Hope Nottingham in Beeston

Not the change in the Universal Credit scheme, but the rising debt during the festive season increases the number of people at food banks, feels charity workers of Hope Nottingham.

Nigel Adams of Hope Nottingham, Beeston, said: “We haven’t seen much of impact of the universal credit yet and the change only applies to new applicants, not the existing ones.”

“I think it will have an impact later.”

Nigel Adams from Hope Nottingham. Image: Nabanita Das

He added: “The food bank actually gets busier in terms of need February onward, because people pay for their Christmas on their credit cards and they are in short of money during February because that’s when they have to start to repay.”

“And it’s colder, so even the heating bills go up.”

“So the demand increases and that’s when one will see the effect of Universal credit scheme change.”

“So all the food that we get now is utilised later.”

The free cafe brings together a host of different kinds of people.

Hope Nottingham, which had a  humble start, eight years ago, now supports 15 other food banks in various areas of Nottingham with 350 volunteers.

Apart from providing food through food banks, the community service of Hope Nottingham that Adams stresses on, believes in bringing people together to help each other.

“The universal credit scheme expects you to fill online forms.

“So while helping people to fill those forms and we also encourage them to look for jobs, write resumes and even provide them with work opportunities.”

“We do workshops on crafts and there are literacy groups, too,” he added.