Having to choose between staying warm or having food to eat

As the weather gets colder, it is becoming difficult for some to stay on top of rising energy costs, so this week we have seen a number of cases come to us where Universal Credit hasn’t been able to stretch to topping up the energy meters. It just takes an unexpected expense and suddenly it’s a choice between do you top up the energy meter and stay warm or use the money to buy food? The requests for help have been for small amounts, £20 here and £35 there, for some food and topping up the gas or electricity.

We have helped one person with some money towards getting them somewhere safe and off the streets for a few months where she can be supported into accommodation of her own. It’s the little things, like being able to offer a tiny amount for someone who has lived street homeless for years, to be able to purchase a tiny tabletop cooker, so he can prepare himself a hot meal.