Jersey Community Foundation works with local charities to provide immediate relief during the cost-of-living crisis.

Ahead of the announcement that the government will be investigating the viability of a ‘mini-budget’ to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis and amidst reports of unpresented demand on charities, Jersey Community Foundation have worked with the likes of Community Savings, Citizens Advice and Grace’s Trust to provide immediate relief to our community.

“Our funding is allocated in grant rounds that require charities to go through an application process and board approval”, explains Anna Terry, CEO of Jersey Community Foundation, “but we recognize this can limit our ability to provide reactive support where timing is often critical. This could be the immediate need for medical equipment or, as was the case here, to alleviate severe financial difficulty within our community. Our Community Grants enable organisations like Community Savings to distribute funding directly and immediately to individuals in need.”

Amidst rising interest rates, soaring bills and the highest property and rental market Jersey has ever seen, record numbers of the Jersey community are finding themselves living below the breadline.

“The demand for our services has doubled since January”, explains Elizabeth Langton from Community Savings Jersey. The charity helps Islanders who are experiencing financial difficulties, offering funds, fund management, training, and advice. Elizabeth continues:

“Although 80% of our members are on some form of income support, we are seeing a real increase in requests from individuals and families with mortgages, jobs and previously manageable outgoings. These people are slipping through the cracks, having worked hard all their lives, they are now forced to ask for support, and this is falling to us at Community Savings.”

This pattern of need is not new. The Island is still recovering from the unemployment and economic downturn caused by Covid, during which there was a rise in the demand for charitable services like food banks. The Salvation Army, a charity that would not normally provide a foodbank, recognized the need for such a service. Along with Grace Trust, they are now one of the larger of these operations in Jersey, growing only to supply increasing demand. The people that come through the door aren’t all on benefits, many are working, have mortgages and are choosing between food or fuel.

Grace’s Trust received a grant of nearly £30,000 from the Foundation amidst a reported 141% rise in the bags of food that were given out in the September at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, compared to the year before. Their Monthly Grocery Distribution Project continues to be a lifeline for many families

Citizen’s Advice, another charity receiving a serious uplift in service demand have also been the beneficiaries of a grant from Jersey Community Foundation. The charity will benefit from an injection of nearly £79,000 over the next three years. The funds, which were allocated in response to increased demand for their debt collection service, will be used to reduce appointment waiting times and will afford greater accessibility to Money Advisors.

Anna Terry, added:

“Charitable organisations like Community Savings, Citizen’s Advice, Grace’s Trust and countless others (there are currently 103 active, local projects funded by the JCF) are so crucial in enriching and supporting our community. Our extensive work with local charities and the current local needs assessment research we are undertaking, coupled with our experienced Board of Directors and sector-specific advisors, gives us the insight and authority to place funds where they will have the greatest, on-Island impact. We are extremely proud to have supported Community Savings, Citizen’s Advice, Grace’s Trust and the individuals and families they support.”

Elizabeth Langton of Community Savings Jersey said:

‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jersey Community Foundation for their generous grant and continued support to Community Savings. Thanks to this grant we can now offer our Emergency Funding to the wider community, helping the people who really need this the most on the Island, especially in these current times.’

For more information on application, or to speak to one of the Community Savings Jersey team, please contact office@communitysavings.org.je or call 737555.

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