28 Sep 2022
24 Aug 2022
For our Cost of Living Week, we asked Laura Perkins (Director of Development and Communications) from London Community Foundation to share what their networks are telling them about how the crisis is impacting communities already experiencing disadvantage and poverty.
Communities who have barely taken a breath since the last lockdown now find themselves facing an even bigger struggle to make ends meet this autumn as the cost of living in London soars. We all know, as funders in London, that the rise in the cost of living will deepen existing poverty across our capital and tip more people into poverty. And it will not be felt equally. People from some ethnic groups, older people, women, families with children, and disabled people will be at the sharp end, having to make their wage, pension, or weekly budget stretch until it snaps.
Over the summer we surveyed our network of community partners and were flooded with responses.
We are experiencing a large amount of elderly disabled people using our service to save on their utility bills, but also just to get something to eat and a cup of tea. They are struggling so much
Teviot Action Group, community group on the Teviot estate
Despite being one of the most prosperous cities in the world, people will forgo meals to ensure their children can eat, will get cold and poorly in winter because they fear putting the heating on, will stop attending their local youth club or community group because they can’t afford the bus fare.
These girls and young women do not have financial support elsewhere. They can't afford to pay their bills or food shop, and some cannot even afford the bus fare to go to our sessions
Sister System, charity helping care-effected girls
Some will face becoming homeless and others will feel unable to leave an abusive relationship because their finances will be so uncertain. The daily stress of budgeting and managing debt will also take its toll on people’s wellbeing and health
The women we support report extreme poverty, difficulty in paying bills, not being able to buy essentials, some women prefer to stay in violent environments fearing that they won't be able to support themselves and their children without a husband
KMEWO, Kurdish and middle eastern women’s association
Our communities, in London and across the country, need urgent action and support from our Government. But while they wait for that to come, they will turn to the people they know and trust. People who have always kept their doors open – their local community organisation, youth club or support group. People turned to them during the pandemic, and they will do so again. They are seeing more people come through their door with more complex problems to deal with. And yet, they are facing hardship themselves. The rising cost of food, energy, and petrol is also hitting smaller charities. And staff, who were already exhausted from the pandemic, will be stretched further.
We do not have any extra money coming in to support the community’s needs. The increase in food and essential items has a big effect on our outgoings and we are unable to generate income to counter those additional expenses
Hornsey Lane Estate Community Association, community group supporting the Hornsey Lane estate
As the community foundation for London, and as Londoners, it is vital we act to support our most vulnerable and marginalised communities. Through our Together for London fund, launched this month, our aim is to raise funds and give out small emergency grants to community organisations and charities to help them meet the needs of their communities and help them keep their doors open.