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Britons willing to support neighbours, NHS charities as money worries mount, new poll finds

3 April, 2020
A majority of people in Britain are ready to support their neighbours and NHS charities through the coronavirus pandemic, despite facing money worries of their own, a new poll finds.

The poll by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), conducted as strict social distancing rules were being introduced, found that people are willing to chip in to help friends, family and neighbours to weather the crisis.

More than half of people said they expect to help their neighbours or friends with shopping or errands (56%) while half said they expect to check on their vulnerable or elderly neighbours (51%).

The survey also found some willingness to support charities, with NHS and local charities garnering higher levels of support than national or international causes.

More than a third of people (34%) said they were very likely or somewhat likely to donate to local charities, while 4 in 10 (40%) said they very likely or somewhat likely to donate to NHS charities. Additionally, 45% said they were very likely or somewhat likely to donate food or personal hygiene products to a food bank.

A slim majority of people either agreed (33%) or strongly agreed (23%) that the government should provide financial support to charities if their income is affected by the pandemic.

The findings come amid worry over household finances with almost six in 10 people (58%) saying they were either very worried or quite worried about the security of their own household income as a result of the pandemic. This compares with 38% who said they were not very worried or worried at all.

Susan Pinkney 550Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at CAF, said:

“Our latest poll findings reflect both a generosity in willingness to help in a crisis, but also reveals understandable  levels of worry out there as we all come to terms with how this crisis is affecting our daily lives and our ability to give to charity.

“Charities of all shapes and sizes are also grappling with this uncertainty, with many facing an increase in demand for their services just as their ability to fundraise has been drastically cut.

“The general public’s willingness to support charities that back up the NHS – along with foodbanks – is heartening.”


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,103 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between the 19th and 26th March 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+). The numbers included are based on the UK’s population of those aged 16+ being 53 million. 
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About CAF

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed. CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities. We are CAF and we make giving count.
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