LETTER: Don’t be reluctant to ask for help

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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest report exposes the record number of working families living in poverty in the UK.

As a charity helping people in financial hardship, we see the devastating impact this has.

Whilst employment levels are increasing, the reality behind the figures is not so positive.

Millions are working in low paid and insecure jobs, and being hit with food and energy costs that have soared above inflation.

Most of our users are struggling to cope on a low income – over half have annual household incomes of less than £10,000. Two-thirds rely on financial support from friends and family, over three-fifths have been forced to cut back on food and heating, and more than a fifth have turned to payday lenders.

It’s clear that many families are yet to see the benefits of economic recovery and more needs to be done to address low pay and high cost of living.

In the meantime, we’re working to raise awareness of the support available from UK charities.

Anyone who is struggling can use our free Grants Search tool at www.turn2us.org.uk to identify charitable funds that may be able to provide financial, practical and emotional support.

We know that people in financial difficulty can be reluctant to turn to charities for help, and as a result go without essentials or take on debt, exacerbating the problem further. With the gap between incomes and living costs increasingly growing, it’s important that everyone is aware of all the options.

We need to leave no stone unturned in making sure that those in need can access this vital support today.

By Alison Taylor,

Director of Turn2us.