Cost of living rise sees big increase in demand at community charity

First Focus assistant manager, Pauline Hicks, says the increased price of living means more people are using their service

First Focus assistant manager, Pauline Hicks, says the increased price of living means more people are using their service. She thanked local supermarkets for their food donations and for bolstering their stock - Credit: Aaron McMillan/Pauline Hicks

A community charity has said the rising cost of living means more people are coming to them for help.

First Focus has thanked Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, and Linda McCartneys for their food donations and for bolstering their stock after seeing a rise in the number of people needing help from them as winter starts.

Pauline Hicks, assistant manager at the Fakenham charity, said that the sharp rise in the cost of living is meaning more people need the support provided, with the food and toiletries package they have made.

Lidl in Fakenham made donations to First Focus to help those in need.

Lidl in Fakenham made donations to First Focus to help those in need. - Credit: Pauline Hicks

“We are seeing a lot of new faces at this time,” Miss Hicks said.

“We do find the winter months are the busiest because there is less money because of the higher fuel cost, the demand on people’s money is higher.

“But these extra donations give us a bit of reassurance that we won’t run out, but every donation is always very very welcomed.

“This will boost our winter months stock greatly, and that will help a great deal in helping us to support the people of Fakenham."

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Miss Hicks also said that the number of people donating to them is rising alongside the demand: “It is very important that these donations are going up, as prices are going up, bills are changing, and food is essential but it is getting more expensive, we are all seeing that on our weekly food bill.

The food on offer at the community fridge at First Focus in Fakenham.

The food on offer at the community fridge at First Focus in Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“As the year goes on, it is going to get harder, and I think it is going to get worse in the year.”

The Oak Street based charity saw numerous levels of stock come from across the supermarkets in the town, which provided food and toiletries for them to make care packages, added stock to their community fridge, and boasted their reserves.

Morrisons in Fakenham made donations to First Focus to help those in need.

Morrisons in Fakenham made donations to First Focus to help those in need. - Credit: Pauline Hicks

They also particularly thanked Morrisons, who she said had two ways of helping out, both by allowing customers to donate items to packages, and also their ‘Christmas donation tree’ in which people could purchase a 'bauble' voucher, and the supermarket will total the amount donated and transform them into vouchers for the charity to use.

They are also able to provide emergency support for those in need by going to the centre.

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