£100,000 Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund
Greenham Trust and West Berkshire Council launch a £100,000 Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund.
Greenham Trust and West Berkshire Council launch a £100,000 Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund to help charities support those affected by unaffordable hikes in energy prices and double-digit inflation.
Greenham Trust and West Berkshire Council are launching an Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund to help support charities involved in providing "front-line" support to those people who are struggling to pay for food and daily costs as energy bills and inflation soar.
With annual energy bills more than doubling in the last year, the Government forced to freeze household bills at £2,500 a year and inflation forecast to reach 13% by December, Greenham Trust and West Berkshire Council have pledged £50,000 each in 1:1 match funding, hoping that a further £100,000 can be raised for charities to provide emergency assistance to disadvantaged families and individuals.
Charities that provide emergency food support and debt and cost of living crisis management support in West Berkshire are invited to apply for the funding via The Good Exchange which will be available until at least the end of the financial year.
Other charitable funders and the public and local companies are also invited to make grants and donations via the Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund on The Good Exchange which will be automatically match funded by Greenham Trust. If you would like to me a donation to the appeal please visit https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/19728/greenham-trust/west-berkshire-emergency-cost-of-living-crisis-appeal
Greenham Trust Chief Executive Chris Boulton said:
"This is a rapidly developing emergency situation for many families and individuals who are struggling to pay for food and their energy bills. The Government has given welcome support with the energy price freeze and is giving us all £400 off our energy bills in October but many are already under significant financial strain. This will be welcome for many who will need a boost to tackle the mountainous hikes in energy bills and inflation. But for some who don't need the £400 discount, we are asking for a donation please to support people who need help and this will be match funded by the Appeal".
Speaking about the fund, West Berkshire Council Leader Lynne Doherty said:
"Charities and community groups do beneficial work across the district helping those most in need of support. We recognise the impact they have but also know that many are under pressure themselves with the requests they are receiving for help. We want to support these groups as they in turn help others and this funding will help them to do more this winter."
Local charities are reporting a concerning emerging trend of increasing numbers of employed individuals and families that are seeking assistance with food and emergency cost of living advice.
Fran Chamings, Manager at West Berks Foodbank, said:
"So many of our community are being forced into making dreadful choices. This is so much more than just Eat or Heat.
"We know of families that are rationing food. Households that are washing their clothes by hand in cold water. Working parents that come to us for baby formula and nappies. Pensioners that are asking for incontinence and denture products as they can no longer afford them. We urge you to help if you can, to relieve hunger, restore dignity and revive hope."
Kelvin Hughes, Chief Executive of Newbury Community Resource Centre, added:
"Having held numerous discussions with customers and local partners over the past month, it is clear, that we are going to be dealing with many more cases than usual. Families and individuals are struggling due to furniture poverty, food poverty, fuel poverty, debt, digital exclusion and rural isolation. We also expect (and indeed have already witnessed) people accessing our services who have previously always 'managed'. They are mainly families in full-time employment and are at an added disadvantage in that they have no knowledge or experience of seeking out support. The Cost of Living Crisis Fund is a very much needed initiative and will enable local people to support those in need within their own community."
For more information about the Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund and details of how to apply please visit https://greenhamtrust.com/greenham-trust-grant-funding/our-current-funding-opportunities/
West Berkshire Council has helped to create this fund as part of a wider look at what more can be done to help residents. Further details about this will be announced in due course.
In the meantime, West Berkshire Council has also created a new online resource to help residents worried about paying bills find out about help available locally. This is available here: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/cost-of-living