City families 'can't afford to boil kettle' because of energy prices

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Hannah Worsley, Project Manager at Norwich foodbank Pict

Hannah Worsley, project manager at Norwich foodbank - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Desperate people turning to the city's foodbank are struggling to afford making a cuppa due to soaring energy prices.

Hannah Worsley, project manager of Norwich Foodbank, said her latest figures show that between 600 and 700 people a month are now in need of emergency parcels in Norwich.

The foodbank is also supporting people through an energy bank which provides one-off payment towards gas and electricity.

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Volunteer, Trevor. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Inside the Norwich foodbank warehouse in the Henderson Business Centre - Credit: Brittany Woodman

And those who turn to the charity boss and her team have harrowing stories of life on the breadline. 

Mrs Worsley said: "The energy bank has really struck me.

"One lady said even if we paid £10 for her metre the family are still £11 in debt - even with the top-up she is still not going to have anything. 

"I changed it to £15 and she was so relieved because it meant she could have a cup of tea.

"She was not even able to do something that simple." 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Hannah Worsley, Project Manager at Norwich foodbank Lin

Norwich foodbank project manager Hannah Worsley and volunteers Linda, Keith Clapson, Trevor and Pip - Credit: Brittany Woodman

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The Trussell Trust foodbank has also been supporting a handful of Ukrainian families since Russia launched an invasion on the eastern European nation. 

Mrs Worsley said: "We had an example where a Ukrainian lady came in with her child who was two or three years old. 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Hannah Worsley, Project Manager at Norwich foodbank Pict

Hannah Worsley, project manager at Norwich foodbank - Credit: Brittany Woodman

"She did not speak any English so she wrote in translation on her phone 'I am so sorry I am here. I will get some money as soon as possible. At the moment I am on childcare'."  

There are a total of 180 volunteers at the foodbank which ranges from older part-time workers to students and those whose are retired. 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Volunteer, Linda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

A volunteer called Linda at the Norwich foodbank warehouse - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Mrs Worsley said: "Within the Trussell Trust network we are one of the busiest in terms of numbers being fed.

"But there are a lot in the north west which are extremely busy so we are now a bit further down the list from where we were. 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Norwich foodbank in the Henderson Business Centre - Credit: Brittany Woodman

"There is still a concern we could get back to the worst days of Covid and the guidelines are still a little unclear. I think applications will go up even more." 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Volunteer, Trevor. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

A volunteer called Trevor at Norwich foodbank's warehouse - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Details of how to donate to Norwich foodbank can be found at www.norwichfoodbank.co.uk. 

Norwich food bank, Henderson Business Unit. Foodbank looking for wrapped biscuits and puddings. Pict

Norwich foodbank is in need of wrapped biscuits and puddings - Credit: Brittany Woodman