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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service join forces with Turn2us to support those who may be financially struggling

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) have partnered up with Turn2us to provide members of the community with information and details on how to gain financial support.

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially.

Conversations between BFRS and Turn2us began in late 2021, as concerns spiked from welfare checks conducted by the BFRS Community Engagement team. Many noticed patients were sacrificing keeping their homes warm as they are unable to afford bills, then resulting into people heating their homes in an unsafe way that could then cause a fire. Questions were raised and individuals emphasised during their home visits by the community engagement team, that they are financially struggling and are unsure where they can source support.

Ian Howarth, Partnership and Engagement Manager says “Collaborating with Turn2us, enables BFRS to confidently provide individuals with financial advice and guidance. The handouts and leaflets from Turn2us include, the helpline where people can seek support, as well as links to handy online tools such as benefit calculators. As the cost-of-living is only increasing more people may share their financial concerns with us, and that is when we can help them reach out to Turn2us. In addition, these leaflets are produced in a variety of languages from English, Urdu, Punjabi, Bangladeshi and Polish, allowing us to reach out to wider ethnic backgrounds.”

Michael Clarke, Head of Information Programmes at Turn2us, says “At Turn2us we believe that collaborating with local communities is vital in helping people access the support they need. With the cost-of-living soaring, we anticipate many more people will find themselves facing financial insecurity over the coming months. Our partnership with the Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service will be key to ensure people know where to turn for support.”

Poverty statistics Bedfordshire:

  • 32,000 children in Bedfordshire are in poverty, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, which is approximately 1 in 6
  • In the Kingsway area of Luton, 48% of children are living in poverty
  • 24,004 of the children living below the breadline in Bedfordshire last year had at least one working parent, which is 73% of the total number.
  • An estimated 9,500 households in fuel poverty in Bedford, which is approximately 1 in 7 households.

Visit Turn2us for more information.

Sources:

(https://www.bedfordshirelive.co.uk/news/bedfordshire-news/more-32000-children-living-poverty-6928888)

(https://www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/one-in-five-households-in-some-parts-of-bedford-in-fuel-poverty/)