New Brighton & Hove cost of living appeal
A new fundraising appeal has been launched aiming to support Brighton & Hove residents struggling to meet food and energy costs through the ongoing cost of living crisis.
The Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Action Appeal is being run jointly by Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, with support from Brighton & Hove City Council.
The appeal is aiming to raise £35,000 in response to the impact the increasing cost of living is having on people in Brighton & Hove.
Food and energy bills are going up and incomes aren’t rising as quickly. People are experiencing greater hardship, especially the most vulnerable in our community.
Food partnership members have had to step up to meet this increasing need. Over the last year, the demand for emergency food parcels and vouchers has risen by 25%. City food banks gave out 1,339 emergency food parcels and 81 groceries vouchers. One in 3 of the recipients of emergency food help were children.
Households most likely to be in energy poverty include those where someone in the home has a disability and they have to keep utilities on for health equipment such as hoists, nebulisers and fridges for medication, as well as for warmth and cooking.
Where donations go
Last year, the city’s cost of living appeal raised an amazing £76,000 thanks to the generosity of city residents. This was used to help many people in desperate need.
According to the Fuel Bank Foundation, every £49 energy voucher funded will keep an average household going for 4 days, in 2019 that would have kept them going for 2 weeks.
Food banks will use every penny they get to provide food to their clients. The average parcel or supermarket voucher will cost around £20 per client.
Surplus food and food donations are supplemented by project volunteers bulk buying items to ensure that the parcel is adequate for people’s needs.
All donations will be split equally, with 50% going to provide help with fuel poverty and 50% going to pay for emergency food.
The fund will pay for prepayment vouchers for utilities or payments into utility accounts, alongside food parcels or food vouchers.
It may also be used to purchase equipment that helps with food and fuel poverty such as slow cookers, microwaves or electric blankets.
Your help can make a difference
Your donation will help residents of Brighton & Hove who would otherwise go hungry or exist for days or even weeks with no electricity in their home because their meter has run out. Without you, we will struggle to manage the need we are seeing:
Jo-Anne Carden, of the Citizens Advice Brighton & Hove, said: “We helped over 1000 households last year with energy grants.
"We know from the residents calling us that the need is greater than ever. We need the city to rally around us to help us help those in crisis.
“A community nurse contacted us last winter as her patient was on oxygen and living in the same room as his gas cooker. She was scared of an explosion. We worked swiftly to get that cooker replaced for him and made sure disaster was averted thanks to donations from the public.”
Vanessa O’Shea, of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, said: “Worryingly, when we asked food banks about the people helped with emergency parcels last year, one in 3 of were children.
"I would urge those that can afford to help out, please consider donating to help those struggling behind closed doors in the city.”
Councillor Tristram Burden, Brighton & Hove City Council’s lead member for the cost of living crisis, said: “We’re seeing first-hand the devastating impact rising energy and food costs are having on our most vulnerable residents.
“We’re continuing to work with our partners across the city to explore all available options for support. Funding is limited, increasing pressures on already over-stretched services.
“The Cost of Living Action Appeal is a vital initiative to ensure any spare funds from citizen’s who can afford to help go where they’re needed most.
“Every contribution means fewer people have to choose between heating and eating. Please donate to the appeal.”
The funds will be used to support existing schemes run by the Energyworks Partnership, led by Citizens Advice Brighton & Hove, and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership.
Support with the cost of living
You can find information on support with energy bills and advice about how to keep your home warm and save energy in our support with the cost of living web pages.
This includes information about whether you’re eligible for discounts on energy bills, and advice and tips and about saving energy and keeping your home warm.