Donate now to support Yorkshire people through the winter
With the onset of winter, and food and fuel poverty still rife amongst the people of the region, we have reopened the Cost of Living Crisis Fund appeal asking for new and past Yorkshire donors to dig deep.
To date £429,122 has been distributed to 139 groups, supporting over 10,000 people throughout the region, but with the cold months just around the corner and cost of heating homes and basic food still unaffordable for many, people need more support, and for that new donations are necessary.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, more than 30% of people are going hungry in low-income households, and 40% are behind on bills.
Unsurprisingly, almost 50% of households going without the essentials report mental health issues associated with the stress of trying to make ends meet.
At Moorlands Community Centre in Goole, over a three-month period last winter they provided an additional 1,740 meals and a warm space for adults, children and young people thanks to their Cost of Living Crisis funding. Their foodbank activity increased by nearly 50%, but this winter they need more.
Jacky Crawford, their CEO told us:
“We couldn’t have supported so many people without the Cost of Living Crisis grant administered by Two Ridings, but that support and need has not gone away.”
Celia McKeon Chief Executive of Two Ridings said:
“Community organisations are an absolute lifeline for the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our region. They meet essential needs – for food, for advice with bills, for warmth and for company on the dark, cold days. Donating to our Cost of Living Crisis Fund will help them keep making this vital difference to the people who need it most.”
Next Steps Mental Health Resource Centre in Malton told us a story about one man in the community who claimed their support during the cost of living crisis saved his life.
Jeff’s* 20-year marriage had broken down and although he continued to work he had nowhere to live. He paid maintenance to his wife so she could pay the mortgage and keep a roof over his children’s heads. But as someone who was not familiar at all with the situation he found himself in, he did not know where to turn.
Jeff gave his wife most of his wages and just kept enough to put petrol in his car and £20 for the week ahead. There was no way he could manage like this, and he fell into a spiral of hard times.
Next Steps gave him a home cooked hot meal daily, made him hot drinks and provided him with shower and washing facilities. He was very embarrassed, but those simple gestures and support gave him back his dignity, enabling him to function at work, be clean and fed.
Next Steps then introduced him to Citizens Advice for local housing support and they helped Jeff get into temporary housing.
Jeff now goes to Next Steps not for a meal, but just to smile and say thank you on a weekly basis to the staff and volunteers, only occasionally taking up the offer of a hot drink. ‘You saved my life!’ is what he tells them.
There are people and communities all around the region with a similar story to tell, and many are living in dread of the first cold snap just around the corner.
Celia McKeon went on to say:
“Over the last year we have seen the importance – and the power – of our community’s response to the cost of living crisis. The success of last year’s appeal demonstrated just how many people and organisations want to do their bit to ease the burden for others.
“Their donations have helped to keep the food shelves stocked, the kettle on and the bills paid in community centres across our region – simple activities that can be literally life-changing for those who walk through the doors.
“Our York, North & East Yorkshire and Hull Cost of Living Crisis Fund is by the community, for the community. We appeal to anyone who can, to contribute.
“No donation is too small, and the funds will get right to the crucial community organisations across our region, enabling them to help people get through the winter.”
Give whatever you can.
*Real name not used