Surge in pleas for poverty support aid

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A CHARITY helping those in need has seen the number of households coming to it for help almost double in a year.

The Dacorum Community Trust (DCT) dealt with just under 500 separate households over a 12 month period ending April this year.

This marks an 82 per cent increase from the figures recorded in April 2011.

The charity helps people across the borough struggling with poverty by providing equipment, such as household goods, and advice to help get families and individuals back into a self-sufficient state.

Over the past year the charity has also distributed more than two-thirds of the food collected by the Dacorum Foodbank to households in need.

Margaret Kingston from the charity said: “It’s not clear why we’re seeing more and more people but the economic climate can’t help.

“For the first time we’re also seeing people in low-paid jobs coming to us for help, whereas previously it has been people on benefits who were struggling that applied to us for assistance.

“We’re working to directly improve the lives of those households, including any children living within those.”

The trust’s figures come as national charity 4Children released research carried out on local authorities’ child poverty strategies, including Herts County Council which received a positive score of eight out of ten.

The strategies are meant to help in a number of ways, including identifying children in need and what organisations are best placed to help them.

The results show that the east of England is ‘a postcode lottery’ because other local authorities such as Central Beds and Peterborough ranked poorly.

The ratings were created by looking at and rating different aspects of a child poverty strategy including accessibility.