Calls to Samaritans’ helpline about financial worries have doubled in the three years since the onset of the financial crisis. One in five people contacting the charity this year talked about job concerns, housing problems, debt and other financial pressures, doubling from one in ten calls in 2008*.
These issues are reflected in Samaritans’ annual survey of the nation’s worries, published today, which reveals that more than half (54%) of people in
they won’t have enough money to live comfortably in the coming year. Over a third of people (40%) are concerned about losing their job or having difficulty finding work.
The YouGov poll shows the top six worries of people in London over the last year (2011) are:
· Money/bank balance/debt – 45%
· Physical health issues – 31%
· Job security/redundancy – 28%
· Domestic politics/current Government – 27%
· Problems/issues with family and friends – 24%
· Appearance/ageing – 24%
John Royle, Branch Director of Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans, said: “Samaritans receives over 2.5 million calls a year - our branch alone receives around 30,000 calls, and since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, the number of people calling us about their money worries has doubled. If you’re struggling to cope with the challenges you’re facing in these difficult times, we’d encourage you to get in touch with Samaritans. Our service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available throughout the Christmas period.”
Other key findings for London are:
· Of everyone in the UK, Londoners have been most worried about neighbourhood issues (15% compared to 6% in the East Midlands which was the lowest).
· Londoners were the most worried in the past year about their appearance/ageing (24% compared to 15% in Wales and 20% nationally).
· London was also the region where people were the most hopeful that their appearance will improve in the next year (11% compared to 8% nationally).
· 19 per cent of people considered 2011 a bad year or their worst year ever, compared with 31 per cent in 2010**.
· People said small acts of kindness, such as someone smiling at them (54%), giving them a compliment (51%) or a hug (46%), listening to them (44%) and having time to chat (40%), helped brighten their day.
· 29 per cent of people said they won’t have any New Year’s resolutions for 2012, but the top three resolutions included losing weight (27%), starting to get more exercise (23%) and saving money (19%).
A full national and regional breakdown of the 2011 survey can be found here: www.samaritans.org/pdf/Results_for_Samaritans_Worries_2011
For comparison, Samaritans’ 2010 and 2009 YouGov surveys can be found here: 2010: www.samaritans.org/pdf/Results_for_Samaritans_Worries_2010.pdf
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