Middle classes use more charities than those on lowest incomes

The middle classes use more charities than those on the lowest income, research has found.

Those earning over £55,000 are more likely to use a larger variety of charities than those with incomes of less than £14,000.

Higher income earners used four charities on average in the past year while those with lower incomes used less than three.

The research from the Charities Aid Foundation reveals how much we all depend on charities in our everyday lives.

Eight in ten people (79%) have used a charity in the last 12 months and almost half of us (47%) feel charities are central or make a difference to our lives, even if we wouldn’t struggle without them.

Families with children over the age of 11 are most likely to have used a charity within the last 12 months with nine out of ten (89%) having done so.

A third of lone parents say they would struggle without the charity help they receive.

Charity shops are the most popular way to benefit from charity, with more than six in ten of us buying something in the last 12 months.

More than a third of people say they have visited a museum, art gallery, garden or stately home run by a charity.

One in ten of us have attended counselling sessions or support groups provided by a charity and 18 per cent have used a charity-run community centre. 

In the past year, around one in six of us have sought advice from a charity helpline or found information on a charity website.

Deborah Fairclough, head of research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: ‘’This research shows how deeply charities are woven into the fabric of our lives in this country.

‘’We support them and rely on them, from buying items in charity shops to help the causes close to our hearts to seeking advice from charities on a whole range of issues.

‘’Many of us don’t even realise we’re using a charity, but even a trip to a National Trust property or a visit to a museum can be thanks to the wonderful work of charities in the UK.’’

Give and Take: A nation of charity lovers in numbers

30m (61%) have purchased an item from a charity shop
17m (34%) have visited a charity-run gallery, museum, garden or stately home
9m (18%) have visited a community centre run by a charity or voluntary organisation
8m (16%) have sought advice from a charity or information from a charity website
6m (13%) have attended a community, youth or voluntary group or attended an event hosted by them
5m (10%) have watched or participated in a theatre production, event or arts-related programme run by a charity
5m (10%) have attended counselling, a support group or received mental health support
2m (4%) receive ongoing support and care from a charity

The online poll of 2,070 GB adults aged 18+ was conducted by Populus for the Charities Aid Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research in July 2014.

Figures are an estimation based on the proportion of people reporting to have used a charity in the previous 12 months for each activity.

Read the report 'Charity Street - the value of charity to British households' here

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