The 2022 Cost of Living Support Fund evaluation

Who did we help?

The majority (69%) of the households we helped were families with disabled children. 21% of households lived with a disabled young person and 10% with a disabled adult.

  • 81% of the families were in receipt of carers allowance.  
  • 43% lived in social housing.  
  • 62% of the families we supported had a net income level of £18,000 or less. 
  • Over 95% of families were on a means-tested benefit.

83% of the grant recipients were people who access a Sense service. The remaining 17% were referred from our seven partner charities: Alstrom, BBS UK, BDFA UK, NewLife, Rett UK, WellChild and Zellweger.

Age range of grant recipients

Pie chart showing the age range of Fund recipients, the majority being children - 69%
Blue dotAdults10%
Purple dotChildren69%
Orange dotYoung people21%

One of us gave up their career to be a full-time parent carer to our two disabled children. We’re so grateful for the grant which will help us keep afloat and not have to make as many hard choices to afford living in London.

Recipient of the cost of living fund

Tackling the financial and mental pressures

Bar chart showing how the grant helped. The highest response was from 60% of respondents who said it eased pressure on household income.

Everyone who received a grant said that it helped them cope with the financial pressure.

The biggest help was practical – people felt that they were more able to balance their finances (60%) and afford essential items (47%).

However, people reported how the financial support helped their mental health. 47% said that the fund made them feel less stressed and gave them an improved sense of wellbeing, while 20% said they felt more able to cope with day-to-day life and 23% said they had an improved sense of wellbeing.

It has eased pressure on our household income60%
I can afford other essential items47%
I feel less stressed and anxious47%
I feel more able to cope with day-to-day life20%
I have an improved sense of wellbeing23%
a woman in a grey hat and a boy in a blue hat smiling

Sense’s support fund will pay for the repairs to Jack’s powerchair, which is a huge relief. Without it, we may have gone into debt. Having to constantly think and worry about the additional costs is horrible and it makes me quite low sometimes.

Catherine, whose son Jack has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a learning disability