Families with children under 10 are among more than 100 people to have received aid in the four weeks since The Cambridge Building Society and Cambridgeshire Community Foundation launched the £100,000 Cost of Living Crisis Fund to help local families have access to the food, heating and household essentials this winter. The fund distributes the money via local charities already working with families and individuals who need it most.

More than half of the recipients of the aid, distributed by one of the partner charities, Cambridge Aid, went to families with children under the age of 10. More than a quarter of the beneficiaries of Citizens Advice Rural Cambs included families with young children. A third charity, Cambridge City Foodbank, is also distributing funds.

Among those helped is a local mother and her three children, who were recently rehoused after their previous home developed damp and mould, which was making the family sick. Her children’s beds, bedding and other furniture were also damaged, and she was unable to afford to replace them until Cambridge Aid stepped in.

So far, Cambridge Aid has distributed £3,900 to over 60 people aged 1 to 60, half of whom are children. More than half the funds (53%) have been used to cover energy costs, 33% for furniture and 14% for food.

Citizen’s Advice Rural Cambs has distributed £2,500 to 38 people aged 1 to 60, with 59% for energy, 36% for household items and 4% for food.

The building society and Cambridgeshire Community Foundation have together provided £100,000 to help local households most affected by increased costs over the winter months.

Anna Stevenson, Trustee at Cambridge Aid, said, “The Cambridge Building Society’s fund is providing vital help to people who have been brought to the point of crisis by the rising cost of living. Many of the people helped have faced substantial difficulties, including being survivors of domestic violence and having to become guardians to young children unexpectedly. Half of recipients so far are disabled.”

The Cambridge’s CEO, Peter Burrows, said, “Everyone at The Cambridge feels tremendously proud to be able to help in this way. No child – or anyone for that matter – should be made to sleep in a damp bed, or go without food or heat, so we felt compelled to help. It is wonderful to hear how the funds are already making a difference. We just couldn’t sit by and watch local people worry about having enough food and warmth over the winter, so we set up this Cost of Living Crisis Fund in partnership with Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to help ease some of those problems.”

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation already administers The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund, which was established in 2020 and has already generated more than £660,000. The fund awards grants to local voluntary and community groups that deliver homes and housing projects.

The Cambridge Building Society Cost of Living Crisis Fund is expected to run until the end of March. To find out how support can be accessed, visit the fund page.