LETTER: Desperate choices for some families

Being able to cover the costs of heating our homes through the colder weather is something many of us take for granted.

Monday, 2nd March 2015, 5:00 am
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Yet sadly there are now over a million families in the UK for whom this is simply not possible, facing a daily battle to keep their homes warm and put food on the table.

As a charity supporting people experiencing financial hardship, we are hearing from growing numbers faced with this desperate choice. Over three-quarters of low income families told us they struggled to pay their energy bills in the last year.

We’ve heard about the everyday reality behind this statistic, with parents up and down the country sharing their struggles.

Many tell us of the burden of meeting these costs: ‘I feel sick with worry all winter at how much the bills will be’ and the impact on their families’ health: ‘Our cold and damp home is making us ill’. It is having a negative effect on their wellbeing, as one parent reports: ‘We’ve cut back on food and just can’t afford to go out’.

These distressing stories show us that more needs to be done to help families find the urgent support they need. That’s why we have been running our Cut out the Cold campaign, encouraging anyone who is struggling to use our free tools at www.turn2us.org.uk to see what financial help could be available.

The campaign is being supported by a number of like-minded organisations, and we will work together this winter and beyond to tackle this issue so that no one has to endure the effects of cold homes.


Director of Operations, Turn2us, Shepherds Bush Road, London W6