The Real Cost of Living Crisis

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It’s not just individuals who are being bitten by the increasing costs of utilities, food and other supplies. The cost of living is also hitting business – and charities are no different. We’ve been working with our partners looking at our energy costs and looking at ways to keep them as low as possible whilst still being here to support our community and provide a warm welcome to those who need it most.

With the help of our volunteers and partners we’re opening our doors to Carnegie Community Centre a little bit later twice a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we will be open from 4.30-7.30pm where residents can come in from the cold, grab a bite to eat and a cuppa, meet their neighbours and find a listening ear.

The efforts from our staff and volunteers won’t bring wholesale energy prices down but they will help to bring the community together and ignite the spirit of Sunderland that anyone from the city knows still burns strongly. 

Speaking to leaders and staff from other organisations we’re definitely not alone, with energy costs and the overall cost of living cropping up in conversation time and time again. As our communities are further squeezed by the rising cost of living, Charities will once again be expected to pick up the slack. 

The voluntary sector is a core part of our social infrastructure and we’ve always been there for our communities when times are tough. People say we ‘stepped up’ in the pandemic. We haven’t been rooted at the heart of communities, providing consistent support where statutory infrastructure and markets have failed. And we will continue to be there for our communities.   

I often say the sector is like expanding foam, we see a need; be it a lack of food, someone who is lonely or needs a warm coat or a child without a bed and we find a way to fill the gap. As community businesses and charities we’ve shown over recent years how resilient we – and our communities can be. 

Having said that, there will be tough times ahead with even tougher decisions that will need to be made. We’re all seeing increasing costs, increasing demand and reducing resources and donations.

Jo Cooper, 

CEO, Back on the Map