Bucks-based charity urges community to help tackle winter poverty as Universal Credit use soars in the county

All donations up to £250 will be matched during the campaign

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 3:38 pm

A Bucks-based charity is urging the local community to contribute to its winter poverty campaign this year.

Citizens Advice Bucks is launching a 'winter Christmas poverty appeal' to help members of the Bucks community who need immediate support.

This year's appeal is a joint effort, with the charity teaming up with the National Emergencies Trust.

To help people in poverty the charity has set up a crowdfunding page which can be accessed here, the National Emergencies Trust is pledging to match all offers up to £250.

Peter Dickson, best-known as the voiceover man on X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent is supporting the campaign.

He said: "Citizens Advice is a local charity that I support because they truly transform the lives of an enormous number of people every year, but for everyone they can help there are still people they sadly have to turn away,

"I am encouraging our great public to do something good with their Christmas funds and donate them to a local cause, a service largely delivered by dedicated volunteers and helping local people living in poverty or hardship."

Peter Dickson

The crowdfunding campaign will remain open until Christmas Day.

Citizen's Advice chief executive, Thalia Jervis said: "Over the last few months alone there has been a phenomenal 250% rise in people living off Universal Credit in Bucks, a benefit given to people the most in need in our community.

"Indications from York University poverty researchers show fuel poverty will rise by 40%, unheard of against previous years when fuel poverty had actually decreased in the county.

"We are inviting people to donate to our appeal and help us to fund our incredible debt advice service.”

Iram Rashid, the money advice manager for Citizen's Advice outlined the reasons many in Bucks need support from their peers.

He said: “People are coming to us with debt and often in housing debt, at risk of losing their homes to repossessions or eviction.

"Our goal is to help people get back on track with their finances after they have been hit with long periods of furlough or unemployment, and maximise their income.

"No-one should have to make the choice between heating and eating. Funds we raise will help us run this service.”

Anna Day who set up the campaign explained her motivations she said: “Citizens Advice has always been there to help everyone, and has helped me get back up on my feet more than a few times before I came to work here.

"I wanted to do this campaign so we can help the thousands of people who have crept more and more into debt over the course of the year to bounce back, just like they helped me”.