Help us strengthen the safety net to ensure families in crisis can get emergency support when they need it

An unexpected crisis can happen to anyone. Causes could be job loss, relationship breakdown, long-term poverty, or an unexpected expense such as a broken boiler. 

We all want to feel that, if a crisis hits, we will get the support we need to keep going. This support provides a safety net when the worst happens. It could be assistance from friends, family or emergency help from local councils.

This safety net is at risk.  

1 in 7 councils are no longer providing emergency funds that help families who find themselves in need. Those councils that do have funds are facing decreasing budgets and uncertain futures.  

This leaves those who can’t rely on the support of loved ones with nowhere to turn.  

As a result, people are increasingly turning to foodbanks and other forms of voluntary support to keep them going but these services simply can’t keep up with the demand. 

We need your help to ensure that every local council adequately funds emergency support for families to ensure no-one is left with nowhere to turn at a time of crisis. 

Campaign with us to ensure emergency support is available for families in need.



We want every council to prove it CARES about children and vulnerable families.  

A council that CARES is:

Child friendly: Councils should ensure families have support with essentials like travel, childcare, nappies and school uniforms. Children and young people need to feel welcome and safe in spaces that provide support – and know they can find information and ask for help if they need to. 

Accessible: Councils should make sure families in crisis have access to clear, up-to-date information on what help is available locally. Every council should ensure people can find information and apply for help in a range of ways – through other organisations, online, via telephone, paper or in person. 

Referral-friendly: Families or young people who have applied for help with a financial crisis should always be connected with other support that’s available locally. If a council or a local charity can’t provide support, councils should ensure they are making it as easy as possible to refer people to other sources of support. 

Eligibility-aware: Councils should not judge people in crisis as ineligible for support due to how long they have lived in an area, whether they have applied before, or because of their age.

Strategic in its leadership: Councils should be responsible– and held accountable – for ensuring that effective support is available for families in crisis. There should be a named councillor responsible for local crisis provision in every area. 

Tell us what is happening in your area

Providers of emergency financial support and assistance are at the frontline of responding to Covid-19, and we know that many new challenges are arising with each passing day.

If you work or volunteer for any organisation that is providing financial or material support to people during this crisis, please take our survey and let us know how things are going, so we can understand the key issues affecting emergency support providers, and help to ensure the most vulnerable are able to get the support they need.

Take our survey and let us know your experiences with financial support.

* Data for the map was from the following sources: FOI requests from local authorities gathered in October 2018, local welfare assistance recommended funding, local authority spending power, and additional information was gathered from individual local authorities where required.
* This action is only relevant to campaigners in England, as schemes in both Wales and Scotland operate differently.