Following the success of Sense’s first round of cost of living grants from the Cost of Living Support Fund, Sense decided to do a second round of funding in March 2023. The funding was accessible to those who previously had received support from the fund.
This evaluation covers the second round of the grant fundings.
In total we have 268 respondents with 218 respondents consenting to recontact.
Recipients of the fund who responded to the survey, were based in either England or Northern Ireland. 59% live in England, 38% live in Northern Ireland and 2% live in Wales.
Understanding the fund
Overall people who applied to the fund found the process easy. 75% found the application process very easy and 23% found it easy.
Most recipients of the fund felt the grant they received helped them cope with the increased cost of living. Nearly three quarters of recipients (72%) said it significantly helped.
The majority of recipients of grants from the fund used the money to help with every day costs. 76% used the money for energy bills and 66% used the money for food. This is higher than the last round of the fund where 59% used the money for energy bills and 55% used the money for food.
Impact of cost of living
Overall recipients of the fund similar to the pulse survey and other research we have done are worried about the rising cost of living. 84% were very worried and 15% were somewhat worried. Only one respondent was somewhat unworried.
The biggest concern in relation to the rising cost of living for people who had received the grants from the fund, with nearly all respondents (91%) was food prices. This was followed by energy costs (89%), impact on mental health (50%), Rent/mortgage payments (29%), cost of transport (22%) and impact on physical health (4%).
70% of respondents felt that the current Government support announced was not enough to help disabled people and their families with the rising costs. 23% felt maybe it was enough and 7% felt it was enough to help disabled people and families with rising costs.
Recipients of the fund also wanted more support with the rising cost of living. 82% would like to see more support for carers, 76% would like a discounted energy scheme, 76% would like improved benefits, 71% would like more financial support to help with energy bills, 48% would like to reinstate the warm home discount and 24% would like information and advice to help manage finances and save money.