Number of parents seeking charity help triples



The number of parents seeking charitable financial support has more than tripled for the period 10 August to 16 September, compared to the same period last year, according to national poverty charity, Turn2us. 

Based on the charity’s internal data, the increased demands on it services reflects the strain coronavirus has put on household finances.

In total, 448,680 parents used the Turn2us Benefits Calculator in this 38 day period in 2020; compared to just 103,743 in 2019.

The timing of the increase also suggests that parents may be in need of more financial support in the run up to children returning to school; and the associated costs.

Turn2us has pulled together a simple five-point guide of what financial support is available:

1 – Check what benefits you are entitled to

With social security policy changing multiple times a year, Turn2us recommends you check what benefits you are entitled to every six months. While 20 million people claim benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions, there are still millions more missing out. At least £17.8 billion of benefits are unclaimed every year. Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to find out what you are entitled to.

2 – Have you seen what grants are you eligible for?

Grants are often described as the best kept secrets of the charity world. But we don’t want them to be secrets! A grant is a gift of cash or item. You do not have to pay it back. You can often spend the grant on whatever you want; such as paying bills, helping with education costs or settling debts. UK charities and organisations give out around £3 billion in grants every year. Use the Turn2us Grants Search to see what grants you can apply for.

3 – Food, school uniform and transport costs

Your local council will run a number of schemes to help you cover the cost of sending your children back to the classroom. You can ask your local council about Free School Meals, Help with Uniform Costs and School Transport Support.

4 – Extra childcare Support

There are a range of Government and employer childcare schemes to help families with the costs of childcare. Find out what support schemes you can access and which ones will best suit your situation.

5 – Best Start

If you live in Scotland, and your child is starting nursery or primary school, you might also be able to get a Best Start payment to help cover the costs. Find out more about Best Start Grants and Best Start Food.

Anna Stevenson, Welfare Benefit Expert at Turn2us, said:

“Whether it’s a charity you have never heard of, central government or your local council – there are so many schemes out there to help families with the cost of returning to school. You just have to know where to look!

“We urge every parent to check to see what they are missing out. So many of us are struggling with finances since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, it is vital that families claim everything they are eligible for.”