Drop-In Centres Needed Now More Than Ever, ASDIC Reports

The ASDIC Cost of Living Survey results are in, and they can tell us a lot about what drop-in centres are facing today. The survey covered three key areas of concern: Funding, Costs and Service Users.

At Veterans Outreach Support, we host monthly drop-ins for veterans and their partners local to areas around Portsmouth/Isle of Wight. These drop-ins are a one-stop-shop for all sorts of support. Our volunteers and staff are on hand to chat and signpost veterans to whatever resources they may need, from triage with our clinical team including a substance misuse officer to connections with approximately 40 partner organisations.

If you’d like to learn more about our drop-ins, click here. For the new findings from the ASDIC Cost of Living Survey, continue reading below.

What is ASDIC?

The Association of Service Drop-In Centres (ASDIC) represents and links veterans’ drop-ins across the country, like the ones we host at VOS. Sometimes called hubs or centres, these drop-ins are designed to give welfare and mental health support to the ex-military community and their families, plus camaraderie and a sense of belonging. ASDIC helps drop-ins to enhance the services they can provide and makes them more accessible.

From an initial idea in 2016, ASDIC developed into an independent entity by August 2020 when it registered with the Charity Commission as a charity in its own right. It now represents 140 members across 200 locations throughout the United Kingdom with an estimated attendance of over 80,000 veterans annually. We at VOS have been connected to them from the start and are delighted with what they do.

Association of Service Drop-In Centres – Drop-In Centres for Service Members

A Shift Toward Community-Based Support

ASDIC reports that over the last 10 years, the way veterans seek help and support has gradually changed. They have seen more and more veterans going to small, locally based organisations embedded in the communities in which they live to get support, with these local community organisations showing rapid membership growth over the last 12 months especially.

In its report, ASDIC stated that this growth reflects a whole societal shift to community based support, which accelerated during the pandemic. For those that needed help, local options were often the most effective ways for them to access real support. The majority of service users access support in person, and increasingly centres have evolved to provide remote support too. One example of this at VOS is our weekly Zoom social (‘Online Brew & Banter’) which started during lockdown but stuck around because it remains popular and easily accessible for our veterans, allowing them to have a good chat from the comfort of their own homes.

Although most ASDIC organisations like VOS are embedded in the local or regional veteran welfare support landscape, they also refer service users to a variety of delivery partners from national support organisations. As a first point of contact, local drop-ins are a fantastically effective way to get veterans and their partners the support they need, local or otherwise. When that first point of contact is strong, the entire veteran community benefits.

How Does the Cost of Living Crisis Affect Drop-In Centres?

To better understand how the challenges of the current cost of living crisis is impacting ASDIC’s network, the charity conducted a survey between November and December 2022, focusing on the previous 6 months. They received responses from over a third of the memberships with submissions from every region of the UK. The survey contained multiple choice and matrix questions, as well as opportunities for participants to provide answers in their own words. Key results:

 

ASDIC Charity Funding

ASDIC Costs

ASDIC Service Users

Funding – Up to 40% of ASDIC members have reported a reduction in fundraising income over the last six months, as well as reductions in income from grants and local authorities. Some are trying to find new avenues of funding, and many call for more sustainable grants as currently most funding is for short term projects, so planning for the future and day-to-day delivery costs is difficult.

Costs – 86% of ASDIC members have reported significant increase in operational costs, in some cases this impacted on ability to provide support. As no one is untouched by the current cost-of- living crisis, not only are centres seeing higher running costs and increased demand, but some centres are also seeing a drop in volunteers, as fewer are able to freely offer their time. There’s a desire to employ paid members of staff, but not the funding to make this possible.

Service Users – 89% have seen an increase in demand for services ranging from mental health to financial matters. The survey has identified a stirring anxiety within the ASDIC membership. When asked how organisations are coping with the demand, over half answered: “With difficulty – we meet most users’ needs, but encounter some challenges.”

 

 

However, they are not without optimism! ASDIC reports that its members are showing the same resilience that brought them through the pandemic. The majority of organisations within ASDIC say their ability to meet users’ needs has improved in the past six months.

ASDIC is sharing these findings with the Office for Veterans Affairs to ensure that a spotlight is thrown onto this essential part of the veteran welfare sector, and they will continue to monitor the situation over the coming months.

ASDIC Quotes
Quotes from ASDIC survey respondents.

For more on ASDIC, check out the website here. For help navigating the cost of living crisis yourself, take a look at our resource round-up or reach out to us at VOS.

If you’re a veteran from the UK Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy (from any time of service) or a partner to one, VOS would love for you to join our community. We are here to offer our support: call us on 02392 731 767, visit an upcoming drop-in, or email admin@vosuk.org.

VOS is immensely grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, as without their support and funding we would not be able to provide our wellbeing activities.

READ NEXT: The Impact of PTSD on Veterans – Podcast Episodes by Sophie Personne

Get in touch your way

Scroll to top of page
VETERANS FOUNDATION LOTTERY LOGO

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation work with hundreds of charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need.

They help partner organisations  deliver life-changing projects through a grant award scheme.

Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to positively change lives.

CHARITIES TRUST LOGO

Charities Trust

Charities Trust is a leading donations management organisation committed to growing charitable giving since 1987.

They offer a wide range of services to help their clients raise millions of pounds for good causes, easily, safely and tax effectively.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports causes benefitting the Portsmouth community. Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds and community awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (over DOUBLE the National Lottery contribution), AND the money raised goes to good local community causes.

Proceeds fuel a general good cause fund run by HIVE Portsmouth to provide vital support to wide ranging community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in these difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

When you play the Portsmouth Community Lottery you know that 60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) AND the money raised is going to good causes that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) AND the money raised go to good causes that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a fun and effective way for your good cause to raise funds.

It was founded by Portsmouth City Council in 2016. In May 2021, the management of the lottery was transferred to HIVE Portsmouth.

HIVE work with and for the voluntary and community sector. The Portsmouth Community Lottery enables people to support the causes they care most about, helping good causes to connect with their supporters.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (over DOUBLE what the National Lottery’s contribution) – the money raised goes to good causes benefitting your local community.

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation is one of the country’s fastest-growing military charities. They proudly work with hundreds of smaller charities and charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that share their passion: to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need (their beneficiaries).
They help their partner organisations by supporting them to deliver life-changing projects through our grant award scheme.
Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to face and overcome challenges, changing lives changing for the better.
Joining the Veterans’ Lottery changes the lives of British heroes in need. Our armed forces stand together to thank you. Click below to start helping British veterans today

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation is one of the country’s fastest-growing military charities. They proudly work with hundreds of smaller charities and charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that share their passion: to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need (their beneficiaries).
They help their partner organisations by supporting them to deliver life-changing projects through our grant award scheme.
Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to face and overcome challenges, changing lives changing for the better.
Joining the Veterans’ Lottery changes the lives of British heroes in need. Our armed forces stand together to thank you. Click below to start helping British veterans today