More than one-third of charities in England and Wales say they are turning people away because they do not have the capacity to meet the demand for their services, according to the Charity Commission.
A survey of charities carried out on behalf of the Commission by pollsters Ipsos Mori found that thousands of vulnerable people could be missing out on essential support. In all 35% of respondents said they could not meet demand, rising to 45% in medium sized and 60% in large charities.
In addition, 16% of charities said they had been unable to help clients because they could not secure the funding to maintain their current services.
Commission chair Dame Suzi Leather said: “This is particularly worrying at a time when, as a result of the financial downturn, more people are finding themselves in very difficult circumstances.”
The survey published this week also found that 28% of adults in England and Wales would be embarrassed to receive free help from a charity. Leather added: “There is clearly an uphill struggle to communicate the range and scope of the work charities actually do.
“Who uses charities, what they expect and how they are treated should be of central importance to each and every charity.”
NCVO charity forecast