More families and individuals than ever before were supported by Harpenden Trust in the year to the end of March 2019, the Trust's annual report and accounts show.
Trained volunteers visited 596 people in their homes and were able to help them both financially and in other ways. In the previous year the Trust helped 433 people.
In addition, 82 people were helped with furniture needs. Seventy-eight more received help with their utility bills.
Over the year, funding from the Trust enabled 93 children in Harpenden schools to go on curriculum-related trips - that was more than double the year before.
"What the figures show," says chairman Rodger Livesey, "is the importance of having a truly local charity with its feet on the ground with an army of volunteers who can react very quickly when families hit a problem patch.
"That was the vision of those who set up the Trust in the dark days just after World War II. I don't suppose they thought a growing number of our townspeople would still need support."
Whilst Harpenden Trust is willingly responding to growing calls for help, anecdotal evidence is that continuing problems with Universal Credit are primarily responsible for the rise. The Trust expects to spend about £100,000 again this year to make sure no-one is left behind. The Trust this year is also one of the Town Mayor's chosen charities, who will raise more more valuable funds to benefit the residents of Harpenden.
In Forum, Harpenden Town Council's Quarterly Newsletter, September 2019 - Issue 170
23 September 2019