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Closed 05/09/2023
Brighton and Hove Citizens Advice

Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Crisis Campaign

A local appeal to help people in poverty in Brighton and Hove with their food and fuel costs through vouchers, food parcels, and low energy items like electric blankets and slow cookers to enable people to maintain their health this year.
by 765 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Closed on 05/09/2023
RCN 1094620

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The increasing cost of living is hurting here in Brighton & Hove. Food and energy bills are going up but household incomes aren't. People are experiencing greater hardship, especially the most vulnerable in our community.

Households most likely to be in poverty include those where someone in the home has a disability and they have to keep utilities on not just for warmth and cooking but for health equipment such as hoists, nebulisers and fridges for medication.

The most serious cost of living pressure in terms of the rate of price increase is the cost of utilities at a 54% increase this April and a further 20% to come in October.

More than 1 in 10 households in our region are already in food poverty (Food Foundation 2022 report). Food Banks across the city are reporting increased demand.

We have seen a 30% increase in client numbers last year and 18% year to date. What is concerning is to see clients who we had managed to stabilise their position and not need our services - return to us this year. Also, an increase in those who have never ever needed support - 20 to 30 years in work - now being thrown into the system." Brighton Food Bank.

For a long time, we have warned that some people have to choose between heating or eating, we are now in the serious situation where people can't afford to do either as household incomes do not meet living costs. This is why we are appealing for your help to ensure that people in the city can be warm and fed.

That's why Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership (and city emergency food providers) have teamed up and, with support from Brighton & Hove City Council have launched the Brighton Hove Cost of Living Crisis Fund.

How the scheme works

Initially the donations will be split with 60% going to provide help with fuel poverty and 40% going to pay for emergency food. The partners (Citizens Advice and the Food Partnership) will keep this under review and post updates if we direct more funding towards one type of crisis help because of need.

The fund will pay for prepayment vouchers for utilities or payments into utility accounts, and it will pay for food parcels or food vouchers. It will also be used to purchase equipment that helps with food and fuel poverty such as slow cookers, microwaves or electric blankets.

Who we help:


Elaine is a single parent with 3 dependent children living in her own property. Elaine said that to cut costs down she is turning the heating off; she is also using the cooker less and limiting her electricity usage overall. As her children have disabilities, Elaine says shes making more sacrifices for their sake too.

Elaine worries about her energy bills as they have been varying erratically from month to month. Elaines fear is that she will get in debt in future because of the rise in the cost of living. Understandably, this situation is upsetting Elaine, increasing her level of stress. Even grocery shopping has become a source of anxiety for her as every item has increased in cost. Elaine is trying to cut costs, food wise too. Elaine explains that being on a tight budget can only be doable for a couple of weeks but more than that becomes unmanageable and that her mother sometimes lends her money to help her get by.

As Elaine is very concerned about her expenditure, she says that her social life has been affected by that. Even simple acts like going by the sea are expensive as they require spending money to get there as one of her children has mobility issues and is not able to walk long-distances. Being on a tight budget also means that it is really difficult not to spend any money when going out. Because Elaine and her children are not able to socialise as they used to do is also affecting their mental wellbeing.

Elaine also worries that todays situation and the challenges they are facing will impact the future of her children. Elaine reached out to Citizens Advice in March for an energy grant as she was struggling to afford her energy bills.

"Its really hard to go out without spending any money at all, its just depressing as well"

Thanks to the help of supporters we can help more people like Elaine.

Your help can make a difference

We know it is tough for most of us right now, however by donating what you can we will ensure that your money goes to helping vulnerable people in our city through food, vouchers and money for energy bills and low energy heating and cooking equipment.

The funds will be used to support existing schemes run by the Moneyworks Partnership which is led by Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove and, the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and whilst there are costs for making financial transactions, no overheads or salaries will be paid for out this fund to maximise the amount available to the public.

About the charity

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