Demand on charities increasing despite economic recovery

Over two thirds (72%) of charities have reported increasing demand for their services despite the economic recovery, according to a new survey of 262 charities conducted by The Wheel, Ireland’s representative and support organisation for charities. The survey that was conducted earlier this month also found that 33% of charities have had to cut back or suspend services in the past year due to a lack of funding, while over 42% have reported a drop in their income over the same period.
 
Responding to the challenging environment facing the community and voluntary sector, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive Officer of The Wheel, today called on Government to prioritise investment in social provision and social infrastructure in Budget 2016. Conference 2015
 
Speaking at The Wheel’s national conference for the charity sector at Croke Park, Ms. Garvey said: “In recent budgets Government has rightly focused on achieving sustainability in our public finances, but we must acknowledge that this has come at an enormous cost to Ireland’s social infrastructure. We can now see clear evidence that even though the economy has been growing for over a year, the services that people rely on, continues to be cut. We are calling on Government today to prioritise the restoration of funding for services in Budget 2016. We are also calling on Government to ensure that future funding models continue to support the community and voluntary sector in its work of sustaining communities in Ireland,” said Ms Garvey.
 
Over 150 charities from across Ireland attended the conference on Thursday 14 May, hosted by The Wheel and sponsored by Ulster Bank. Doug Munro, Head of Deposits, Products and Propositions at Ulster Bank said: "We are delighted to be the principle sponsor of this event. Through our partnership with The Wheel we are demonstrating our commitment to valuing and supporting charities to grow. At Ulster Bank, we are happy to step forward, to help build lasting legacy in our communities and deliver measurable social impact. We believe that events like these empower community and voluntary organisations to make the greatest possible impact in the communities and in the lives of the people they serve,” said Mr Munro.