Families in Brighton and West Sussex who are being worst hit by the cost-of-living crisis have been given a welcome helping hand by The Russell Martin Foundation (RMF) thanks to over £7,000 in donations to buy essential goods, food and clothing.
The charity has teamed up the Brighton Lighthouse Trust, which provides a range of services to residents in the city including debt advice and help on paying energy bills, to help families who are part of RMF’s Extra Time project. The initiative helps young people between the ages of 11 and 14, struggling with mainstream education and living with a variety of mental health conditions, get back into school through a 12-week course which builds their confidence and learning skills.
The programme also provides support services and mentoring to the families of the young people many of whom are struggling to cope with the rise in the cost of energy and food and the wider cost-of-living crisis. An estimated 12% of households in Brighton and Hove live in fuel poverty and over 6,000 residents use local emergency food services making the city one of the worst hit by the crisis in the region.
Neil Avard and Charlie Oatway from RMF, who both work as Family Liaison Officers on the Extra Time project, have co-ordinated the donations and worked closely with around 30 families to identify their specific needs. The donations which have included clothes, fridges, essential furniture along with food and energy vouchers have provided vital support in helping them cope and manage at a difficult time.
Avard, a former PE teacher, who has worked in the charity sector for over 10 years said:
“There are so many families out there who are struggling to afford even the essentials such as heating and food at the moment, so to be able to provide this support at such a critical time is absolutely vital. With the cost of living continuing to soar, it’s so important that we continue to support these families and others in the same position. We’d like to say a huge thanks to all the organisations and individuals who have donated money so far.”
If you would like to donate or help or support families who RMF are working with as part of the Extra Time project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org