“The rising cost of living in the Brighton & Hove, coupled with the impact of welfare reform, which has reduced benefit spending within the City by around £59 million per year, is resulting in people falling into debt and having a negative effect on people’s life chances, educational attainment, wellbeing and life expectancy.” (Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission 2015/16 Report )

Money Advice Plus one of the critical frontline services which address this, keeping people in their homes, preventing evictions and homelessness, helping people navigate the benefits claim system, and ameliorating poverty & destitution.

It is estimated that in 2015 25,400 households in Brighton & Hove had their benefits reduced as a result of welfare reforms. On average these households are £2,300 a year worse off. The high cost of housing in our city exacerbates the impacts of welfare changes.

Poverty and the increase in people using foodbanks is going to continue for the next 5 years, due to the Government’s continuing programme of Welfare Reform, which is planned to continue until 2022. This includes the benefit cap affecting an increasing number of families, increased use of sanctions, reduction in help with Council Tax, meaning that those on the lowest incomes now have to find money to pay, in addition to Universal Credit , and DLA being removed from people whose activities are limited by disability.

At the same time, funding for services like ours is cut, due to cuts in funding for local authorities.

So we are walking the Thames. The walk is a half marathon on Saturday October 28th. It will most likely be cold and at least sometimes wet.

Our team is: Connie Free, Heather Moston, Helen Rowsell, Karen Perrier, Margaret Carey

Please support our walkers as generously as you are able – all the money goes to enable us to continue to provide our frontline advice services

Donate on the virgin money site here

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