‘Accidental savers’ urged to help feed Covid-19 victims

human-2538458_960_720The Spag Bol Project, the charity set up late last year to fight homelessness, is launching a major marketing push to ask the nation’s growing number of “accidental savers” to donate and support people who are struggling to feed themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spag Bol Project has developed an algorithm to identify and contact up to a million households that have been highlighted in a poll of consumers’ changing financial situations since the pandemic began.

The charity’s stated aim is to persuade people to make a donation from money they save to help its partner organisations, which include The Salvation Army and Centrepoint, and support those most in need.

The Money Mail research shows that while some are finding it harder to make ends meet as a result of the pandemic, many people are actually managing to save money. Dubbed “accidental savers”, these consumers are benefitting from having lower monthly outgoings, for example on leisure and entertainment activities, and paying for holidays.

Four in five families say they have more money to spend since lockdown began, while around 1 in 6 overall declare themselves financially better off. In some cases, individuals say they have up to £500 more disposable income available per month.

Meanwhile, a YouGov survey has also discovered that households are ordering considerably fewer takeaways, with 40% of consumers saying their spend in this area has declined since March 23, compared to only 16% who say it has increased.

Spag Bol Project founder Bill Portlock, who is also CEO of London-based data science consultancy Marketing Metrix, said: “During the pandemic our partner charities are at the forefront of dealing with the most vulnerable, including those affected by homelessness and other groups who desperately need help.

“We know a certain segment of the population is unexpectedly saving money and the algorithm we’ve built will help identify these households so we can ask them to consider a donation. Anecdotally, one friend of mine who I have known for 30 years is saving for the first time in his life – he’s even bought premium bonds – so some people do have more spare cash than usual.

“This is where the Spag Bol Project comes in. The charity’s ethos is all about saving money – by cutting down on lavish meals or expensive takeaways in favour of a spag bol, for example – and donating a little of those savings made in lockdown to people who are in desperate need.”

For more information, visit The Spag Bol Project’s website>

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