Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Do We Belong to a Nation That Gives? MORE and More Charities Are Feeling the Pinch as a Result of the Economic Downturn. So What Can Be Done to Help Those Who Help Others? Laura Woodcock Reports

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Do We Belong to a Nation That Gives? MORE and More Charities Are Feeling the Pinch as a Result of the Economic Downturn. So What Can Be Done to Help Those Who Help Others? Laura Woodcock Reports

Article excerpt

BRITAIN has always been known as a charitable nation.

But over the past few years, we have felt the pinch more than ever.

So how is this affecting our giving habits and in turn, affecting charities.

Figures released earlier this month show in the last financial year to April 2011 the UK public donated pounds 11bn to good causes.

In the last year 29.5m people gave to charity - up 1.1m on the previous year.

However, the average amount given per month per person fell from pounds 12 in 2009/10 to pounds 11.

The findings are released in a report called UK Giving 2011, the most in-depth and long-running study of charitable giving habits, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Despite more people supporting charities, in real terms the total value of donations remained the same as the previous year.

Donations are now worth pounds 900m less than the amount given in 2007/08, the year before the UK entered recession.

But this isn't the only reason charities are finding the current climate tougher than ever.

Government or local authority funding is also being slashed.

Across Teesside, charities are certainly feeling the pinch.

As reported yesterday, the Kara Family Project has been forced to close after Redcar and Cleveland funding was pulled completely.

Butterwick Hospice has also revealed they are down pounds 150,000 this year.

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, chief executive at the hospice, said: "The message I want to get across is that we hear so much about the economic downturn and how it is affecting people and shops but that it can affect charities too.

"We are working harder than ever to generate funds but compared with this time last year we are about pounds 150,000 down."

He added: "We are getting the same number of donations but the amount people are donating is decreasing because they have got less themselves.

"Where we might have got a pounds 10 donation now it will be pounds 5. …

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