‘I can’t afford to bathe my children’ – Crisis-ridden families as they feel the effects of rising bills

There is a woman in low drinking demand. The beating heart of a relief center for crisis-stricken families has in recent weeks found itself bombarded with requests for help on an almost daily basis.

In an interview with Black Country Live, he removed some of the latest heartbreaking messages from frustrated parents: “Are you able to help me with the Home Relief Fund?”, Says Kim, in her cramped office. I read from my phone at the Big Venture Center in Wolverhampton.

“This is my current gas and electric. I will not receive any money until next Monday and I have five children.” The figure shows £ 1.57 for gas and 25 1.25 for electric.

Read more: DWP explains how PIP claimants and carers can access a زندگی 650 lifetime payment

Kim moves on to another message: “My son’s school shoes are completely torn on one side. Do you have anything to donate?”

“These are the parents who are now saying, ‘Do you know anyone else who can help me? I can’t even cook or bathe my children.’

These are two messages, but this is just the tip of the iceberg – such requests for help from frustrated parents have become depressingly depressing since the cost of life’s crises hit hard.

Thousands of people in Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull are suffering because of the crisis of life. People who are already on the bread line are being crushed by rising energy, food and fuel bills.

On the food front line, campaigners and charities are reporting record levels of demand and need while donations are drying up. Pensioners, working poor, young parents trying to keep families together and vulnerable people in shelters and hostels are among those facing the scorching heat.

But together we can make a difference.

We have joined the forces. Active Wellbeing Society They help connect the excellent network of food banks, food pantries, community projects, PSU-Fail Cafe, Iman and civic organizations offering free or cheap food in Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull.

We have together. Announced #FoodSOS.

Local councils, social services and schools are doing what they can to help those most in need. Government payments, rebates and grants are helping. But there is still a disappointing shortcoming.

There are three ways you can help.

Donate your money. Through the Community JustGiving Collection. One penny will go to the food front line to fund food and essentials.

Donate food. For your nearest community food operation

Donate your TIME. Volunteer to help food banks, collect food, cook or serve food to customers in cafes, or distribute parcels. If you are a community group or corporate organization that would like to sign up together, please get in touch.

Please click if you need help. Map of #FoodSOS To find your nearest location.

Map of #FoodSOS

Thanks together we can make a difference. #FoodSOS

“The financial crisis the family is in: they can’t afford to cook, they can’t afford to bathe their children. Then it becomes what I would call a crisis,” says Kim.

“We’ve helped the family with food parcels – a week’s shopping – and we’ve helped them get gas and electricity up. We can’t do it all the time, but we have families like that. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

For some families, it seems impossible to cope with rising water bills, while food and petrol prices are skyrocketing as inflation rises to a 40-year high. This is where the Big Venture Center in Wolverhampton’s Scotland area tries to ease some of the pressure on struggling parents.

Volunteers Michelle Fletcher (left) and Fern Lunds.
(Photo: Birmingham Live)

Its community shop, backed by Wolverhampton City Council, offers locals food at discounted rates for a £ 5 membership fee, which allows them to pick up fresh meat, bread, fruits and vegetables while Save up to a pound. 50 on their weekly food bills. Supermarkets and retail companies, including Marks & Spencer, Liddell, Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s, also provide additional stock that would otherwise be wasted and is made available for free. It is hoped that more will be launched across the city.

The decision to open the store came at a time when the center’s customers, who also provide financial support, have grown significantly in the midst of a life crisis in recent weeks. The center also hosts cooking sessions, allowing mom and dad to learn an important skill while cooking two meals a week without having to worry about one thing.

“We have a lot of families who were really struggling to eat. We were giving away a lot of food parcels for free,” says Kim, who runs the center.

“People were queuing for food but you are really putting plaster on the wound. We need to know why they were struggling.

“The shop is built with the help we wanted to give to families. We are fine in this area of ​​deprivation and there are a lot of problems, complex issues with families and individuals.

Visitors Can Get Food At Low Prices.
Visitors can get food at low prices.
(Photo: Birmingham Live)

“The store has highlighted how much help people really need. I have messages from people who are struggling. It’s sad to hear that because they were the people you talked about 12 months ago. He could never have imagined that he was struggling, but because his circumstances had changed. – Maybe he could have a zero-hour contract or suddenly quit, then gas and electricity. With rising bills and rising food and petrol prices, they are all stuck in a vicious circle that is difficult to get out of.

The astronomical rise in gas and electricity bills has proved to be a game changer and has pushed countless families into poverty. “When it comes to gas and electricity, it’s a big thing to me that is leading people to despair,” Kim added.

“Someone came to me the other day, اپنی 300 a month for their gas alone. That’s terrible – £ 300 a month but they still have to pay back £ 140 for arrears because they haven’t calculated the meter correctly.” £ 440 a month, “she says, the anger in her voice becoming clearer.

“It’s as much as some people’s mortgage or their rent, in some cases, it’s equivalent to doubling their rent. You can’t live like that.”

And Kim fears about the effects of the constant cycle of parental worries about how to feed their children and warm their homes in the winter. He said: “They need to be put on cheaper tariffs and not on cheaper tariffs. Then there is the debt because then you get court letters, threats to cut off gas and electricity. Mental health comes from the roof.”

Read next

The DWP confirms that some ESA and JSA claimants will not receive the قیمت 650 lifetime payment.

Tears, hugs and frustration as pensioners join record lines to eat at Birmingham Charity

DWP can help meet difficult living costs – how to apply and what you get.

Food SOS: How are you dealing with rising food prices?

Follow the latest information about life crises and our #FoodSOS campaign on our dedicated page here.

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