Huge leap in children going to Sutton's Foodbank prompts launch of new debt helpline

The number of children using Sutton Foodbank has gone up by 89 per cent in a year

The number of children using Sutton Foodbank has gone up by 89 per cent in a year

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A debt advice service has been launched as numbers resorting to unscrupulous lenders and getting provisions from Sutton's Foodbank surge.

The advice service, which is run by Sutton Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) and has been part-funded by the council, has been set up to give advice on debt, benefits, employment and other issues after startling statistics emerged showing severe deprivation in areas of Sutton.

Sutton Guardian: Sutton Foodbank volunteers will be at Kingston Food Festival this weekend

Sutton Foodbank volunteers

The number of children using Sutton's Foodbank shot up by 89 per cent last year while the total number of clients went from 538 the previous year to 885 last year and a third of them are under 18-years-old.

More than a quarter of the calls Sutton Council receives are now about benefits, compared to just one in five in 2011 and more and more people are contacting the council over problems with pay day lenders and illegal loans.

The new helpline will work with Sutton Foodbank, the council and the Croydon Merton and Sutton (CMS) Credit Union to make sure people are able to make safe choices if they find themselves in financial difficulty and have the best resources to get out of difficulties.

Steve Triner, chief executive of Sutton CAB, said: "We know people find debt problems very stressful. In fact research has shown that debt can be both a cause and a consequence of mental health problems.

"We have therefore taken steps to enable people needing debt advice to get access to our debt advice team as quickly and as easily as possible."

Councillor Jayne McCoy added: "It is clear that some of our residents are struggling to make ends meet. We believe in a fair borough that supports people through tough times and that is why we are providing services such as the new debt line."

The CMS Credit Union is a savings and loans co-operative run for and by its members on a not-for-profit basis. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, studies and/or volunteers in the London Boroughs of Croydon, Merton or Sutton.

To contact the new line, call Sutton CAB on 020 8405 3552.

Comments (5)

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7:30am Tue 4 Mar 14

theavengers says...

Many times it's working families who rent privately and since private rents are so high, they can't eat. When you work and have to pay your way in life, many times most of ones wages goes on housing. Then, landlords demand you to earn 3 times the amount per month rent and when average rents are £950 for 2 bdrms, you do the calculations. Making working people homeless and children starve.
Many times it's working families who rent privately and since private rents are so high, they can't eat. When you work and have to pay your way in life, many times most of ones wages goes on housing. Then, landlords demand you to earn 3 times the amount per month rent and when average rents are £950 for 2 bdrms, you do the calculations. Making working people homeless and children starve. theavengers
  • Score: 14

10:22am Tue 4 Mar 14

CPN says...

I often wonder if very basic cooking classes would help. We used to learn cooking at school; I am not so sure that the children do learn the basic skills now and how to make the best of food, including how to make any left over food into a nourishing soup rather than throwing it away.
I often wonder if very basic cooking classes would help. We used to learn cooking at school; I am not so sure that the children do learn the basic skills now and how to make the best of food, including how to make any left over food into a nourishing soup rather than throwing it away. CPN
  • Score: 0

11:11am Tue 4 Mar 14

Marie from Sutton says...

Hunger is associated with third world countries.
That is what we are now, a third world country that cannot feed its own people, with a third world education and thirld world job prospects.
Worrying.
Hunger is associated with third world countries. That is what we are now, a third world country that cannot feed its own people, with a third world education and thirld world job prospects. Worrying. Marie from Sutton
  • Score: 7

2:33pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Keysie64 says...

People are struggling so I wondered why the council increased rents last night by 6.5%
People are struggling so I wondered why the council increased rents last night by 6.5% Keysie64
  • Score: 6

3:10pm Tue 4 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

I do not believe it!
I do not believe it! alroutemaster
  • Score: -4

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