Share on:


Revealing the breadth and depth of vulnerability and the overwhelming nature of multiple complex needs

Stacked against

If you were to visit 100 homes in need of CAP’s Debt Help, you would meet 46 households affected by mental ill-health, 28 with a physical disability and 17 where someone has been a victim of abuse. But this is only a two-dimensional view.

Using data from CAP’s annual client survey of 1,060 respondents, this report uncovers the true extent of the difficulties CAP clients face, the multiplicity of these, and how they interact. On top of their financial crisis, CAP clients face an average of three additional difficulties:

  • Most commonly, CAP clients face a combination of mental ill-health, unemployment and physical disability, with one in ten facing all three.
  • 51% of CAP clients with five or more different vulnerability indicators have considered suicide, compared to 15% of those with none.
  • CAP clients with five or more different vulnerability indicators are twice as likely to be unable to afford their basic living needs than those with none.

Uncovering the common patterns of characteristics and circumstances that typically present together gives us a more complete picture of vulnerability. For example, did you know that households containing someone with a learning difficulty are twice as likely to contain someone with a physical disability than those without, or that those with a physical disability are five and a half times more likely to be housebound?

Throughout Stacked against, real stories from people like Tina show what it is like to experience situations of intense and enduring vulnerability. While we cannot necessarily expect someone to disclose all their personal challenges, knowing what else is likely to be happening in their life allows us to respond more appropriately.

It’s time to go beyond the ‘vulnerability’ label. Download the report to:

  • Explore hidden depths: the overwhelming nature of multiple and complex needs, and the compounding impact of emotions and living in poverty.
  • Get beneath the surface: how household circumstances, ill-health, disability and personal difficulties create vulnerability, and the interactions between these.
  • Take your next step: how to move forward in your organisation to take a more sophisticated approach to vulnerability.

Join the discussion on Twitter using #StackedAgainst

Contact our PR team:
01274 761924

Contact our External Affairs team:
01274 761985

Latest news and blogs

Debt help in Scotland: Jimmy’s story

Jimmy from Scotland shares how CAP Job Clubs and Debt Help empowered him to transform his life
Blog | Thursday, 09 June 2022

A different Jubilee

As we look back on the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, Owen reflects on the Biblical Year of Jubilee
Blog | Monday, 06 June 2022

How to find support in the cost of living crisis

Do you know what help's available to you amid the rising cost of living?
Blog | Wednesday, 04 May 2022