‘Short hours’ workers turn to charity for help

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The poorest people in Hemel Hempstead are really feeling the pain as rents and living costs continue to rise, say experts.

The latest employment figures show that Dacorum has a 5.3 per cent unemployment rate, less than the national figure of 7.6 per cent.

But a local charity is seeing an increase in the number of families asking for help.

Margaret Kingston from the Dacorum Community Trust said: “We are concerned, our figures are dramatically up from last year.

“We’re seeing more people coming to us for help.

“This includes a lot of people who are technically in employment but have limited hours, and are really struggling to support themselves.

“This is something that we haven’t seen before.”

The difficulties faced by workers living in Hemel Hempstead are being increased by the high cost of living in the area.

Data released by the housing charity shelter last week show that Dacorum is ‘highly unaffordable’, with the average rental property costing more than £550 a month.

Margaret added: “It’s not only lower incomes and unemployment, but the high cost of living that is the problem. Rent has increased and the price of electricity, gas and food has gone up.

“Over the last 12 months we have given food supplies to 275 families, more than ever before.”

>If you can help the Trust, either by volunteering or donating, call 01442 231396