Spag Bol Project comes in. The charity’s ethos is all about saving money – by cutting down on lavish meals or expensive takeaways in favour of a spag bol, for example – and donating a little of those savings made in lockdown to people who are in desperate need.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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