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Charity Sees Demand For Financial Help Double

A Jersey charity helping people with financial problems has seen demand for its services double since January 2022.

Rising interest rates, soaring bills and record-breaking house and rental prices have seen record numbers of islanders looking for support.

The government has set out a mini-budget aimed at helping financially-stricken islanders during the winter months.

Elizabeth Langton from Community Savings Jersey says although 80% of its members are on some form of income support, they're seeing more requests from people with jobs and mortgages.

"If you, for example, do have a mortgage you sort of fall through the gap because you don't get any help.

These are the particular demographic of people that other charities particularly, and I know within the food banks, are finding it's not the typical person that you'd expect to be receiving help, it is people who are both working, in a couple, have a family, but they have a mortgage so there's not an option for them to not pay.

Then there are some serious choices being made. If it's between paying your mortgage or feeding your family or whoever it may be, it's a really scary time for some people and unfortunately, when you do your own property or you're in that situation, you don't get the help that you would if you didn't really."

Community Savings Jersey is one of many island charities to receive a grant from the Jersey Community Foundation to provide immediate relief to islanders.

Grace's Trust received nearly £30,000 after reports of a 14% rise in the bags of food that were given out at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, compared to the year before.

Citizen's Advice will get nearly £79,000 over the next three years to reduce waiting times for appointments and make it easier to access Money Advisors.

Ms. Langton says she's only expecting demand to grow and that more needs to be done to make financially-stricken islanders aware of where they need to go for support.

"More information needs to be easily accessible, so people in the island know where to go if they are in dire circumstances and I think we need to act now.

We know this is happening, it's (winter) just around the corner. We know the increase in fuel and food and everything else is increasing, so action now needs to be happening.

I think making the information available to where to go and how to go and just to be easier to access, it just needs to be a lot quicker and easier to access."

The government's mini-budget includes working with community groups to deliver a package of measures to support islanders, such as:

  • Improved access to price information.
  • Providing a 'Community Shop'.
  • Organising meetings and groups to share information.

The package of measures will be debated by the States Assembly in mid-September.

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