The struggle felt by many in the North East regarding the cost-of-living crisis has been made very clear in an interactive map designed by a leading campaign group.

38 Degrees’ cost of living map ( contains stories from around the country from those struggling to cope with rising energy bills, food prices, and other pressures relating to the economic crisis.

It has been released in the run-up to Thursday’s (November 17) autumn statement, in which the Government is expected to announce cuts in public spending in a bid to help balance its books.

Each pinpoint on the map represents someone who has agreed to tell their story on how the cost-of-living crisis has reduced their quality of life, in the hope of forcing the Government to put a rescue plan in place for society’s most vulnerable.

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It comes after a warning last week from a leading foodbank organisation, explaining that many people were at “breaking point”, with almost 1.3m emergency parcels given to people in hunger over a six-month period.

Simultaneously, a number of organisations in our region are setting up ‘warm zones’ to ensure those unable to heat their homes this winter do not go cold and suffer in silence.

The map highlights stories like that of Adele Tyler, a 60-year-old mother of two from Bishop Auckland, who has two children at university.

Adele said: “I am really worried about the rising cost of living. I have very little disposable income as it is, so I am looking at no spare income for the little extras and to help my children. I am cutting back on everything I can and desperately need help with paying household bills.”

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Jon Wild, a 73-year-old from Thirsk & Malton, said: “Worried to death, nothing to look forward anymore. We need help now! Tax cuts are useless to the millions of people living in poverty already.”

John Salter, a 75-year-old living in North West Durham, said: “We live pretty frugally but prices of everything are increasing dramatically. Public services must be maintained and enhanced not cut to pay for money borrowed to reduce taxes.”

Helen Marriage, a 57-year-old living in Hartlepool said: “I feel like I’m going to have to choose to be warm or fed in the months to come, they are taking £485 from me monthly - god knows how I’ll manage another increase.”

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