ITV News figures reveal the devastating scale of the crisis facing UK charities

Charity shops are shut, fundraising is in free fall - and our new figures now reveal the scale of this crisis facing many UK charities.

Filming in Lancashire, I found an empty office where the service helping older people claim benefits has closed.

In the same area, an activity centre that can't re-open through lack of funds.

The charity's boss, Suzanne Carr of Age Concern Central Lancashire, told me: "At a time when the country is experiencing horrible impacts of loneliness and isolation, we, who are experts at helping people deal with that, are not able to finance that support."

The charity is still providing a lot of support for older people, but has fears for the future and has already reduced some of its deliveries to isolated clients.

We found funding problems all over the UK - hundreds of charities were surveyed for ITV News by Pro Bono Economics.

42% of them are concerned about meeting immediate demand in the next three months.

  • Almost half raised less this Christmas

  • Of those, almost one in five - now expect job cuts

And a similar proportion of small charities (20%) saw incomes plummet by at least half.

The figures look daunting. The UK government set aside £750 million specifically to support charities, but experts say the funding gap is more like £10 billion.

We asked the Charities Minister, Baroness Barran, whether that is clear evidence that there is insufficient support for the charity sector to survive this pandemic.

She told us: "Over 14,000 charities have benefited large and small all across the country.

"We are not going to be able to help every charity... they have been supported by a multi-billion pound package of furlough and other loans."

Our new figures raise a question that is urgent - what happens when good causes that offer so much to others now need more help themselves?

ITV News worked with experts at Pro Bono Economics to survey hundreds of UK charities. The findings can be found in full here. Pro Bono Economics is a charity specialising in the social sector, which uses economics to support charities and social enterprises and to increase wellbeing across the UK. The survey was conducted in partnership with Charity Finance Group and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.