Families hit by crippling cost of living need a third more income to make ends meet

Article by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Latest research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals how low-income families need a third more disposable income than a decade ago to make ends meet and are facing bigger barriers to meet rising costs – despite tightening their belts and shopping around online for better deals and tariffs.

Families hit by crippling cost of living need a third more income to make ends meet
The rising cost of transport, childcare and energy have restricted and restrained people who are struggling to get by, according to a decade of authoritative living standards research for the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The Minimum Income Standard (MIS), carried out by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, acts as a barometer of living standards in the UK. It is based on what members of the public think we all need to achieve a decent minimum living standard, regularly updated as society and the economy changes.

A calculator allows the public to see the earnings different households need to reach MIS, according to members of the public. A single person needs to earn £18,400 a year to reach MIS; each parent in a working couple with two children needs to earn £20,000. A lone parent with a pre-school child must earn £28,450.

Since 2008, the cost of a minimum ‘basket’ of goods and services has risen by 35% for a single working-age adult without children, by 30% for a couple with two children and by 50% for a pensioner couple, compared to a 25% increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The types of goods and services required for a minimum living standard have remained broadly the same, but the cost and how people buy them has changed:

  • The cost of getting around. Public transport has become much more expensive and bus services have been cut. As a consequence, transport costs take up nearly a fifth of minimum household budgets. Bus travel is 65% more expensive in 2018 than in 2008. Members of the public say you need to be prepared to travel further to work and to make more use of taxis when public transport is not an option. For a single person, the minimum transport budget has risen from £17 to £37 a week.
  • The weekly food shop. On average the cost of food rose by just over a quarter between 2008 and 2018, but a minimum food budget for a single person rose from £29 to £44 a week, a rise of just over 50%.
  • Energy bills are over 40% higher than a decade ago, putting pressure on household budgets, despite the internet making it easier to shop around for better tariffs and more energy-efficient lighting making rises less steep for some households. If you work with the vulnerable or people on low incomes and would like some assistance advising them on how to save money on their energy bills please get in touch with our Energy Advisor Helen – Helen.Dean@ccberks.org.uk
  • Childcare costs have risen sharply. The average price of a full-time nursery place for a two-year-old is now £229 a week, having risen by well over 50% since 2008. The government’s emphasis on early years development is reflected in parents saying, unlike in 2008, that families should have the choice of nursery care for their pre-school children, rather than only being able to afford a childminder.
  • Technology is increasingly important as part of day-to-day life. People are spending less today on technology and are more connected than they were ten years ago. Broadband, a basic laptop and smartphone cost £8 a week today for a single working-age person, compared to £9.50 for a landline telephone and a pay-as-you-go mobile in 2008, despite inflation of 25%. Technology is also reducing minimum costs by enabling people to shop online and make price comparisons.

To read the rest of this article by the Joseph Rowntree Founcation please click here.

Penny Post – a local free community website & newsletter

Penny Post is a free community website and newsletter serving West Berkshire, Wantage, Swindon, Marlborough and surrounding areas.

Penny Post is compiled by East Garston resident Penny Locke (sometimes helped and sometimes hindered by her husband Brian Quinn) and covers an area roughly centred on Junction 14 of the M4 – from Wantage to Marlborough, and from Hungerford to Thatcham. Penny has been writing her weekly e-newsletter for over 10 years. Whereas traditional media boosts sales through broadcasting bad and often sensational news, Penny is committed to sharing positive, local ‘news you can use’ and is reassured by the popularity of Penny Post that this is what people really want. We at CCB receive it and really enjoy reading about some great examples of community groups and areas coming together to achieve positive change.

Penny Post has been involved in a number of local campaigns on issues ranging from pub closures to planning appeals, from urgent charity appeals to public meetings and from dubious sewage works to threatened libraries and post offices. A couple of articles that we would like to drawer the attention of our CCB readers to are:

A useful article on Neighbourhood Development Planshttp://pennypost.org.uk/2018/04/neighbourhood-development-plans/

A Week in the Life of Hungerford Town Clerk Claire Barneshttp://pennypost.org.uk/2017/03/week-life-hungerford-town-clerk-claire-barnes/

Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association: http://pennypost.org.uk/2018/02/great-shefford-flood-alleviation-association-gsfaa/


How can I subscribe for free to the Penny Post newsletters?
To join over 3,700 other Penny Post subscribers, click on the ‘Subscribe’ link here to receive the Penny Post newsletter by email each week.

They don’t pass on details to third parties and you can opt out whenever you wish, so don’t delay, sign up today!

Online Survey Launched: NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launches an online survey as part of its drive to engage with local people about what matters to them when they require urgent care. The survey will run from 10 July – 6 August.

Urgent care services are for people who have an injury or illness that needs attention the same day, but it is not life-threatening or life changing. These services are currently provided by a number of health professionals, including GPs, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and others.

The CCG has had a busy few weeks talking to over 280 local people at meetings, online via two ‘Cover It Live’ sessions and by visiting local community groups. These early conversations are designed to ensure that patients and local residents are involved from the beginning in influencing how services should be developed.

The survey launches the second phase of the ‘Big conversation’ around urgent care. The survey has been designed to give local people an idea of some of the things we have heard already and test their views.

The survey can be accessed by using the following link:


The insights from these conversations and the survey will inform what services could look like in the future.

Dr Adrian Hayter, Locality Lead for Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead, said: “It’s really important for local people to be part of this journey to help us transform the future of urgent care in East Berkshire. We need local people to share their experiences and tell us what matters to them when they have an urgent care need.

He added: “I would like to reassure the people of East Berkshire that their feedback will be taken into account in developing options for the future. If we need to proceed to a formal consultation stage before making any changes, we will do so later in the autumn.”

More information can be found on the East Berkshire CCG website: https://www.eastberkshireccg.nhs.uk/our-work/transforming-urgent-care-services/

Job Vacancy at Life Education Wessex & Thames Valley

life educationEducator

Term time only (0.8, full-time considered)

Salary: £19,250 – £25,410 (Scale 1/2, pro-rata)

A rare opportunity to join our team of Educators in the delivery of specialised health, well-being and drug education programmes to primary aged children throughout Thames Valley/ North Hampshire.

Ideally resident in the Newbury/Reading area, you will preferably have recent experience of working with young children and knowledge of and an interest in health, well-being and drug issues. A flexible approach is required as the days worked each week may vary.

Life Education Wessex & Thames Valley is a charity working with schools and the community to help children make informed healthy choices and stay safe.  Educators use positive and dynamic teaching strategies and specially designed visual aids and models to make children aware of the wonders of the body and how to look after it. The fun, age-appropriate and memorable programmes are primarily delivered in purpose built mobile classrooms.

The successful candidate will be required to undergo and pass an intensive three month training course and be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Visit https://www.lifeeducationwessex.org.uk/join-us for information pack.

Closing date Monday 24th September 2018. Interviews Thursday 4th October 2018. 

Applicants must have eligibility to work in the UK and a full UK driving licence.

Charity Number: 1071094

Funding Update – July 2018

Santander Foundation

The Santander Foundation awards grants of up to £5,000 to help disadvantaged people make the most of their future.

Discovery Grants support projects that improve people’s knowledge, skills or which provide innovative solutions to overcome social challenges. We can only support projects which fulfil these goals and our three priority areas – Explorer, Transformer and Changemaker.

Grants can be used to support one or more of our three priorities.

EXPLORER Improving people’s knowledge
Such as Money Management workshops helping disadvantaged people learn how to budget.
TRANSFORMER Improving skills and experience
For example, training to help socially isolated people develop skills to get back into work or volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
CHANGEMAKER Innovative solutions to social challenges
What about a new social networking program for visually impaired young people to access the internet?
They fund projects that are wholly charitable. They must specifically help disadvantaged people in the UK by improving knowledge, skills or providing innovative solutions. We aim to help as many organisations as possible so we don’t offer grants for longer than one year.

To apply fill out the application form found in any local Santander branch and post it in the Discovery Grants post box at any branch.

Find out more about the Santander Foundation Grants

Tesco’s Bags of Help

Tesco’s Bags of Help is an exciting grant programme funded through the money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland. The programme will support local good causes and grants, and up to £4,000 will be available to support projects which will ‘support local projects, that benefit the community’. The types of project we fund is very broad.

As this is a rolling programme, voting for projects will be happening continuously in Tesco stores. Three projects from each local area will be shortlisted to go to the public vote every two months. If your project gets the most votes across all stores in your region, you will win the grant amount you requested from us up to a maximum of £4,000. If your project is second, you will win up to £2,000 and if your project is third, you will win up to £1,000.

If you have any more questions or concerns, you can contact Jennifer Rose at Jennifer.Rose@groundwork.org.uk or 07702 532755.


Cash4Clubs is a sports funding scheme, giving clubs a unique chance to apply for grants to improve facilities, buy new equipment, gain qualifications and invest in the sustainability of their organisation.

The Cash 4 Clubs scheme has given out sports grants to many deserving recipients and is committed to funding even more sports clubs in the future. With awards of £500, £750, £1000 and £10,000 available, Cash 4 Clubs gives away real money that can help your club.

Find out more about Cash4Clubs

Mobbs Memorial Trust

Mobbs Memorial Trust grants are available for charitable causes in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire that are within a 35-mile radius of St Giles Church, Stoke Poges.

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.
  • Private companies.
  • National charitable organisations unless a specific need arises with the local area.
  • Groups or projects that should be funded by national or local government.
  • Running costs, apart from exceptional cases within a four-mile radius of Stoke Poges.

What For?

The Trust would prefer to support the following type of applications:

  • One-off capital projects.
  • Projects for the benefit of the public at large.
  • As a guide, the following are examples of some recent successful applications:
  • Community halls to enhance facilities.
  • Hostels, housing associations or care centres for the young, elderly, disadvantaged or disabled requiring equipment.
  • Sports clubs for additional equipment.
  • Primary schools for computers and the enhancement of art and drama facilities.

How Much?

This is a small trust with approximately £85,500 (depending on the investment performance) to award in grants each year. The Trust tends to give between 20 and 25 grants each year. Although the funding is at the discretion of the Trustees, grants tend to be in the range of £500 to £10,000.

There are no deadlines. Applications are considered at quarterly meetings which normally fall in March, June, September and December.
More Informationhttp://www.mobbsmemorialtrust.com/ 

Sport England

Sport England uses National Lottery funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sportSport England uses National Lottery funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sport


Small Grants can fund formally constituted not-for-profit organisations and statutory bodies. This might include sports clubs, voluntary organisations, local authorities, schools or governing bodies of sport. They will not fund an individual, sole trader or partnership, organisations established to make profit or organisations not established in the UK. You will need to have a written constitution or governing document which should contain a clear not-for-profit statement and charitable dissolution clause.

Your membership should be open to all sections of the community and your governing committee should include at least three people who are not related and who do not live together.Your application and supporting documents should show them that your organisation is appropriately governed.

More information can be found in their Good Governance Guide.If your organisation is part of a larger organisation, you should confirm that you are sufficiently independent of them. If you do not have your own committee, bank account and constitution you will need the support of your parent organisation, which must accept overall responsibility for the award.

What For?

  • Their mission is to get more people playing more sport more often and all applications should tell us how they will help deliver their strategic outcomes:
  • More people playing sport once a week
  • An increase in the number of 14-25s playing sport once a week
  • A reduction in drop off at ages 16, 18, 21 & 24
  • Growth in the number of disabled people playing sport

For further information please click here.

The Power To Change Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give community groups in England the support to start setting up their community business.

To be eligible to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund, you must:#

  • Be setting up a community business.
  • Be based in England
  • Be an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, but not an individual
  • Have been established for five years or less
  • Have a charitable purpose
  • Ensure your idea is for community benefit
  • Share Power to Change’s impact goals
    Please use the eligibility checker at:

What For?
The programme is run by Locality and offers:

  • Specialist support with creating a development plan for your community business
  • Mentoring and visits to inspire you and enable you to learn from peers
  • Regional networking and events to learn from experts in the field

Groups accepted onto the programme will receive one to one business development support and be invited to apply for a small grant to fund development and start-up costs, such as feasibility studies, legal and other fees connected with developing governance, taking ownership of a building or other asset, community engagement, business planning and more.

How much?
Up to £15,000

More Information


The Bright Ideas Fund closes on Tuesday 31 July 2018



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