It's Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year because of post-Christmas financial and emotional hangovers. It is also one of the busiest times of the year for applications to the ICE Benevolent Fund and this year it expects to see an even higher number of applications, as it takes part in national PR campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact grant-making charities have on society.
One Day Changes Lives is a new national awareness day on 22nd January, created by the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) and supported by long-standing member the ICE Benevolent Fund.
National data from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) shows the number of people seeking help from charities and benevolent funds has risen over the last four years and nearly half a million people turned to charities for help in just one year.
The ICE Benevolent Fund is a long standing member of the ACO and offers a variety of support including short and long-term financial grants, financial advice, help getting back to work, housing, student grants, face to face and telephone counselling, help for those living with autism and those experiencing stress, anxiety or anxiety-based depression. It also offers preventative support with access to online wellbeing resources, free webinars and discounted workshops.
In 2019, the ICE Benevolent Fund alone distributed over £750,000 in grant payments to ICE members, representing a 40% increase on the previous year.
The ACO represents more than 120 charities that provide financial support in the form of grants, which help thousands of people across the UK. A recent survey of ACO members showed more than 100,000 people applied for financial help in the last financial year. When extrapolated across its entire membership base, it is estimated ACO member charities will have supported at least 400,000 people in need.