‘Sunshine brings hope for struggling families’

A year of good sunshine on the Isle of Wight has enabled Wight Community Energy (WCE) to make a donation of £8,000 to support the Footprint Trust. The money will be used to assist in tackling fuel and child poverty.

Fuel poverty has sharply risen of late and is now and effecting around 8,000 homes on the Isle of Wight and nearly one third of Island children are living in poverty. This is due to the fall-out from the Covid pandemic which led to many people losing their jobs and now having to survive on reduced benefits and help from friends and families. Poverty was already an issue prior to Covid, but many people are now in crisis, where before they were just about surviving.

“Mums are having to make the choice between heating and eating, paying the rent or buying clothing for their children.” said the Footprint Trust’s General Manager, Ray Harrington-Vail.  “Last year was the organisation’s busiest period since the formation of the charity some 19 years ago and this year we have already broken that record with more requests for help and assistance.”

“As a child in 60s London, I visited my friends’ homes, many of them had bare boards on the floor covered in cardboard, the only meal they had was their school dinner. Today I come across families in similar circumstances.”

 

Colin Palmer from WCE said: “I only wish we could do more. It is shocking that the situation is getting worse not better – that ever more children are having to grow up in cold, damp homes, with their parents worrying about how they will find money to pay the next bill. The UK housing stock is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe, yet very little support is available to help households improve their properties.”

Any families struggling with energy or water bills can call the Trust on 01983 822282.