Devastating effect of cost of living crisis revealed in new report


A new report has revealed the devastating effect of the cost of living crisis on the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.

NICVA, a membership body for the voluntary and community sector, said that many of its members who support people and communities, are facing an increase in demand for services despite a fall in income and rising costs.

A spokesperson for NICVA said the organisation wanted to find out how the rising cost of living had impacted on demand and delivery in order to build a picture of the support needed by the sector and how this can be provided with a lack of functioning government.

The NICVA report shows that main issues facing the sector included: severe financial pressures driven by the rising costs of energy and fuel. Community Transport has also been directly affected with less services being available due to the prohibitive costs.

Volunteering has also been affected with people just not able to afford to travel to where they volunteer. This has had a huge effect on people relying on these services.

Another huge factor is the lack of long term and substantial funding. The sector is being asked to do more but with less money.

Karen Mullan, Strategic Development Manager at Foyle Food Bank, said: “At Foyle Food bank we are seeing more people struggling to cover the essential bills and we have seen an increase of people using our food bank for the first time and people who are working.”

Jonny Currie, the Northern Ireland lead of the Trussell Trust, who coordinate 22 food banks across Northern Ireland, said: “Being forced to turn to a food bank to feed your family is a horrifying reality for too many people in Northern Ireland. This is not right. Food banks are not the answer when people are going without the essentials.”

Celine McStravick, NICVA Chief Executive, above, said: “‘What we heard loud and clear is our sector is at the forefront of dealing with the ongoing impacts of the cost of living crisis.

“Organisations from all over our sector have told us loud and clear they need help and support with everything from energy prices to paying their staff a fair wage.

“We’re facing pressures on our finances and on our people. Being asked to do more with less, with morale at an all-time low, and all without long term funding.”

• Read the full report here –

Read the VIEWdigital issue on the cost of living crisis –