It was great to bring together local charities, faith leaders, and leader of Wandsworth Council, Simon Hogg who are all working tirelessly to support local families through the cost-of-living crisis.
I have already been contacted by countless Tooting residents who are concerned about how they are going to pay their bills and put food on the table this winter, and I fear this will only get worse as we move further into the winter months. With so many households already feeling the squeeze, it’s crucial that we work together to tackle poverty.
Representatives from Earlsfield and Wandsworth foodbanks as well as Dons Local Action Group and Little Village Tooting told me that they are seeing unprecedented demand at present, as more and more of those who were just-about-managing become unable to afford the basics.
All the organisations represented spoke of the added difficulties the rise in energy prices have brought. The hike in energy prices has meant that even the local charities who are there to address the crisis are struggling to pay their bills, and this means they are less able to help those in need. This comes at the worst possible time, when demand is at it’s highest level for decades.
Everyone at the event had numerous stories of people facing hardship, people in overcrowded accommodation, people not being able to put food on the table or buy school uniforms for their children. Many people are also concerned about how they will meet the additional cost of christmas.
Despite heartbreaking stories, it was uplifting to see so many people who donate their time, energy and money into making things better for people in our community. I am always amazed by the generosity of people in Tooting. However, in Britain in 2022 these organisations and charitable schemes shouldn’t have to exist. It is imperative that the Government take action immediately to support people through the months ahead.