Organisations in Dumfries and Galloway that provide advice and support to the most vulnerable people in our communities have reported a significant increase in demand for their services as a result of the UK Government’s welfare reforms.
A survey of third sector organisations in Dumfries and Galloway, carried out by Third Sector First, showed that, over the last twelve months, almost 94% of organisations that responded said they had seen an increase in demand for their services. All those organisations that responded said they expected demand for their services to increase in the coming year.
The results suggest that that more people are living in fear of change and people are increasingly worried about their employment prospects, whether they can afford to meet housing costs or simply make ends meet.
David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First, said: “Many of our members are the organisations that people turn to when they are in difficulties. Not only have many of these organisations experienced an increase in demand for their services over the past year, but they predict a further increase in demand in the next twelve months.
“Inevitably what this means is that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are experiencing increased levels of stress and mental health problems.”
The results of Third Sector First’s survey will be revealed in full at Connect2013 – a conference being held in Dumfries on Friday 8 November that will bring the third and public sectors together to explore issues that affect the people and communities of Dumfries and Galloway. Visit www.connect2013.org.uk for more information and to book a place.
Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector; develop social enterprise; develop volunteers and volunteering; and connect the third sector to community planning.