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Sense launches fund with national poverty charity in response to cost of living crisis

Melanie May | 26 August 2022 | News

The calculator on an iphone, resting on top of some paperwork.Photo by Olya Kobruseva

Sense has teamed up with Turn2Us in a new fund created to help disabled households during the cost of living crisis.

The Sense Cost of Living Support Fund will provide one-off emergency grants of £500 to 1,000 disabled households who are using Sense services and facing profound financial hardship. The fund is for disabled children and adults with complex disabilities, who are living with their families, on low incomes and struggling to pay for their essentials. Sense has partnered with anti-poverty charity Turn2Us to administer the scheme and so far, has distributed over half of the grants.

This is the first time Sense has provided financial support on this scale and comes as the charity’s research shows that that higher costs for food and energy this year have put nearly three quarters (72%) of families with a disabled child or adult into debt, with more than half (55 per cent) admitting to borrowing money from friends and family.


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Two in five say they will go without food to save money, with more than three quarters saying the pressure is affecting their mental health. Sense polled more than one thousand families with a disabled child or adult in their household across the UK.

The charity is calling on the government to do more to protect people facing financial hardship – its petition now has over 25,000 signatures.

Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive, said:

“Disabled people and their families have told us that they are frustrated by the lack of urgency from Government in tackling the cost-of-living crisis. Sense felt that we needed to step in and set up the fund to help people who are struggling now to pay for their essentials.


“We have already seen a huge demand for support, which reflects the massive cost-of-living challenges facing the individuals we support and their families. We know it will make a huge difference to those who receive it, but it’s not a long-term solution, and there are many more disabled people and families across the country that need support at this time.


“Everyone is affected by rising prices, but disabled households are one of the hardest hit because of their circumstances. Many are in poverty, less likely to be in full-time work and face higher costs for energy for essential equipment and the additional costs of disability. The next Prime Minister must recognise the impact this crisis is having on disabled households and provide long-term financial support.”

Jules Tompkins, Senior Programme Manager at Turn2us, added:

“For families living with a loved-one with complex disabilities, receiving a charitable grant can be a lifeline in helping them cope financially. Every day we hear from disabled people about the impact grants can have and we are pleased to be working with Sense to ensure disabled people and their families receive vital financial support as the cost of living continues to spiral. We know disabled people will be amongst those hardest hit by soaring costs. Therefore, it is crucial that in the longer-term, reforms are made to both our economy and social security system to stop the growing inequalities in our society, and to ensure people to have enough money to live on.”