Record January as many fear the cost of living crisis

Today we have spoken out about are concern for families living in Bucks who are being squeezed from all sides by the cost of living crisis.

Our Chief Executive, Thalia Jervis says,

‘Our charity nationally has seen the highest demand since the pandemic began and we have seen the same in Bucks.  We have more and more people coming to us not only for advice but for crisis support. For food bank referrals. For help with energy debt. Families are understandably worried about how to cope and this was before the latest energy hike bills were announced. We expect to get busier still’.

On Thursday the 3rd February Ofgem announced a nearly £700 annual hike to energy bills. Craig Glynn, our Head of Services says,

Stressed woman

‘We are very concerned about those who are on low incomes. Our advisers are already seeing people facing desperate choices on whether to heat their homes or buy food. With a nearly £60 a month hike in their energy bills come April these choices are going to be made harder still.

We just want everyone to know that we are here. That our advisers, our charity, will do all we can to help you. Please do not struggle alone. Please reach out to us. Please keep trying when we are busy- or come and volunteer with us to help us reach demand!’

As inflation hits the highest point in 30 years, household budgets are already facing enormous pressure. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come, with Ofgem expected to announce a more than 50% increase in the energy price cap from April, just as other price rises hit households.

Whilst we are pleased the Government has put forward some measures to support families, we are worried that what has been announced so far isn’t going to do enough for those struggling the most.

In these challenging times we are doing all we can to reach as many people as possible in as many ways as possible and are looking at increasing our online capacity. As part of a project called “Advice Goes Digital” funded by the National Lottery Fund, we are inviting the public to have their say in the future of how we deliver these services and we are offering  £50 Love to Shop vouchers to lucky draw winners, who will be picked out of a hat on the 28th February 2022.

Head of Communications, Anna Day shares why this survey is important:

“Being able to reach everyone who needs our help is so critical, especially at the moment, and yet we must strike a balance between continuing to provide a service for those most vulnerable face to face and also trying to help more people by using modern technology. All survey responses will help us to help you and will go towards shaping our future”

The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/advicebucks