A meeting was held last night to co-ordinate the response to the cost of living crisis across West Berkshire.
Around a hundred representatives of charities, community groups and councils gathered in St John’s church, Newbury.
Councillor Steve Masters covened the meeting, which was chaired by Rev. Gary Collins.
Local organisers related harrowing tales of family poverty and agonising “heat/eat” decisions.
Rev. Gary Collins said “We are on the precipice of descending into a Dickensian age”.
Councillor Steve Masters said that we are in the midst of a “collective national crisis”.
Erica Glassor from West Berkshire Homeless said that there are people in West Berkshire who are not eating properly and cannot afford heat and light.
It was clear that local charities are already full loaded supporting people in the community.
It was also apparent that there is a need for co-ordination across the district, to improve the response – particularly in providing “warm hubs”.
The meeting heard presentations from the following organisations: Loose Ends Newbury, Newbury Soup Kitchen, West Berkshire Homeless, Age Concern Newbury, Connect Communities in Berkshire, West Berkshire Food Bank, West Berkshire Council, Thatcham Community Larder, Newbury Samaritans and others.