There can be no doubt that the cost of living crisis in the UK has made the early months of 2022 bleak and unsettling for many people and the situation is only predicted to get worse.

In a recent report Citizens Advice Wiltshire said that rising energy bills, soaring inflation and reduced benefit payments are causing a perfect storm for individuals and families struggling to make ends meet and many will be pushed deeper into hardship and poverty.

That is why we have launched our Poverty Hurts Appeal.

The situation locally

We know from talking to local foodbanks, debt counsellors, family support groups and mental health groups  that they are already seeing more families and individuals coming to them for help and are expecting this to rise significantly in the coming months.

Swindon Carers Centre told us some carers have been forced to restrict their energy use and children go and sit in their beds to keep warm when they get home from school.

A day centre for older people in Salisbury has told us that due to increased running costs they've had to make a small increase in the cost of the hot meals and day centre activities. Three of their clients now bring sandwiches as they could not afford the extra £1 that was required.

Citizens Advice Wiltshire have said that they are receiving a call every 30 seconds from someone concerned about debt or rising energy prices.

How you can help

The ripple effects of poverty are felt in every corner of life and eventually takes its toll on mental and physical health, personal and social development, educational attainment, relationships and family stability.

But we also know that we can make a difference by equipping our local charities and voluntary groups, the backbone of our local communities, with the resources to help people through this difficult period and give them hope for the future.

Foodbanks can meet the most basic and immediate need, family support groups can help keep homes secure and families together, counsellors can stop people from being overwhelmed by despair, social groups can provide a hot meal and a welfare check and debt advisors can assist those with financial difficulties.

Our support is more vital than ever because these organisations are already seeing a drop in donations and significant increases in their running costs while trying to keep up with this increased demand. It puts them at risk of having to make difficult decisions about the services they can afford to offer.

Through our Poverty Hurts Appeal we aim to raise the level of support we give directly to individuals as well as to charities and groups to enable them to continue to provide a vital lifeline to communities across Wiltshire and Swindon.

Donate

Our Supporters

We are delighted that our Poverty Hurts Campaign has been generously supported by Nationwide with a donation of £50,000.

“In the face of a soaring cost of living crisis, it is critical that businesses, communities and local government can come together to support the most vulnerable in our society. That mutual spirit is nowhere better displayed than at Wiltshire Community Foundation and the countless charities and support groups that are working hard to help local communities across our hometown of Swindon, and throughout the county. Nationwide has a longstanding relationship with the Foundation, and we are proud to be able to offer our support once more.”

Rachel Smith, Senior Social Investment Manager, Nationwide