During the first and second periods of lockdown in the last 9 months, we have seen the effects of furlough and loss of jobs in a good proportion of the clients who approach us. If families are in the “just managing” category, being put on furlough and losing 20% of income can make a big difference and we have clients who tell us that they have not eaten for a couple of days to make sure that their children are fed. We have also given help to people living rough in the area, which seems unimaginable in our relatively prosperous surroundings, but it is happening.
We’re lucky to have a good pool of volunteers, currently 32, who help out on a rota basis so that at our open sessions we can stick to the “rule of six” with appropriate social distancing, masks, hand sanitisers and gloves.
We have a close relationship with the Money Advice Centre, run from the Baptist Church in Corsham, we give clients their contact details and they in turn will send people to us who need immediate help while they struggle to get out of debt.
So, we’re helping people with a wide range of difficulties and one of the changes we’ve seen over the last 2-3 years is that a service set up to give immediate emergency help in 2011 is now almost 10 years later giving longer term assistance, in particular to struggling families. And that’s why we’re so grateful for the help local people give us in their donations of food and financially. Many thanks for all your help.
Steve Drew – Chairman CCFB