Cost of Breathing Crisis campaign by Scope and ITV

For disabled people, this is not just a cost of living crisis. It’s a cost of breathing crisis.

That’s why we’ve partnered with ITV to raise awareness of the devastating impact that the increasing cost of living is having on the lives of disabled people. And to let disabled people and their families know that Scope is here to help.

Watch the advert

You can watch the whole advert, if you have not already seen it.

Watch the advert with audio description

The advert features 6 disabled actors. We see them alongside the essential electronic equipment that they need to live their daily lives. We see that some of this equipment is unplugged and out of use.

As we move through each story, we learn how the increasing cost of living is not only forcing disabled people to compromise their independence and dignity. It is putting the health and wellbeing of disabled people at risk.

The advert ends in the Scope call centre where a Scope helpline adviser is answering a call.

What is Scope and ITV’s Cost of Breathing Crisis campaign about?

Scope and ITV have come together to show how disabled people are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.

Many disabled people need to use more energy to power essential and lifesaving equipment such as wheelchairs, hoists, communication devices and ventilators.

Our advert is based on the experiences that thousands of disabled people have shared with Scope.

Nobody should face the anxiety of not knowing whether they can afford to breathe, speak or get out of bed. We want disabled people and their families to know that they are not alone. Scope is here to help.

Our Cost of Breathing campaign launches on ITV on Tuesday 9 May. It will run for 4 weeks, until 6 June.

The adverts will also feature on digital outdoor screens across the UK. You might also see it on our social media channels and paid adverts on social media.

What does Scope want to achieve with this campaign?

We want to reach disabled people and their families, who are struggling with the cost of living to let them know that Scope is here to help.

We know many disabled people feel there is nowhere to turn, but our friendly team offers free, practical and accessible advice. We can help you navigate benefits, manage your energy bills, access grants and claim the financial support you’re entitled to. Scope’s Disability Energy Support Service has saved disabled people almost £2 million over the past year through advice and support.

We also hope that the campaign will create conversation and spread awareness of the impact that the cost of living crisis is having on disabled people and their families. The extra costs disabled people face are far too often overlooked by society, which is why it’s so important that ITV are supporting Scope to highlight this issue and let disabled people know we are here.

More about the Cost of Breathing crisis campaign

  • How were disabled people involved in the development of this campaign?

    This campaign is inspired by the real life stories that Scope hears every day. Our helpline has supported almost 38,000 disabled people over the past year. In many of those calls, disabled people have told us about the difficult decisions they are forced to make because of the cost of living crisis including switching off medical equipment to save money.

    In the advert we see the variety of electrical equipment some disabled people rely on such as continuous positive airway pressure machines to breathe, hoists to get in and out of bed, and communication devices to speak.

    We took these stories that we hear every day and used them in this advert.

  • Support for disabled people struggling with extra costs

    Our helpline answers calls every day from disabled people who are struggling with the cost of living.

    We offer practical advice and support on a range of topics including:

    • benefits
    • finance
    • social care
    • work
    • equipment and assistive technology
    • housing and home adaptations
    • Utilities and savings on your gas, electricity, water and broadband

    We can also point you to other information providers and Scope services in your local area.

    Find support with cost of living.

  • Why are disabled people hardest hit by the cost of living crisis?

    Life costs a lot more when you’re disabled.

    Scope research has found that the cost of specialist and lifesaving equipment contributes to an average extra cost of £975 every month for disabled households. This is an additional cost for disabled people just to achieve the same standard of living as non-disabled people.

    For many disabled people, this is money that we simply do not have.

    Read the Disability Price Tag 2023 

    The cost of living crisis has made the situation much worse. Disabled people who rely on energy to move around, speak and breathe have been hit hard by rocketing bills. Turning off the power risks losing their independence, health and wellbeing

  • Why are you running this campaign now when it’s getting warmer?

    As summer approaches, many households may be turning their thermostats down and hoping to see their energy bills reduce. But, for disabled people who rely on energy to power essential equipment, the extra costs and concerns will continue.

We’d love to hear your feedback

Tag us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn or join our online community to share your thoughts.

You can also contact us directly by emailing