The harsh reality of living below the poverty line | United Kingdom | New
James Anderson, who helps provide free or heavily subsidized services to help keep people warm, said he was “appalled” to see the conditions in which mother-of-two Katie and her young children were living . He said the family, who agreed to be photographed and live in a rented apartment in Burnley, cannot afford gas, have minimal electricity, no carpets, no heating no hot water and no working oven.
James compared the contents of their fridge to wartime rations as he imagined an open box half full of chopped tomatoes, baked beans and 50p supermarket butter. On the same weekend the nation came together to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, the Manchester Pride winner said he was disgraced to see that families in Britain could be allowed to live off this way.
On Twitter, he wrote: “A day of celebration. They have no gas or electricity, no carpet, no heating or hot water. They have no oven, just a hob. The food you see in the fridge is rationed like World War I.”
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, James said he bought the family a grocery store for £150 and wrote to Katie’s local council to tell them about his situation.
“A lady contacted me and asked me what we could do for her. I was not at all happy with what I saw. The house has no carpet and is full of wooden floors. concrete,” he said. “She can afford very little electricity and no gas at all. There were a few cans in the cupboard and two cans in the fridge that were opened with a knife because they didn’t have any the means to buy a can opener.
“I think one was a can of chopped tomatoes and baked beans. It was almost like the kind of rationing you got in World War II. It was terrible.”
James said he gave the family £20 for basic supplies, and later returned with several bags of groceries. He said Katie lived with her two young children aged four and five and her partner. He said: “The council says they will look into their situation tomorrow so hopefully we can get things done. So far no one has cared. They have been let down by society. “
James, who is the founder of community benefit society Depher, was announced as a winner of Pride of Manchester this year after helping more than 39,000 families since March 2017, including with free boilers, emergency services plumbing and heating.
From 2020-2021 they have provided £60,000 worth of PPE and food to families, care homes, frontline workers and emergency services.
He told MEN he is seeing more and more family members like Katie due to the cost of living crisis, and says he is doing all he can to help “before he it’s not too late”. “When does help come for people like this,” he said.
The government has introduced a package of measures to help households cope with the rising cost of living, including a one-off £650 cost of living payment of £650 for benefit recipients and a £400 grant. £ to help with the cost of energy. in addition to the £150 council tax rebate given to people living in AD bands.
But some have argued the government’s £15billion donation will not be enough to help struggling families, with the Asda boss calling the package a “drop in the bucket”.
Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of the UK’s third-largest supermarket, said he welcomed one-off payments but said: ‘There will always be continued pressure and a lot of tenacity for people.
Speaking on the BBC last week, poverty campaigner Jack Monroe said: “Everyone needs to look out for those in our society who are most vulnerable and have the least recourse to power.
“People are being stripped of the price of their own dinner. The increase in food banks is astronomical, and the situation is expected to get worse.”