Diminished Opportunities

Diminished opportunities – new research from the Surrey Care Trust

New research from local charity, the Surrey Care Trust, shows that 86% of the disadvantaged people we support feel that there are even fewer opportunities available to them now because of the pandemic.

The research, based on a sample of 63 clients which included young people (12 years+), troubled families and vulnerable adults, demonstrates how the restrictions and uncertainties of Covid are affecting the lives and the livelihoods of many people, but they are disproportionately harmful for people in crisis and those already struggling to cope.

The Trust’s research found that:
• Of those who were in employment at the start of the pandemic, 87% have already seen their employment status change, with 40% of these now on reduced hours or shifts, 40% made unemployed and 20% furloughed.
• 72% of our beneficiaries say the pandemic has impacted their mental health, and 31% of adults say this has, in turn, affected their education/employment.
• 58% of our beneficiaries (rising to 70% of those in employment) have had to abandon plans or ambitions because of the pandemic.

John Downing, Chief Executive of the Surrey Care Trust says: “The pandemic’s aftershocks are proving ruinous for those on the margins of our communities in Surrey. Jobs in hospitality, retail and leisure that many on low incomes rely on have disappeared, while apprenticeships have been withdrawn and educational opportunities put on hold because of family or financial circumstances.

“We know that more than ever, our mentoring, counselling and training programmes will be needed to help people to get back on track with jobs, college and school so they can realise their aspirations, support their families and make a positive contribution to society.”

The Surrey Care Trust has launched a new ‘Back on Track’ appeal this Christmas to help the charity to support its work of breaking the cycle of disadvantage in Surrey, which can be found here

The Trust’s initial tranche of research on the mental health effects of the spring lockdown can be found here