National charity Revitalise also stresses need to address ‘relationship distress’ among families with a disabled member

Revitalise has responded to the new study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), UK Poverty 2017, in calling for urgent financial support for disabled people in poverty.

Revitalise, a charity providing respite breaks for disabled people and carers, has already noted increasing demand for hardship support in recent years.

As a result, Revitalise has increased its funding support to help those facing increasing hardship and poverty by around 400% in the past five years. By the end of January 2018, Revitalise will have provided funding in excess of £650,000, helping over 1,300 people in financial hardship take much-needed breaks with the charity.

Revitalise has also responded with concern to the report’s finding that families in poverty are disproportionately affected by social isolation and ‘relationship distress’. The charity is reasserting its call for more support for disabled people and carers – especially in the form of regular respite – in order to alleviate the damaging effects of isolation and loneliness and prevent costly interventions, increasing the pressure on the NHS and local authority social care, if the relationship is allowed to break down.

Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds commented:

“The media is right to focus on the upswing in children and older people in relative poverty, but let’s not forget that the most vulnerable people in society are also disproportionately affected.

“It is extremely concerning to find 30% of households with disabled members living in poverty – that’s 50% more than households unaffected by disability.

“We are working hard to make our contribution to combatting this and our financial support for respite breaks for those experiencing hardship has increased four-fold over the past five years in response to increasing demand, but clearly more needs to be done in terms of statutory support.

“JRF’s research also reveals a clear link between poverty and a disproportionate strain on relationships.

“Relationships between disabled people and carers are already under huge stress and support must be in place before they reach breaking point. Half of our guests told us that a break with us could have or did prevent their relationship from breaking down.

“According to Carers UK, unpaid carers save the UK economy £132 billion each year. As long as disabled people and carers continue to live in poverty, with all the accompanying problems this brings, the cost to society down the line will be huge if we allow relationships to break down.”

In order to address the problem of isolation and loneliness among disabled people, Revitalise’s Christmas Appeal is raising funds for the Revitalise Support Fund, which provides support for disabled people and carers in financial hardship, enabling them to take much-needed breaks with the charity. More information can be found on the charity’s website, www.revitalise.org.uk

Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers, combining 24-hour nurse-led care with a real holiday experience at its three accessible UK holiday centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport. Each centre offers a wide range of accessible activities and excursions in a holiday environment.