The scale of appliance poverty in the UK is staggering. It’s unacceptable that millions of us are living without essential items such as a fridge, cooker or washing machine.
Every year, due to cuts and austerity, more children are growing up in homes where parents cannot cook a hot meal. And the most vulnerable of us are paying more to store groceries or wear clean clothes.
I have worked for Turn2us for 11 years. I’m proud to be part of a national charity that helps people experiencing financial hardship get back on track. Over the years we’ve spoken to many thousands of people who cannot afford to buy new (or replace faulty) white goods.
Our research has revealed that over two million households in the UK (4.8 million people) are living without essential household appliances. As a response to our shocking findings, we recently published our #LivingWithout campaign report, which outlines the scale of appliance poverty across the UK.
Basic household appliances are not a luxury. The reality of living without a cooker at any time of year is grim. It takes away dignity, leaves families worse off, and the impact on children or other dependants cannot be overstated.
Help is available
If you find yourself struggling without a fridge, or have a faulty cooker – you may be eligible for help.
Your best first step is to use our Grant Search tool.
It’s easy-to-use and you can check if you’re eligible for support from over 1,500 grant-giving charities. These include charities who offer help with the cost of white goods. Unlike loans, you don’t have to pay a penny back. Last year we awarded a total of £3.4 million in grants to over 2,500 recipients.
Grants and More
What help you can get depends on your circumstances and background. This is dependent upon meeting the criteria, as all grant funders complete a grant assessment before awarding a grant or item. You can find a number of charitable grants and other schemes that may help on our website.
In addition to our grants search tool, we also have an online Benefits Calculator (there’s also one on the Quids in! website). Last year, an estimated 114,000 households successfully claimed new benefits after using the calculator. It helps people to check their entitlements to welfare benefits and tax credits. The additional income can go a long way to helping those living without to be able to afford essential household appliances.
Some energy-related charitable funds may help with the cost of white goods for people in need. To find these, search ‘energy’ using the keyword search in our Grants Search.
Help also may be available through your council’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
I’ve been delighted to see the positive impact that Turn2Us have had on the lives of people who were living without. Recent service users, Heather and David, needed to move to more accessible accommodation after David’s leg was amputated. The frequent trips to the hospital reduced their already limited savings and they struggled to afford what they needed in their new home, including a cooker.
By using our Grants Search, the couple were able to secure an Elizabeth Finn Fund grant to help them settle in their new home with the essential appliances.
It’s stories like these that motivate and inspire everyone at Turn2us to support those who are struggling. Our aim is to drive change that will bring about a long term solution to appliance poverty. If you need help to buy or replace a faulty cooker, freezer, fridge or washing machine, rest assured support is out there.
The best place to start is here.