Guarantee the Essentials

Alongside over 200 charities, in the run up to the General Election, we have signed an open letter to ask the main political parties to Guarantee the Essentials for those who need it most.

As a charity we work closely with our partner churches and charities, based around the UK, to provide essentials for those who are in poverty. We know that although we can provide one-off specific needs when someone is in a crisis, we're not an ongoing solution to the wider issue that individuals and families are being forced to go without food, or other essentials.

Acts 435 works with churches and charities who are running foodbanks, debt advice and other services to alleviate poverty and hardship. We're seeing daily the struggles that are faced by many families, for whom we can only temporarily alleviate their hardship. Such as this mum, who is widowed, and working full-time. Her low income means that she is living hand to mouth, and Acts 435 donors stepped in to help her with food and energy bills:

Thank you very much for helping me at a very difficult time. Life is still hard, as we don't have enough money coming in to live well, but the food shop and energy top-up made a huge difference that month. We are still using some of the things that were bought and put in the freezer. It is so good to know there are caring people.

Thankfully this mum now knows that someone cares for them in their moment of crisis, but life is still hard and it won't improve unless much larger changes are made to alleviate poverty.

The open letter that we have signed reports that "just last month (May), 7 million low-income households were forced to go without essentials like food, adequate clothing and basic toiletries, and over the past year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed a record 3.1 million emergency food parcels. Most shockingly of all, almost 4 million people, including 1 million children, experienced destitution in 2022 – more than double the rate from five years previously."

In May 2024, we were able to help 477 individuals with one-off needs, all of which were due to someone being unable to afford to fill the gap between their limited income and the cost of purchasing essentials.

Thankfully there are many organisations, like Acts 435, and those who have signed this open letter, who can step into the gap for individuals. However, we know that this is not the solution to the much larger issue that many are facing on a daily basis. This young, single mum is working two days a week to try and provide the best life for her child. However, alongside Universal Credit, she continues to struggle between paydays:

"I was struggling to find essentials and to get through from one payday to the next. I didn’t know how I was going to manage, especially coming up to Christmas. It was hard to see people buying food and having a good time when I was struggling so much, counting my change and worrying about keeping the electric on to keep my fridge working. Thanks to all of the people on Acts 435, I can now buy shopping, gas, electricity and food."

We're thankful to be able to step in for those who are facing these impossible situations, but also to step up for them too by adding our voice and experience to this campaign and open letter.

You can find out more about this open letter, and the campaign here.