Key organisations and community leaders from across Shropshire have come together to use their collective voice to call for more long-term, strategic intervention for the most vulnerable.
In a joint open letter, they express their concern over the scale and depth of a crisis and push back at some of the unhelpful narratives that are often levelled against those on lower incomes. The letter explains how local support services are doing all they can to help people but that it is a system under strain that will not be able to meet the unprecedented levels of demand that they are seeing.
The letter reads:
“In Shropshire, we are not immune to this rising wave of hardship and poverty. Food banks across the county are reporting record levels of demand. They are seeing the people who come through the doors facing an ever-increasing set of complex challenges. Mental health issues, domestic abuse, debt, the list goes on. Problems that will not be solved by simply giving out a food parcel. Many food banks have also seen people calling on their support who have never needed it in the past. People who are in work, people who have previously donated to the food bank. Some food banks have even introduced an evening session, specifically to help support those who are working and cannot get to the food bank during the day. The support they can offer is not limitless, many are seeing donations drop off, are having to cut back on expenses or dip into reserves.”
We have also put together a selection of asks from central Government, asking them to recognise the additional challenges faced by rural areas, where poverty is often a hidden but very real issue.
The signatories of the letter are encouraging those who are worried about their finances not to wait to come forward for support, to know that they are not alone and that there is local support available to help them through this period.
‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflet – helps you quickly identify local cash first support available to you – worryingaboutmoney.co.uk/shropshire
Shropshire Larder – a community information resource bringing together a range of information that may be useful to those on a low income – shropshirelarder.org.uk
Citizens Advice Shropshire – an independent charity specialising in confidential information and advice to assist people with issues including benefits, debt, consumer, housing and other problems – cabshropshire.org.uk
Marches Energy Agency – free impartial energy advice – mea.org.uk
Shropshire Council’s cost of living advice webpage – shropshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living-help