With the Furlough scheme ending this month, energy bills likely to rise next month and the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit set to end, we know that many of you expect demand for your services to increase further, to help people through a difficult winter ahead. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates this £20 cut combined with reductions to Working Tax Credits could push 500,000 more people into poverty.
Since The Vale Pantry in Dorset opened in November they have helped over 160 families back to full independence, but as founder, Carole, points out “As one family gets on their feet again and leaves, another joins. It’s a revolving door”. Carole expects Furlough ending and the end of the Universal Credit uplift to “hit people hard” and so the Pantry is currently focussing on sourcing the essential consumer products that are expensive for individuals to afford themselves, such as toilet roll, cleaning and laundry items.
Biggin Hill Primary school in East Yorkshire have been running a foodbank for many years. They are also anticipating an increase in need from parents over the next few weeks and months. Parents like Michelle who became unemployed due to the company she worked for closing. As Sharon, the school’s Learning Links Worker, explains, the school were able to help with weekly food and hygiene product parcels and clothing when the wait for benefits meant she struggled both financially and mentally. “Michelle and her children were overwhelmed with the help we could provide it not only helped them financially but helped mentally by relieving some of the stress the situation was causing the family“.
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