The Young Women’s Trust, a charity which has helped women for over 150 years, has launched a fund in order to help economically vulnerable young women throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Young Women’s Emergency Fund will provide relief payments to support women aged 18-30 who are facing financial hardship. Young women who are struggling to afford essential items such as food, utilities and rent, will receive £150 each to support them throughout this period of uncertainty.
After generously donating £85,000 of its own money, Young Women’s Trust is seeking to raise a further £50,000 in an effort to support hundreds of vulnerable women across England and Wales.
Launching the Emergency Fund, Sophie Walker, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said:
“The government has announced emergency measures to support businesses, homeowners and the self-employed. We are very worried that thousands of young women who were left behind before the crisis, have been left behind in the response to it.
“Young women are telling us they’re fearful about how they are going to pay their rent, electricity and gas and even feed their children over the coming weeks. We want to provide immediate relief to help these young women.
“The current climate is causing financial difficulties for many, but we know from the millions who have pledged to help the NHS and their communities during this crisis, that people stand ready to help others in their time of need. We urge them to stand with us as allies to young women who are economically vulnerable at this time.”
The charity, which evolved from the YWCA England and Wales and was formed more than 150 years ago, has joined forces with Women’s Aid, Women’s Resource Centre and Women for Refugee Women, all of which will act as referral partners. These partner charities will refer women who are economically vulnerable, experiencing domestic violence and those who are living in insecure housing to the fund.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Young Women’s Trust found that 40 percent of young women struggle to make their money last the whole month, while 1 in 4 mums skipped meals every day due to financial struggle.
Testimonies from women since the crisis hit have revealed their fears for their livelihood, unless the government intervenes further to offer greater relief efforts through the increase of basic benefit allowances such as Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance and Personal Independence Payments. The charity is also calling on the government to remove the barriers which currently stand in the way of refugee and migrant women accessing healthcare.
Kira, a young woman from London, worried about what the coronavirus outbreak means for her said:
“Before coronavirus I was on a zero-hours contract but couldn’t keep up with childcare costs, so was forced to give up work at the start of this month. I am now faced with empty supermarket shelves and can’t buy the food I need for me and my son and have had to turn to food banks for help.
“Luckily I now have permanent accommodation but I am still worried about being forced to make a choice between paying rent and buying food. I need stable work for my family but I know finding a job is going to be so much harder now the country is in lockdown. I’m what some people would call a low-skilled worker, but it now seems like we’re some of the most important workers in the country.”
It is women like Kira, who are in desperate need of your donations. A contribution of just £25 can ensure that a young woman has enough food for the week, or a donation of £60 can feed an entire household.
These are tough and uncertain times for us all. But if you feel you can, please stand in solidarity with young women facing financial crisis and give to the Emergency Fund today.
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