High Peak charity, The Zink Project, helps people to move out of poverty and make a new life for themselves. Last year alone, 80 long term unemployed people with complex problems were supported into work, 1200 High Peak people received food parcels and 150 were helped to sort out problems that were causing poverty. In addition, Zink saw around 600 attend one of its monthly community cafés, some of these are foodbank users, homeless, isolated or living in poverty.
Reductions in funding could mean that The Zink Project has to cut services meaning more High Peak people remaining in the poverty trap.
To give an idea of figures, The Zink Project costs around £160,000 a year to run. If the 80 people supported into work were receiving single person’s benefits including rent costs, Zink would have saved the tax payer £360,000 in addition to reduction in costs of other services like the NHS or Social Services that these now employed people will use less frequently. They will also be paying tax themselves.
Zink Advice is a service available to High Peak Foodbank clients to help resolve the issue that caused them to need a foodbank. It was due to close at the end of March, when funding by Derbyshire County Council is cut, but thanks to High Peak Borough Council funding will continue until the end of June 2019. Zink is urgently seeking a funder to meet the £7000 required to keep Zink Advice service running. Advice worker, Evie Goodwin Sherratt said:
“The new benefit system, Universal Credit, is only available to claim online. Some people can’t use a computer or access the internet. People tend to use the foodbank whilst they’re waiting for help to make a claim. Having an advice service in the foodbank means we can get the claim made straightaway and they don’t have to rely on food handouts.”
There has also been an increase in the number of homeless people using the foodbank and Zink Advice has been there for them too.
“last week alone, I supported three homeless people into accommodation; one was young, pregnant and quite vulnerable and she had been offered shared accommodation in an area notorious for drugs. I helped her into somewhere more suitable.”
It’s not just Zink Advice that is losing funding. A National Lottery grant of £59,000 a year runs out at the end of March 2019. The Zink Project is working to get funding from elsewhere. It has contracts to deliver employment programmes which contribute towards the shortfall but unless other funders are found soon, cuts in Zink services could be drastic.
You can help The Zink Project to support High Peak people to escape the poverty trap by visiting their website:www.highpeakfoodbank.co.uk where you can make a donation.ere you can make a donation.