Mustard Tree’s Round-Up
It costs more to be poor
It costs more to be poor
This week we’ve been thinking a lot about the Poverty Premium, where families on low incomes could end up paying over £1,000 more a year for everyday goods and services – simply due to their financial circumstances.
How does that work? Taking steps to keep costs down may seem straightforward, but won’t be as achievable for people who do not have the disposable income to budget and plan. For instance, 50% of people who took part in a Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) survey said they ‘pay their energy bills through a prepayment meter”, which can be around £142 a year more expensive than paying monthly by direct debit.
There are many factors contributing to the poverty premium, but the below quote by Terry Pratchett from his book ‘Men at Arms’ sums up the issue perfectly:
“A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet” – Terry Pratchett
For more about the poverty premium and to view the full report by GMPA, click here.
A Look inside our Community Shops
If it costs more to be poor, then this article by our Community and Events Coordinator Laura explains why furniture, white goods, food and clothing donations for our Community Shops can provide a lifeline for so many across Greater Manchester.
Making essential items available at low-cost – or gifted through our furniture vouchers – prevents people from turning to payday loans and ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes, which so often lead to spiraling debt and consequential stress.
If you think you can support our Community Shops through in-kind donations, please visit our website or email email@example.com.
Greater Manchester High Sheriff Visit
Last week we welcomed Mrs Diane Hawkins, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester – for a tour of our Ancoats hub and to discuss our ‘coming out of Covid’ plans.
The High Sheriff said: “I’m so impressed by all that is happening at Mustard Tree. What a fantastic job and such brilliant staff and volunteers. Manchester is very lucky to have them showing the way to meet the challenges of so many people in our community. A privilege to meet them all”.
Repeal of the Vagrancy Act
There was a win for dignity this week as the government has made the decision to repeal the 200 year-old Vagrancy Act, an “offensive and outdated” law which has sparked controversy and debate for years. The Big Issue has covered the story, which you can read here.
A big thank you to all our corporate and community supporters who are heeding the call by setting up clothing and food donation drives in offices around Greater Manchester – including PJ Livesey who have utilised their surplus office-space brilliantly.
Want to get involved? Link up with us by visiting our website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 228 7331.
We want to say a huge well done to Shazia and Bayan, who both graduated from the Freedom Project this week! Both trainees volunteered in our Community Shop, whilst taking part in our Customer Service classes to boost their confidence over the last few months.
Shazia and Bayan are now pursuing careers in healthcare and nursing – we wish them the best of luck for the future!
Punk in Drublic Poetry in aid of Mustard Tree (last few tickets remaining)
Can you help us combat poverty and prevent homelessness?
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Please join us in this mission by clicking the button below.
To our partners who are already supporting us with a monthly donation, please share this newsletter with friends, family members and colleagues – and thank you so much for all your ongoing support. Your kind donations are vital for us to continue our work and much appreciated by us all.