More than £55k in support for struggling Cambridgeshire households

Debt advice from Citizens Advice

More than £55k in support for energy and food vouchers was issued by Citizens Advice. - Credit: Joe Giddens/ PA Wire

Families in Cambridgeshire struggling to heat their homes and buy food were offered £55,000 in support grants and vouchers from Citizens Advice last year. 

In 2020/21 the independent charity covering rural areas of the county administered over £30,000 worth of energy grants and £25,000 in food support. 

More than 500 food bank vouchers for local people in need of emergency food were also issued. 

The Hunts Post has launched its There With You This Winter campaign.

The Hunts Post has launched its There With You This Winter campaign. - Credit: ARCHANT

“As a local charity we rely upon funding to help those in need, and through our poverty related work we are funded by the Trussell Trust for a full-time caseworker,” said Helen Spriggs, deputy chief officer, at Citizens Advice Rural Cambs (CARC).

Through these grants CARC help households to:  

  • Understand energy bills and energy related issues.

  • Talk to energy providers when people have issues with their supplier.  

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  • Switch suppliers.

  • Understand fixed and variable tariffs.

  • Apply for Warm Home Discount and the Priority Service Register.

  • Issue energy grants in the form of electricity and gas top up vouchers for prepayment meters, payments direct to suppliers, purchasing oil, coal, logs and bottled gas. 

“Our work with foodbanks has been extremely important over the past year as we have seen a rise in people getting in touch during the pandemic – and we expect that to continue,” Helen added. 

“At CARC we have seen a sharp rise in the number of households coming to us for support with food and energy related costs.   

“We work with local organisations who fund us to support those in need to alleviate poverty.” 

It comes as the onset of winter, the end of Furlough and the loss of the £20 Universal Credit uplift "will push more households into making the choice between eating or heating"

During 2020/21 Cambridgeshire Community Foundation supported CARC through their Staywell and Surviving Winter appeal funds.   

Other local grants provided to us to administer to clients included Clarion Housing, Hunts Community Chest, 2020 Fuel & Food and Cambridgeshire County Council 

Contact Citizens Advice Rural Cambs on their adviceline: 0808 278 7807   Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm.   

Visit: https://www.citizensadviceruralcambs.org.uk/contact-us/online-advice-form/ to webchat or www.citizensadvice.org.uk for more support and information. 

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