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Call to help those hit hardest by welfare changes
DARLINGTON residents are being urged to contribute to a community fund to help those who will be hardest hit by the welfare reform.
Karen Grundy, director of Evolution, an organization which aims to promote and support Darlington’s voluntary sector, said thousands of people in the town are likely to face hardship when the changes to the benefit system come into force in April.
She said work must be done before then to minimise the impact of the reforms.
Evolution has launched a community fund and Ms Grundy is calling on all residents and businesses to support it.
She said: “Just think; if everyone donated just one pound then we’d easily have over £40,000 to help those who need it most in the local community.
“It would be great if everybody could get behind this fund, with things like businesses and schools having a non-uniform day, so that we could have a meaningful amount to make a real difference to people experiencing hardship as a result of the welfare changes.”
About 40 changes to benefits system will be introduced from April onwards as part of the Welfare Reform Act, and many, including the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ and the introduction of the Universal Credit, are likely to see people worse off than they were before the reform.
But Ms Grundy believes that if Darlington residents and businesses contribute to the community fund in advance, then the town’s charities and voluntary organisations will be better placed to help those in need.
She said: “The welfare reforms are going to affect us all and I think we should be saying more and doing more about it.
“We have got to do something now to mitigate the effects; it is about asking how can we as a community come together and help each other?”
Evolution is appointing a panel to take responsibility for the community fund and will work with charities and voluntary groups in Darlington to identify those most in need of support.
Groups who would like to know more about getting involved in the community fund scheme can call Evolution on 01325-266888.
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