IN November, I was horrified to read a couple in the Midlands had committed suicide.

They had taken their own lives as they could not afford to eat on the benefits they were receiving and were not given the support they needed to deal with their mental health problems.

Since that time, each week we set aside food and necessities to donate to appropriate agencies.

We consider ourselves lucky to be able to manage well in these difficult times and think this will be some small help.

The Savation Army, at Shildon or Crook, or Woodhouse Close Church in Bishop Auckland, will accept your gifts locally.

What appals me is to read that our Prime Minister paid no capital gains tax on his inheritance and then spends £140,000 on a piece of land near his home.

Today, I read Chris Huhne, who already owns eight houses, has bought himself a £1.3m house.

How can these people possibly understand the needs of normal people? How can they tell us we are all in this together?

Name and address supplied.