Facing up to the stark cold realities
Editor Georgie Green says we must all face up to the difficulties ahead for increasingly vulnerable people.
Bradford on Avon
Royal W on Basse
THE MONTH of May is neither one thing nor another. Just as we are thinking that the warm days here to stay and summer is around the corner, a cold sharp frost can often catch us out. So, it is back on with a warm coat, a thick pair of socks and a woolly jumper.
For many people this need to pile on the extra layers of clothing for warmth is not exclusive to the outdoors. The stark reality is, it is because they cannot afford to switch on the heating for fear of running up bills, that they cannot afford to pay.
‘Some carers have been forced to restrict their energy use ’
The rising cost of all our household bills, and in particular energy prices, have soared beyond anything few of us have seen before. Usually when these prices go up the advice is to search around for a better deal and to change your gas or electricity provider, but the better deal is simply not out there. As a result, many people are facing choices that are both difficult and unacceptable.
It is easy to look at Wiltshire as an affluent county, but there are people who are having to choose between heating their home or buying food. A bleak choice but a reality for many households.
It is hard to believe that in 2022, there are people here in Wiltshire, who cannot afford to heat their homes and feed their families.
The situation has led to the Wiltshire Community Foundation launching the Poverty Hurts Appeal. The following words are from their website: ‘Swindon Carers Centre told us some carers have been forced to restrict their energy use and children go and sit in their beds to keep warm when they get home from school.
A day centre for older people in Salisbury has told us that due to increased running costs they have had to make a small increase in the cost of the hot meals and day centre activities. Three of their clients now bring sandwiches as they could not afford the extra £1 that was required.
Citizens Advice Wiltshire have said that they are receiving a call every 30 seconds from someone concerned about debt or rising energy prices.’
Yes, we are heading towards summer, but we are told to expect a further increase in energy costs in October.
It is hard for people to say they cannot cope and need help but as neighbours, now more than ever, it is important to look out for people in our towns and villages.
So, what can we do? Organisations like Wiltshire Community Foundation offer a link and a lifeline to vulnerable people, it is simple to get in contact with them and make a donation. As well as this, there is always the option of adding a couple
Salisbury of extra items to your weekly shop such as a tin of tomatoes and a packet of pasta and then donating them to a local foodbank. Most of our supermarkets as you leave the shop have a clearly marked collection point to drop off items.
For many this is a challenge they have never faced before and it can be difficult to ask for help, so please look out for people who live close by to you who may just need your help, but would never ask for it.
How often when we make a meal do we over cater? How about taking that extra portion and dropping it off to someone who is in need of a hot dinner, or asking them to join you for supper one evening, it will save them having to put on the heating and at the same time you might just make a new friend.
It does not matter what you do, or however small your donation, it is just important that we all do something.
To contact Wiltshire Community Foundation: www.wiltshirecf.org.uk
On a much brighter note, next month we are looking forward to celebrating the Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a special souvenir issue of her time spent here in the county. WL