Bury charity joins £100,000 crisis fund to help local families

February 3, 2023

West Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has become the latest charity with access to The Cambridge Building Society’s £100,000 Cost of Living Crisis Fund to help local families have access to food, heating and other essentials this winter.

The building society and Cambridgeshire Community Foundation together provided £100,000 to help local households most affected by increased costs over the coldest months.

West Suffolk CAB has already received £5,000 for local families, since signing up to the initiative in January.

More than £30,000 has so far been distributed in and around the Cambridge’s heartland by Citizens Advice Rural Cambs, Cambridge Aid and Cambridge City Foodbank, which already work with people struggling to make ends meet.

Families with children under 10 are among more than 100 people to have received aid since the fund was launched in December.

More than half of the recipients of the aid distributed by Cambridge Aid went to families with children under the age of 10 and more than a quarter of the beneficiaries of Citizens Advice Rural Cambs included families with young children.

Among those helped is a mother and her three children, who were recently rehoused after their previous home developed damp and mould, which was making the family sick. Her children’s beds, bedding and other furniture were also damaged, and she was unable to afford to replace.

Other grants have gone to fund shoes for a father and son, food and clothing for a single mother of four who fled an abusive relationship, and £150 for a bed and bedding for a single man in his 50s who had been sleeping on the floor.

More than half the funds (53%) have been used to cover energy costs, 33 per cent for furniture and 14 per cent for food.

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s, Vivienne Atkinson, said: “We’re thrilled West Suffolk CAB has joined The Cambridge Building Society’s fund, which will enable them to provide vital help to local families who have been brought to the point of crisis by the rising cost of living.

“It is a difficult time of year and the economic situation generally is creating anxiety and hardship for many. We are thrilled to be able to play a part in alleviating some of those challenges for the most vulnerable in our society.”

The Cambridge’s CEO, Peter Burrows, said: “Everyone at The Cambridge feels tremendously proud to be able to help in this way.

“No child – or anyone for that matter – should have to sleep in a damp bed, or go without food or heat, so we felt compelled to help. It is wonderful to hear how the funds are already making a difference.

“We just couldn’t sit by and watch local people worry about having enough food and warmth over the winter, so we set up this Cost of Living Crisis Fund in partnership with Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to help ease some of those problems.”

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation already administers The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund, which was established in 2020 and has already generated more than £660,000. The Fund awards grants to local voluntary and community groups that deliver homes and housing projects.

The Cambridge Building Society Cost of Living Crisis Fund is expected to run until the end of March.