Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:  

“Whilst YMCA welcomes a number of the announcements in today’s Autumn Statement, the Government should be in no doubt as to the significant challenges that still face the charity sector from the impact of the cost of living crisis and energy price increases.

“It is disappointing that there is still no clarity about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme or what may follow from the end of March 2023, and this is already having an impact on the ability of YMCAs to properly budget and plan for 2023/24. It is important that clarity is given as soon as possible around this as the cost of energy is one of the key drivers of cost pressures for us.

“YMCA does particularly welcome the uprating of benefits in line with inflation which will be a relief to many young people who are struggling right now, as well as the additional £900 Cost of Living payment announced for 2023/24.

“The extension to Household Support Fund will also undoubtedly make a positive impact and act as a lifeline to vulnerable households in need of emergency support. YMCA’s own research showed this was massively valuable for the young people we support, giving them access to vouchers, food and winter clothes or support with energy bills.

“Overall, YMCA is encouraged that the Government have responded to a number of YMCA’s calls for support as outlined in our ‘end the cost of living crisis’ campaign, but look forward to greater clarity around some of the proposals to ensure that what will be delivered matches the intent of today’s statement.”