The cost of living crisis can be described as the rapid increase of the cost of basic goods, such as food, gas and electricity and other crucial items. Wages have not increased in line with the cost of living crisis, which has made the impacts of this even worse.
The crisis has had adverse effects on all communities, however the impact it has had on those most vulnerable are immeasurable. The cost of living crisis has made everyday life much more difficult, with families having to rely on foodbanks and vouchers for energy bills. It is even more challenging for the communities which have barriers to access services, such as a lack of advocacy or language barriers. These communities may miss out on support that some local councils and groups provide.
We have heard from our community who have told us that the process to get financial support is difficult and not accessible, and they are having to take out loans to survive. One community member told us that “I work two jobs and I’m still struggling, I am using every support service I can but this won’t work long term”.
Furthermore, the cost of living crisis not only impacts the community financially, but it will also have mental and physical health impacts. The crisis brings extreme stress and anxiety, alongside the physical impacts of not having access to basic goods such as food. Our communities are recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now facing another devastating crisis. The needs of communities post-COVID-19 along with the cost of living crisis have changed immensely, however the rules and regulations of local authorities have not. Local governments must work together with communities to not only identify the needs of residents but also work towards supporting them.
We encourage people to reach out to their councillors to find out what support there is locally, and if there isn’t, speaking up to encourage action from the local government. Community groups are a great tool to support your own advocacy and for access to available local support.
For more information and support, please use the following links:
Hammersmith & Fulham Council
Greater London Authority
Help for Household