Charis Newsletter – October 2021
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Visit the Charis Shop.
Once registered with Charis, organisations can access a range of goods and vouchers quickly and easily, getting support to someone needing help wherever they are. The range offered includes fuel vouchers, food and clothing vouchers, essential household items and a range of white goods. As a result of increasing demand, Charis is continuing to add new vouchers each week as the number of organisations using the service grows.
This new online Shop platform was developed in response to charities, local authorities and housing associations needing to provide a service which could efficiently get emergency help to their vulnerable customers. Over the winter period, Charis saw a 43% increase in organisations accessing emergency support and this has continued into the summer with users citing the end of furlough support, increased rates of indebtedness and acute poverty within certain communities as key drivers of need. Some 94% of organisations using the Charis Shop have highlighted that the needs of their community have increased due to the pandemic and that this will continue, or even worsen, as the country starts to recover.
Partnering with Charis
A number of organisations have selected Charis as a key partner to support their customers, including Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing. The Group’s charitable foundation, Clarion Futures, provides support, skills and opportunities to residents in their homes and communities, and has been working with Charis to provide food and fuel vouchers, as well as white goods, to residents in need.
Steph Noyce, Head of Money and Digital at Clarion Futures said of the Charis Shop, “the pandemic has had a huge impact on our residents, with many experiencing money worries and struggling to put food on the table. By working with Charis we’re able to provide emergency relief to those in need before offering tailored support to help them get back on a more stable financial footing. The support of like-minded partners like Charis makes such a difference, and we’re delighted to be working together.”
Case Study – Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT)
HACT partners with organisations across the social housing sector to drive value for residents and communities. In response to the pandemic, Charis worked with HACT to deliver a large scale, UK wide fuel voucher provision scheme via their network of housing providers.
Recognising that there was an urgent need for residents to access the most basic of needs – HACT worked closely with Charis to create and mobilise a digitised process to remotely distribute fuel vouchers to social housing residents. As a result of this process, fuel vouchers were distributed from Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021 to residents across the UK.
Over ten months of the scheme, 17,360 vouchers with a value of £1 million were distributed. 160 housing providers signed up to be involved in the scheme, with 550 local agents registering as users on the platform.
A more detailed case study of the partnership with HACT is available on the Charis website
Charis published the above as a guest article in the September addition of the Association of Charitable Organisations’ newsletter. Available here.