How our Emergency Fund helped vulnerable young women

By Young Women's Trust • 15 January 2021

Since its launch our coronavirus Emergency Fund has given out £214,900 through 1366 referrals.

We spoke to some of the young women who received relief payments from our coronavirus Emergency Fund in 2020. In this blog we share some of their experiences of living through lockdown and hear how the money helped them.

Lockdown pressures

We spoke to the young women who received emergency fund payments about their experiences of living in lockdown and economic uncertainty was a strong theme in their feedback. Many had lost jobs, were struggling to pay bills, and lacking support

During lockdown I just felt lonely and isolated. There were no groups to go, and you can’t even communicate with the outside world because you need data [on your phone].

Many young women that received the relief payments found themselves in insecure or temporary accommodation such as hostels and refuges.

I was living in temporary accommodation for the past couple of months and moved to a flat by my housing company due to change in circumstances. Before moving into the flat I was only told that I would have to pay the bills which was ok to me but they didn’t mention that there is no oven, grill, microwave, kettle, toaster, washing machine, and after moving in I have been told I have to buy that by myself as I was in an independent living. I couldn’t afford all this as I am not working.

We built partnerships with some phenomenal women’s organisations who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to help some of the most vulnerable women in the UK. These included Women’s Aid, Women’s Resource Centre, Women for Refugee Women, Money Advice Plus and Getaway Girls. These partnerships were key to ensuring that young women who needed help could access the Emergency Fund.

How the grant money has helped

Lockdown measures made it difficult for some young women to afford the basics.  For some the emergency payment meant that they could buy groceries and gave them the chance to communicate with their support networks.

It helped me to buy things I need. I bought food, toiletries and some toys for my baby. It also meant that I could afford data for my phone.

The relief payments have also provided some young women with a sense of support and confidence.

I used the amount to help cover for that month’s rent (…) It felt good not to rely on anyone. I had someone to turn to when I needed it, when I was struggling.

Thanks to the support from people donating and the hard work from our fundraising team we raised over £300,000 to help support young women with emergency payments. We continue to work with our partners to give relief payments to young women. Some of the women who received payments have gone on to engage with our Work It Out service and become more involved with our work.

If you are able to, you can donate to support our work with young women who are experiencing economic injustice.