Family support has been vital throughout Covid-19, new research has shown
Almost half of people in Britain have been supporting a friend or family member since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
The CAF survey found that in total 49% reported supporting someone either financially or in another way. One in five people (22%) are supporting someone with their mental health, while 18% were supporting someone who is shielding.
Other ways in which people have been helping family and friends include supporting people who were self-isolating (17%), supporting those who are under-employed through furlough or reduced working hours (9%), or supporting those who are unemployed (6%).
The research also found that nearly half (46%) of people agreed that coronavirus had made them more conscious of people in need in their local community.
When it comes to Christmas, just over a third (36%) said that they were more aware of homelessness in their community this Christmastime and four in 10 (45%) said they were more aware of food poverty.
A quarter of all people (24%) said they were more likely to donate to a charity appeal this Christmas because of the crisis and a third of regular donors said they would be making an extra charitable donation this year.
The findings come as charities continue to struggle to fundraise amid social distancing and lockdown restrictions across the UK just as they face steep rises in demand for their services.
Catherine Mahoney, research manager at CAF, said: "This research confirms what we have been seeing in our own communities - Covid-19 has led many people to step in and support family and friends facing challenging times.
"This pandemic has also made people more aware of those in need in their local communities, such as the homeless and those facing food poverty, and we were especially pleased to hear that many are more likely to donate to the charities trying to help.
"Those charities have been on the frontlines for the best part of a year and they need extra support now more than ever."